LAUREL, Md.--Owners and trainers have suffered financially with races cancelled at Laurel as the racetrack had to be resurfaced due to the unusually cold weather that caused the track to freeze.
So Laurel has increased purses and added race days and races.
But that has trainers worried that it will draw horses from New York that will beat the Maryland horses so have requested that Laurel give preference to Maryland-breds.
In order to provide funds for owners and trainers in the wake of the recent cancellations of live racing programs, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Board of Directors January 12 approved a 20 percent Purse Bonus on all overnight races through Feb. 27 at Laurel Park.
In addition, the Maryland Jockey Club, during a meeting with the MTHA, agreed to add three Thursdays in February to the live racing calendar and said it will card at least 10 races a day in January and February when possible.
FIRST POST time has been moved to 12:10 p.m. in January to accommodate extra races.
Live racing at Laurel Park is scheduled to resume Sunday, Jan.16, after the cancellation of six racing programs due to a project that involves recomposition of the cushion material on the dirt track.
Racing also is scheduled for Monday, Jan.17.
Six stakes planned for Saturday, Jan. 22, will move to Saturday, Jan. 29.
A proposal to add live racing programs on Tuesday, Jan. 18, and Wednesday, Jan. 19, isn’t feasible because of unavailable MRC personnel and required veterinarians.
It was one of several suggestions made during an online community meeting held Jan. 11 to provide an update on the racing surface project and solicit feedback from horsemen.
The complete racing schedule under the updated calendar is as follows: Jan. 16-17; Jan. 20-23; Jan. 27-30; Feb. 3-6; Feb. 10-13; Feb. 18-21; and Feb. 24-27 for a total of 26 days.