Change may be in the wind yet again regarding upper-level Maryland Jockey Club management, but as of May 15, officials with MJC owner Magna Entertainment Corp. said there's nothing to announce.
Live racing in Maryland shifts to Pimlico Race Course April 17 for the eight-week spring meeting. The headline event of the stand is the 133rd running of the $1-million Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, on May 17.
Pimlico Race Course, home of the grade I Preakness Stakes, will offer a $3.46-million stakes schedule during a 31-day spring meet that runs from April 17-June 7. In a major change, the grade I Pimlico Special is back.
A wintry mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain that is expected to hit the Baltimore-Washington region forced Maryland Jockey Club officials to cancel live racing at Laurel Park Feb. 22.
At their monthly meeting Jan. 29, the Maryland Racing Commission accepted the Maryland Jockey Club's proposal to alter the live racing calendar for the final seven weeks of the current Laurel winter meeting.
Maryland Department of Agriculture officials on Jan. 22 announced that the horses stabled in Barn 7 at the Bowie Training Center must remain there until tests for equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) are completed. A horse stabled there showed symptoms similar to those of EHV-1, which can cause neurological disease.
Chris Dragone knows he is wading into some fiery situations as the new head of the Maryland Jockey Club, but said he is more than willing to take whatever heat necessary to right a rocky ship.
The Maryland Jockey Club announced Nov. 28 that president and chief operating officer Lou Raffetto Jr. will be leaving effective immediately to pursue other opportunities, and that Chris Dragone, a former senior vice president and general manager at the MJC, will take over his duties.
Chris Dragone has been named executive director of New York Thoroughbred Breeders. Dragone, who started in his new position Oct. 2., was previously the senior vice president and general manager of the Maryland Jockey Club.
Joseph A. De Francis announced Feb. 9 that he is stepping aside as president of the Maryland Jockey Club but will continue as the organization's chief executive officer. Louis J. Raffetto, the MJC's chief operating officer, takes over as president while Chris Dragone becomes senior vice president and general manager.
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