After Fatality-Free Month, Snow Poses First Challenge to New Laurel Surface

The work-in-progress new dirt racing surface at Laurel Park has made it through 10 racing dates and nearly a month of training without a catastrophic injury after being closed for 11 days in late autumn after eight equine fatalities. But a Monday snowstorm followed by a sharp drop in overnight temperature provided the first 2022 challenge to a track that has historically been prone to problems during winter weather. Training was cancelled at Laurel Monday and Tuesday but will reopen Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. without timed workouts being permitted as...

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Jim McKay Maryland Million Day Set for Oct. 22

The 37th edition of Jim McKay Maryland Million Day will take place Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, at Laurel Park. Jim McKay Maryland Million Day is designed to promote Maryland stallions, whose offspring compete in the races with purses and awards of over $1 million each year. "We as an industry have been through a lot but we also have a lot to look forward to. Maryland has continuously worked to bring a new wave of quality stallions into the state and that effort would not be possible without the breeders...

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Amid Repairs, New Date for Racing at Laurel Now Dec. 16

The new date for the resumption of racing at Laurel Park has now been pegged as Thursday, Dec. 16, with timed workouts expected to resume Friday, Dec. 10. Both targets are pending a satisfactory safety review of the extensive base and cushion work now being done on the troubled main dirt surface at Maryland's most heavily used Thoroughbred venue. With the exception of light training that continues to take place around cordoned-off areas of the dug-up oval, Laurel has been closed for racing and timed works since Nov. 28. Seven...

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Can Oaklawn Maintain 'Boutique' Status Over a 5-Month Meet?

The Week in Review by T.D. Thornton It was a little odd to see Oaklawn Park in the mix of tracks running on the first weekend of December. It was even stranger to see the Arkansas track carding races for 2-year-olds, which has not happened since Mar. 27, 1975. The winds of change are blowing through the pre-winter mists of Hot Springs. The biggest challenge facing Oaklawn as it embarks upon a Dec. 3-May 8 season for the first time is whether or not the popular track can retain the...

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2022 Maryland Dates to Include August Meet at Pimlico

The inclusion of an August race meet at Pimlico Race Course for the first time in 17 years was the only major change in the 2022 slate of racing dates approved Thursday by the Maryland Racing Commission. Although not discussed at the Oct. 28 meeting, one obvious benefit to the mid-summer move from Laurel Park to Pimlico will be the ability to give Laurel's turf course a break during the hottest time of the year in Maryland. Pimlico last ran in the late summer back in 2005, when its calendar...

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MJC Releases Laurel's Fall Stakes Schedule

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...

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No Detailed Update From Laurel on Massive Track Repair Project

Thursday's Maryland Racing Commission (MRC) meeting figured to provide an update on the massive main track base and cushion repair project that has kept Laurel Park dark since Apr. 10 and caused the entire backstretch community to relocate to either Pimlico Race Course, the Timonium fairgrounds, or private stabling. But beyond noting that all horses had been moved out of the Laurel backstretch as of May 26 and thanking horsemen for their cooperation, Sal Sinatra, the president of the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC), which owns Laurel and Pimlico, only reported...

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Preakness Prep Federico Tesio Returns to Pimlico

For the first time since 2015, Maryland's local audition for the GI Preakness S. will provide horses with an opportunity to prep over the same Pimlico Race Course main track that serves as home for the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. The $125,000 Federico Tesio S. headlines seven stakes worth $750,000 in purses on the Spring Stakes Spectacular program Saturday, Apr. 24, originally scheduled to be run at Laurel Park. With the ongoing evaluation of Laurel's main track, live racing has been shifted to Pimlico, effective Thursday, Apr. 22....

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Laurel Set to Begin Spring Meet Apr. 8

Laurel Park will open its 16-day spring meet Thursday, Apr. 8 and will continue through Sunday, May 2. Live racing will be conducted Thursday through Sunday with a first-race post of 12:40 p.m. Post time moves to 12:15 p.m. for the Spring Stakes Spectacular program Apr. 24 and GI Kentucky Derby day from Churchill Downs May 1. Entries for Laurel's Apr. 8 opening day program will be taken Apr. 3. The Spring Stakes Spectacular program includes seven stakes worth $750,000 in purses led by the Federico Tesio S. for 3-year-olds...

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Laurel Moves Seven-Stakes Card Back a Week

As a result of the ongoing pause of live racing at Laurel Park through Sunday, Apr. 4, the Maryland Jockey Club has pushed its Spring Stakes Spectacular program back one week to Saturday, Apr. 24. All seven stakes worth a total of $750,000 in purses originally scheduled for Saturday, Apr. 17 will be run on the new date with a similar 12:40 p.m. post time. Nominations for all stakes are due Saturday, Apr. 3. The Spring Stakes Spectacular is led by the $125,000 Federico Tesio for 3-year-olds going 1 1/8...

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Laurel Cancels Weekend Racing Due to EHV-1, Racing Suspended Through Apr. 4

Laurel Park canceled racing for Friday, Saturday and Sunday after the Maryland Jockey Club was informed Thursday evening by Maryland State Veterinarian Dr. Michael Odian that a horse at Pimlico has tested positive for the Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1). The horse had been isolated for 72 hours prior to the positive test. In a statement issued by the Maryland Jockey Club Friday afternoon, the suspension of live racing at Laurel Park has now been extended through Apr. 4. The news would have impacted fields for the races which were already set...

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Margaux Farm Appoints Tiller As Sales, Marketing & Client Liaison

Margaux Farm announced the appointment of Shayna Tiller as Sales, Marketing and Client Liaison, beginning Mar. 23, 2021. Tiller, who grew up near Laurel Park, pursued a career in racing in college. After her first summer writing for the Saratoga Special, she served a stint foaling mares at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds and as an exercise rider in the morning. She also interned with Fasig-Tipton before completing the Irish National Stud Breeding Course. Following her return to America, Tiller worked the sale seasons with Bluewater Sales and Mill Ridge Farm....

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