Patrons of Maryland Jockey Club simulcast signals will have a full-time opportunity to bet on races from South America starting Dec. 29, by virtue of an agreement announced Dec. 6 at the 33rd Racing & Gaming Symposium in Tucson, Ariz.
The agreement between Magna Entertainment, the parent company of the Maryland Jockey Club, and the Latin American Racing Channel will allow for the simulcasting of races from Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, and Peru.
The program emerged from the success of Maryland Jockey Club's affiliation with live racing from Maronas in Uruguay, which has been in operation on a limited basis since May 2005. Maronas was the home track of Breeders' Cup Classic – Presented by Dodge (gr. I) winner Invasor, who won the Uruguayan Triple Crown.
"It's been very well received by our patrons, and in light of the enormous success of Invasor, it underscores the quality of racing available in South America," said Joe De Francis, chief executive officer of the Maryland Jockey Club. "Now is the time to introduce the experience to North American bettors."
Sharing the announcement released at the Westin La Poloma Resort was Pedro Pablo Kavulakian, president of the Latin American Racing Channel, and one of the company's directors, Horacio Esposito.
"It's a dream come true to bring South American races to North America," said Kavulakian. "We are looking for full integration of content between (the two continents)."
De Francis said efforts are being made to reciprocate the deal by transmitting North American signals to South American outlets, but said that endeavor will take more time.
"There are many laws, and many more countries to deal with," he said.
The program will be launched Dec. 9 -- with live racing each Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday -- and will go to seven days weekly Dec. 29. On live racing days, the first South American race will begin after the last race is official in Maryland and will end before a legislated deadline of 8 p.m.
In addition to Maronas, other participating tracks include Hipodromo de San Isidor, Hipodromo Argentino de Palermo, and La Plata in Argentina; Club Hipico de Santiago, Hipodromo Chile, and Valparaiso Sporting Club in Chile; and Hipodromo de Monterrico in Peru.
Hipodromo de San Isidro is the site of the Dec. 16 Carlos Pellegrini (gr. I), which will be included in the initial Maryland Jockey Club signals.