MATCH Series is Back
The popular MATCH Series (Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships) is returning in 2018 after a 16-year hiatus. The Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and its affiliates in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania; Maryland Jockey Club (Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park); Delaware Park; Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment (Parx); Penn National Gaming (Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course); Darby Development (Monmouth Park); Eldorado Resorts (Presque Isle Downs & Casino); and the Pennsylvania Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association are proud to announce their joint participation after regional discussions during the past six months led to an agreement to revive the MATCH Series and expand cooperation among all stakeholders in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The MATCH Series, which debuted in 1997 and ran for five years, is an innovative regional racing series and the only one of its kind in racing that combines rich stakes and bonuses for participating owners and trainers over a five-month span. Horses competing in MATCH earn points based on participation and order of finish, and the leading points earners in each of the series divisions, as well as the overall owner and trainer points leaders, win lucrative bonuses.
Total purse money is $2.9 million. Horsemen will compete for $450,000 in bonus money, all contributed by the participating horsemen’s organizations. The first-, second- and third-place owners, respectively, in each division will earn $20,000, $15,000, and $10,000. The top three earning trainers will earn $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000 respectively. The MATCH Series overall top earning owner will win $50,000, while the top earning trainer will earn $25,000.
The participating tracks have all agreed to support the MATCH Series divisions and not run races in competition with them. Participating horsemen will have a regional roadmap of stakes for their horses from May to September. Racing directors at each of the participating tracks worked together to select divisions that could provide the least amount of overlap and, hopefully, larger fields for all concerned.
On April 19, 2018, the MATCH Series gained even further momentum with the announcement that each breeders’ organization in the region will also pay bonuses to the highest point-earning male and female from each program, totaling $40,000 in added prize money.