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SBD/May 11, 2011/Events and Attractions
Preakness Stakes Tix Sales Up 17%; Officials Credit Kegasus Marketing Campaign
Published May 11, 2011
SUNDAY FUNDAY: The THOROUGHBRED TIMES’ Jeff Lowe reported the owners of Pimlico Race Course “may not move the Preakness Stakes to a later weekend anytime soon, but they will at least kick around the possibility of moving the classic from Saturday to Sunday in 2012.” MI Developments Operations Dir Mike Rogers was “pleased enough with the results of a similar switch for this year’s Florida Derby that he thinks moving the Preakness to the third Sunday in May, instead of the third Saturday in May, bears some consideration.” Rogers said that the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, run the same weekend of the Preakness, “might reap similar benefits with a switch from Friday to Saturday at Pimlico.” The Preakness “has been run on Saturday every year since 1930” (THOROUGHBREDTIMES.com, 5/9).
GOOD THINGS IN STORE? In Louisville, Gregory Hall in a front-page piece notes the Kentucky Derby’s record crowd of 164,858 on Saturday was “a welcome sign for a horse-racing industry that has been reeling in recent years with falling attendance and smaller purses.” While “no one is suggesting the numbers show that the industry's problems are fixed, Churchill officials view it as an indication that signature events such as the Derby have retained international appeal.” CDI Exec VP & CFO Bill Mudd: “When I got this number, I went back to the team and said, ‘Are we sure?'” CDI officials “credited several improvements in recent years for the higher numbers." Renovations completed six years ago “added suites and other premium seating through most of the length of the stretch," while the track also has “computerized its permanent reserved seating, making sure they were fully utilized” (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 5/11).