Sal Sinatra

Laurel Aims for Apr. 17 Start to Turf Season

Although winter weather has delayed a planned aeration project to aid with drainage on the Laurel Park turf course, track management is projecting that with a little help from Mother Nature, grass racing could begin by Apr. 17. Speaking at the Feb. 25 Maryland Racing Commission meeting, Sal Sinatra, the president of the Maryland Jockey Club, which owns Laurel and Pimlico Race Course, described the turf maintenance as similar to work that is often undertaken on golf courses. Except that at Laurel, Sinatra said, this "deep drill and fill" involves...

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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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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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Pies Donated to MJC Backstretch Workers and Food Bank

For the past 32 years, the Maryland Jockey Club has had a tradition of handing out free pies to its patrons during its Thanksgiving Day program. Along with live Thoroughbred racing at Laurel Park, fans would arrive in the morning to free cider, coffee and donuts, and leave with an apple or pumpkin pie. This year, with no fans in attendance for Thursday's live program, the Maryland Jockey Club didn't want to stop the tradition of giving away pies. So 1,500 pies were ordered as usual, with 500 going to...

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Laurel to Expand to 4-Day Weekly Schedule in October

Even as Pimlico Race Course opened Sept. 24 for its two-weekend, GI Preakness S. mini-meet, work was being done at Laurel Park to prepare for a return to a four-day weekly schedule when the Oct. 8-Dec. 31 meet resumes there. "It's all systems go up here at Pimlico. We're trying to get the old mare looking good for NBC, and we're looking forward to a really good event," Sal Sinatra, the president of the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC), which owns both tracks, told Maryland Racing Commission (MRC) members during Thursday's...

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MJC President Sal Sinatra Talks Cleaning Up Racing On TDN Writers' Room

In a sport crying out for more strict, no-nonsense regulators and administrators, Maryland Jockey Club president Sal Sinatra fits the bill. Just in the past week and a half, Sinatra has made major waves in the industry, first by calling for the eventual end to claiming races at The Jockey Club Round Table and then by busting Wayne Potts for "paper training" for a banned trainer in Maryland. Wednesday, Sinatra joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland as the Green Group Guest of the Week to discuss an array...

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Sal Sinatra Joins the TDN Writers' Room

Sal Sinatra, the President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club, joins this week's TDN Writers' Room to discuss how to clean up racing for good.

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High Purses and Field-Limiting Claiming Conditions. What's Not to Like? Plenty.

68th Annual Round Table Conference hosted by The Jockey Club Purses subsidized by gaming revenue and a vastly expanded menu of claiming conditions were initially thought to be positive changes that would be a boon to Thoroughbred racing when racinos changed the North American landscape 30 years ago. Now, decades later, some horse people and industry stakeholders are starting to question whether chasing vastly inflated purses under narrowly defined race conditions is incentivizing a harmful cycle of behavior that over time imperils equine health, creates short fields, cheapens the betting...

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MJC Sets Protocols for Returning Colonial Downs Jockeys

The Maryland Jockey Club will require all jockeys who rode during the abbreviated meet at Colonial Downs to undergo a 14-day quarantine period beginning Aug. 13 and a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before returning to any MJC facility. The same protocols are in place for all dormitory residents who were at Colonial Downs. Colonial Downs announced it was ending its 2020 meeting Friday due to coronavirus concerns. "The MJC considers the health and safety of our team, horsemen and riders as our number one focus," MJC President...

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The Jockey Club to Host Virtual Round Table Sunday

The Jockey Club's 68th annual Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing will be held virtually Sunday due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference will discuss the need for reform in medication rules and testing, challenges faced by the Thoroughbred industry and insights into the claiming system and will be streamed on The Jockey Club's website jockeyclub.com beginning at 10 a.m. The event will also be aired on TVG and Racetrack Television Network platforms. "While we are disappointed that we cannot host an in-person event, we are excited by...

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