Maryland Jockey Club

Laurel Resurfacing Project Begins

Edited Press Release The reconstruction of the Laurel Park dirt surface began in earnest April 17 as heavy machinery began removing the cushion from the base from the rail out. Maryland Jockey Club Track Superintendent Chris Bosley said that over the next several days the cushion will be removed and the base will be inspected to determine if there are any deficiencies. Bosley, who has been in contact with Glen Kozak, who oversees racing surfaces for the New York Racing Association, said the MJC is in the process of locating...

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Laurel Weekend Cards Cancelled Due to Ongoing Track Issues, Racing Will Move to Pimlico

Live racing will be cancelled from Saturday, Apr. 17 through Monday, Apr. 19 at Laurel Park due to the ongoing evaluation of the main track surface conditions, the Maryland Jockey Club and 1/ST RACING announced Thursday. As part of regular track maintenance, the MJC identified Apr. 14 that the main track had not responded sufficiently to wintertime cushion repairs. Gallops will be allowed during an abbreviated training schedule Friday, Apr. 16. Due to the uncertainty of the timeline to rehabilitate the main track surface cushion at Laurel Park, 1/ST RACING...

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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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Limited Fans at Preakness

The Preakness Stakes card will be run in front of a limited crowd of 10,000 when it returns to its traditional date May 15 at Pimlico, 1/ST and the Maryland Jockey Club announced Tuesday. The decision to include fans was made in consultation with, and by approval of, local and state health and governmental authorities and includes the approval for a limited number of fans for Black-Eyed Susan Day May 14. A limited number of tickets will go on sale to the public Apr. 5. Tickets will be available for...

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Tesio Highlights Laurel Spring Meet

Laurel Park's 19-spring meet will feature a seven-race stakes schedule worth over $750,000 and highlighted by automatic-qualifying races for the GI Preakness S. and GII Black-Eyed Susan S. Co-headlining the stakes program are the $125,000 Federico Tesio S. for 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles and the $125,000 Weber City Miss for 3-year-old fillies at about 1 1/16 miles. The Tesio serves as a 'Win and In' qualifier for Triple Crown-nominated horses to the May 15 Preakness and the Weber City Miss is a 'Win and In' event for the May...

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Laurel Park Postpones Friday Card Due to Weather

With much of the country plagued by continued winter weather, Laurel Park's Friday card is the latest to fall victim to freezing temperatures and unsafe racing conditions. With freezing rain, snow, and ice in the Mid-Atlantic region Friday, Feb. 19, the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) has postponed live racing Friday and will run the entire 10-race card Thursday, Feb. 25. The MJC's OTB network, including Pimlico Race Course, will remain open for simulcasting. However, the weekly national Stronach 5 wager has been cancelled as Laurel was to have hosted the...

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Laurel Cancels Sunday

Laurel Park was forced to cancel racing Sunday for a second straight day due to winter weather. On Saturday it pushed back its Winter Sprintfest program, featuring the GIII Runhappy Barbara Fritchie S. and GIII General George S., until next Saturday, Feb. 20. Racing is currently scheduled to be held on Monday, Presidents Day, with a first post of 12:25 p.m.

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Despite $20K Monthly Exterminator Bill, Rat Problem Persists in Laurel Stables

Despite paying more than $20,000 monthly to exterminators to try and quell an ongoing rat problem on the Laurel Park backstretch, the infestation has persisted, leading track management to seek additional professional help by soliciting new bids from additional companies. Sal Sinatra, the president of the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC), which owns both Laurel and Pimlico Race Course, disclosed the plan of action during the Jan. 28 Maryland Racing Commission (MRC) meeting. Sinatra has mentioned the track's efforts to control the rats at previous MJC meetings. But when he didn't...

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Vitali Resurfaces at Turf Paradise

Trainer Marcus Vitali started a horse Monday at Turf Paradise, finishing third in the Hank Mills Sr. S.s with Be Gone Daddy (Scat Daddy) in what was his first start since July 21, 2019. Vitali's career has been marked by numerous drug violations, suspensions and bans. His career stalled in 2019 when, in mid-July, he was suspended for 365 days by the Delaware Racing Commission for "interfering with and impeding an investigation being performed by the DTRC investigator along with Delaware Park Security staff." Delaware racing officials alleged that Vitali...

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Four-Win Day for Crispin at Laurel

Five-pound apprentice jockey Alexander Crispin followed up a triple-win day at Laurel Saturday with a four-win day at the Maryland track Sunday. The 22-year-old native of Puerto Rico now has eight wins over the first three days of Laurel's 2021 winter meet. "I feel pretty good on how things are going. All the hard work is paying off," Crispin said. "I really appreciate all the trainers and owners giving me the opportunity. So far so good. Everything's been good. I appreciate everything that's going on today and the past few...

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24 Stakes on Tap at Laurel Winter Meet

Laurel Park's winter meet will feature 24 stakes worth $2.65 million. The highlight of the schedule is the $250,000 GII General George S. and the $250,000 GIII Runhappy Barbara Fritchie S., both to be run Feb. 13. Laurel's winter stakes schedule will also include two new stakes races to be run Jan. 16--the $100,000 Spectacular Bid S. for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs and the $100,000 Xtra Heat S. for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs. The $75,000 Not For Love S. and $75,000 Conniver for Maryland-bred/sired horses, not raced earlier this...

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No Lasix in Maryland's Graded Stakes Starting in 2021

The Maryland Racing Commission (MRC) voted unanimously  Wednesday to expand a race-day Lasix ban that began this year with 2-year-olds to include horses of any age competing in graded stakes starting in 2021. "A few months ago, the commission passed an emergency regulation restricting Lasix to any horse that's two years old for the next three years, as part of [a negotiated] agreement between the HBPA and The Stronach Group," J. Michael Hopkins, the MRC's executive director, explained prior to the vote during the Dec. 2 teleconference meeting. "Moving forward,...

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