Maryland Racing

MHF Announces Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program Participants

A group ranging from high school juniors to college graduates make up the participants for the seventh edition of the Maryland Thoroughbred Career program, the Maryland Horse Foundation announced Tuesday. This year's participants are: Kate Benjamin (Westminster, MD); Daria Bogdanov (Baltimore, MD); Emily Cross (Westminster, MD); Keely Flynn (Harwood, MD); and Claire Superczynski (Sykesville, MD). "Every year, with the Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program, we look forward to introducing our industry to a new group of young people", says Cricket Goodall, executive director of the Maryland Horse Foundation. "We always learn...

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Johnson Homebred Vies for Hometown Glory

While all eyes turn to Maryland this weekend for Saturday's 149th running of the GI Preakness S. at Pimlico Race Course, Virginia-based owner/breeder Larry Johnson has his sights set strictly on the GII George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan S., Friday's featured race, where his filly Call Another Play (Audible) is the lone Maryland-bred entered in the eight-horse field. The 3-year-old filly is a fourth-generation homebred for Johnson, who owns Legacy Farm in Bluemont, Va., but is a decades-long supporter of the Maryland breeding program. "I've gone to Preakness weekend for...

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Maryland Legislature Approves Plan to Reform State Racing Industry

A bill to radically reform Maryland's racing industry has passed both chambers of the state legislature, with the House voting 105-32 Monday night to approve a project that will see among other things ownership of Pimlico Race Course transferred from 1/ST Racing and Gaming to the state and the establishment of a year-round training facility for Maryland's horsemen and women. After the Maryland House of Delegates initially passed the legislation unanimously, the bill was subsequently amended by the Senate. This amended bill was then sent back to the House for...

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Report: Churchill Downs Enters Late Bid To Purchase Pimlico

According to an article written by Pamela Wood of The Balitmore Banner on Wednesday, Apr. 3, Churchill Downs Inc. has made an "overture" to buy Pimlico, the Home of the Preakness Stakes. The report says the information comes from two unnamed sources in the Maryland state capital familiar with the negotiations. Wood writes that one of the sources said Churchill has been lobbying to derail a bill in the state legislature that's necessary for the state ownership deal to go through. The article says that representatives of Churchill Downs did...

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HISA Ombudsman Alan Foreman on the TDN Writers' Room

Alan Foreman is an equine law expert in Maryland, and he's also the HISA Ombudsman, helping horsemen navigate the new laws under HISA. He joins the TDN Writers' Room this week with both hats on, talking about changes going on with HISA and in Maryland as a new structure takes shape for racing there.

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Differences Over 'Pimlico Plus' Project, Proponents Say 'We can't let perfect get in the way of good'

Acknowledging that there are differences of opinion about specifics of the "Pimlico Plus" plan that envisions a publicly funded future of racing at a state-owned, modernized track in Baltimore, the construction of a new training facility elsewhere, and a non-profit operator taking over day-to-day racing, the leaders of the Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority (MTROA) on Thursday asked stakeholders not to let quibbling over details derail the larger goal of getting the ambitious plan approved by the legislature so that horsemen can control their own destiny. "There are a lot...

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Latest Version of Maryland Remake: Pimlico Sole Track under Non-Profit Control, with 1/ST Racing out of Daily Ops

   This story is a deeper dive into the joint press release issued earlier Jan. 5 by The Stronach Group, the Maryland Jockey Club, and the Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority. The latest recommendation in a years-long attempt by multiple stakeholders to consolidate Maryland racing at a single, reimagined racetrack now calls for a project dubbed "Pimlico Plus," with racing centered in Baltimore and supported by the construction of a new training facility elsewhere in the state, according to a report issued by the Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority (MTROA)...

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Country Life's Andrew Pons Passes Away

by Josh Pons Andrew MacNamara Pons, who managed his family's Country Life Farm in Maryland during the 1970s, died on Tuesday evening, Jan. 2, following complications from cardiac arrest five days earlier. He was 70 years old. Born in Baltimore on May 31, 1953, he was the oldest son of Joseph and Mary Jo Pons. He grew up working with horses at Country Life, the oldest Thoroughbred farm in the state, established in 1933 by Pons' grandfather, Adolphe. Fresh out of high school, Pons began work as an assistant for...

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Laurel Winter Schedule Includes 17 Stakes Worth $1.8M

Highlighted by a Winter Carnival program featuring the GIII Barbara Fritchie S. and GIII General George S., as well as the start of Maryland's series for 3-year-olds leading up to the 149th GI Preakness S., Laurel Park will offer 17 stakes worth $1.8 million in purses during its 2024 winter meet. The 38-day winter meet begins Friday, Jan. 5, running Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Saturday, Mar. 30. Daily post time is 12:25 p.m. There will be no live racing Easter Sunday, Mar. 31. Stakes action kicks off Jan. 20...

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Offering $287k in Purses, Timonium Meet Kicks off Aug. 25

The 2023 Thoroughbred racing schedule for the upcoming Timonium meet has been released. Running from Aug. 25 through Sept. 4, the week-long meet held during the Maryland State Fair will offer purses of $287,000 daily. The meet will offer two added-money events this year: the $100,000 Timonium Distaff for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up, going 61/2 furlongs on Saturday, Aug. 26 and the $100,000 Timonium Juvenile for 2-year-olds going 6 1/2 furlongs on Saturday, Sept. 2. Both races are $75,000 guaranteed, plus $25,000 for Maryland-bred or Maryland-sired. The Maryland...

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Maple Leaf Mel Crowned 'Miss Preakness' in Baltimore

BALTIMORE, MD -- Despite having done everything right in three prior career starts, Maple Leaf Mel was nonetheless sent off the 8-5 second betting choice in Friday's GIII Miss Preakness S. behind 4-5 choice Key of Life (Mo Town), victorious in the GII Beaumont S. Apr. 16. Unaware of the crowd's leanings, the grey daughter of Cross Traffic led for most of the way and never looked back, rolling home an easy 1 1/2-length winner over the late-closing Topsy. The grey soon overtook the fast-starting Key of Life and maintained...

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Big Ass Fans To Sponsor Maryland Sprint On Preakness Day

Big Ass Fans will sponsor the GIII Maryland Sprint on Preakness S. day at Pimlico Race Course May 20. As part of the sponsorship, Big Ass Fans will have a significant presence at the event, with its logo prominently displayed throughout the racecourse. In addition, Big Ass Fans will provide cooling solutions for both the horses and spectators. "We are thrilled to be a part of such a prestigious event," said Hunter Harris of Big Ass Fans. "The Preakness S. is a celebration of the very best in horse racing,...

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