The Maryland Jockey Club released the fall schedule of 33 stakes worth $3.525 million in purses for Laurel Park, including the GIII Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash and 36th edition of the Jim McKay Maryland Million. The fall meet begins Thursday, Sept. 9 and continues through Saturday, Dec. 31. For the complete stakes schedule, click here.
The six-furlong De Francis for 3-year-olds and up will help kick off the fall stakes schedule as one of four stakes worth $500,000 in purses Saturday, Sept. 18. Named for the late president and chairman of both Laurel and Pimlico Race Course, its roster of winners includes Hall of Famer Housebuster, fellow sprint champions Cherokee Run, Smoke Glacken, Thor's Echo and Benny the Bull, and Lite the Fuse, the race's only two-time winner.
Saturday, Oct. 2 will feature five stakes, all on turf, worth $600,000 in purses, including the Laurel Futurity for 2-year-olds and Selima for 2-year-old fillies, both going 1 1/16 miles. They will be accompanied by the six-furlong Laurel Dash and a pair of listed stakes-the Japan Turf Cup at 1 1/2 miles and All Along for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles.
The 2021 renewal of the Maryland Million returns Saturday, Oct. 23 with eight stakes, including the Classic for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles. Juveniles are in the spotlight in the Nursery and Lassie for females, both at six furlongs.
Thanksgiving weekend will feature five stakes worth $450,000 in purses spread over two days and the final month of the calendar year will feature eight stakes worth $850,000 in purses, headedd by the Maryland Juvenile Futurity for 2-year-olds and Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship, each at seven furlongs, Saturday, Dec. 4.
New to the stakes calendar are the Robert T. Manfuso S. for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/16 miles and Carousel S. at 1 1/8 miles for fillies and mares 3 and older. The Carousel, which carried Grade III status from 1988 through 1997, was last run in 2002 at Laurel.