The MATCH Series, which originally debuted in 1997 and ran for five years, is an innovative regional racing series, and the only one of its kind in horse racing, that combines rich stakes and bonuses for participating owners and trainers who compete over a five-month span. Horses competing in MATCH earn points based on participation and order of finish in each series race, and the leading point earners in each of the series divisions, as well as the overall owner and trainer point leaders, win lucrative bonuses.
The 2018 series, the first in 16 years, was contested among five divisions: 3-Year-Olds & Up Long–Dirt; 3-Year-Olds & Up Sprint–Dirt; 3-Year-Olds & Up Fillies and Mares Sprint–Dirt; 3-Year Olds & Up Sprint–Turf; and 3-Year-Olds and Up Fillies and Mares Sprint–Turf. Each division had five races from mid- May through mid-September.
The 2019 series will begin in late April at Laurel Park in Maryland and it will conclude in late September at Monmouth Park in New Jersey. Purses will total $2 million, and more than $400,000 in bonus money will be up for grabs.
The first-, second-, and third-place points-earning owners in each division will earn $20,000, $15,000, and $10,000. The top three points-earning trainers in each division will earn $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000. The MATCH Series overall top points-earning owner will win $50,000, while the top points-earning trainer will earn $25,000.
State breeder organizations are each contributing $10,000 in bonus money, and the breeder of the top points-earning colt/gelding and filly/mare from each program will receive $5,000.
The series partners are the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and its affiliates in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania; the Pennsylvania Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association; the Maryland Jockey Club (Laurel Park); Delaware Park; Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment (Parx); Penn National Gaming (Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course); Darby Development (Monmouth Park); Maryland Horse Breeders Association; Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association; Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of New Jersey; and Delaware Thoroughbred Certified Program.