The owner of Colonial Downs hopes the new "Grand Slam of Grass" is eventually worth $10 million and said two turf stakes at the Virginia racetrack that are part of the series would each be worth $1 million in 2006.
Laurel Park's 15-week winter meet ended Sunday with jockey Eric Camacho, trainer Kenny Cox, and owner Michael Gill winning individual titles.
Jockey Steve Hamilton, who rode three winners on Thursday at Laurel Park, topped that Friday when he registered four victories over the Maryland track.
Journeyman jockey Erick Rodriguez, fourth in the rider standings at Laurel Park, will be out of action for up to six weeks after fracturing four vertebrae in the T-spine section in his back in a spill during Thursday's fourth race.
The Maryland Jockey Club announced April 7 that it has begun the final preparations for the new turf course at Laurel Park.
The Maryland House of Delegates has rejected a series of amendments offered by gambling opponents, setting the stage for a final vote Feb. 25 on a bill to legalize 9,500 slot machines at four locations in the state.
The Maryland Racing Commission approved the Pimlico spring stakes schedule at its monthly meeting Feb. 22 at Laurel Park. The headline event of the eight-week meeting beginning April 20 is the 130th running of the May 21 $1 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the middle jewel of the Visa Triple Crown.
Trainer Howard Wolfendale notched his 1,000th victory Monday at Laurel Park, the same oval where he won his first race in 1977.
More than $120,000 was raised for Noah Grove, the son of Bowie, Md.-based trainer Chris Grove, during a Laurel Park fundraiser Feb. 13. The 5-year old was diagnosed with bone cancer last February and to save his life he underwent a through-the-knee amputation.
The Maryland racing industry has signed off on a plan to revitalize the sport should legislators approve alternative gaming. Though efforts to win approval for racetrack slot machines have stalled in recent years, a key legislator said the plan represents progress.
Canceled twice previously, Laurel Park's reopening Wednesday drew a crowd of 5,036 back to the central Maryland track after a 10-month hiatus.
For the second day in a row Sunday, a powerful winter storm in the eastern portion of the country forced cancellation of live racing at Aqueduct, Laurel Park and Turfway Park.
Many racetracks in the Midwest and on the East Coast cancelled live racing Saturday due to a massive winter storm moving through those parts of the country.
The Maryland Jockey Club signal will appear on local Comcast systems beginning Jan. 14 as part of a digital sports package involving HorseRacing TV.
With eleven fewer racing days than in 2003, the Maryland Jockey Club announced its total handle declined 4% in 2004. All sources handle totaled $868.1 million as compared to $905.7 million from the same period in 2003. The daily average handle from all sources decreased 2% from $3.48 million to $3.41million. For the fourth consecutive year, the daily average handle on the export signal increased, this time by 4%.
In a letter to the Maryland Racing Commission and Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, the Maryland Jockey Club announced Friday its intention to open Laurel Park for training by early next week, weather permitting.
The Maryland Million Day purses will be increased by $300,000 for the 2005 event, making it the richest state sire stakes in the country. In addition to the event day purse hike, an additional $300,000 will fund other racing opportunities next year.
Two group 1 fixtures from Uruguay's Maroñas National Racetrack will be simulcast into North America Jan. 6 with Pimlico Race Course serving as the North American wagering hub for the stakes. The highlight of the South American stakes is the group 1 Gran Premio Jose Pedro Ramirez, a 1 1/2-mile race that traditionally attracts some of the best horses from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay.
A dozen out-of-town trainers from New England and Delaware have relocated to Maryland for the winter bringing 120 more horses to Pimlico, Laurel Park and the Bowie Training Center.
Less than six weeks from the scheduled reopening of Laurel Park on Dec. 26, track officials told the Maryland Racing Commission Tuesday (Nov. 16) that they still cannot guarantee the reconstructed dirt surface will be ready for racing.
The Maryland Jockey Club announced Oct. 8 that it intends to extend the current Pimlico meet until mid-December, with the re-opening of Laurel Park scheduled for Dec. 26. The current Pimlico stand was tentatively scheduled to end on Nov. 2.
Castigating the management of Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course for everything from construction delays to security cutbacks to apathetic customer service, the Maryland Racing Commission delivered a stern message Sept. 14 to the Maryland Jockey Club and its parent company, Magna Entertainment Corp.
Pimlico Race Course will remain open for live racing until at least Nov. 2 while work continues on the racing surfaces at Laurel Park.
Due to construction delays at Laurel Park because of severe rain in central Maryland, the Oct. 9 Maryland Million program will be conducted at Pimlico Race Course for the eighth time in the 19-year history of the event.
Jim Gagliano, who joined Magna Entertainment Corp. more than two years ago, has been appointed executive vice president of Maryland racing operations for MEC, majority owner of Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course under the Maryland Jockey Club banner.
Maryland's Thoroughbred interests have reached agreement with Rosecroft Raceway, a harness track in southern Maryland, on a 90-day resumption of Thoroughbred simulcasting at Rosecroft and the return of night simulcasting at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course.
The Maryland Racing Commission June 8 narrowly gave the go-ahead to Magna Entertainment Corp., parent company of the Maryland Jockey Club, to begin rebuilding the turf and dirt tracks at Laurel Park despite strong objections by horsemen.
Magna Entertainment Corp., which owns Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, is considering seeking approval for a plan that would let handicappers bet on live racing from around the country using machines that have a lot of the appeal of slot machines.
The Maryland Racing Commission adjourned April 21 after two days of hearings without resolving the ownership issue at Rosecroft Raceway or the simulcasting dispute between the Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries.
Maryland racetracks have laid off or are poised to lay off employees in the wake of a simulcast disagreement between the Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries.
Profits at Pimlico Race Course fell almost 58% in 2003, according to a financial report filed with the Maryland Racing Commission.
Rosecroft Raceway will not be permitted to offer simulcast wagering of Thoroughbred races effective April 19, according to a statement released Friday evening jointly by the Maryland Jockey Club, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Assoc. and the Maryland Horse Breeders' Assoc.
Laurel Park closed out its winter meet on March 28 with a 2% gain in all-source handle. All-sources handle totaled $245 million for the 2004 winter meet, compared to $240 million in 2003.
The 13-week Laurel Park winter meet ended Sunday with Ramon Dominguez, Jerry Robb and Michael Gill winning individual titles. Live racing shifts to historic Pimlico Race Course on Wednesday for the 10-week spring meet.
Apprentice rider Brandon Whitacre enjoyed the best afternoon of his young career, piloting five winners from as many mounts on Friday's nine-race card at Laurel Park.
Capac, strong winner of a Feb. 4 allowance race at Laurel Park, is scheduled to make his stakes debut in the $40,000 Miracle Wood Stakes Feb. 28 at the Maryland racetrack.
Tapit worked in-between races Wednesday afternoon at Laurel Park, drilling seven-furlongs under jockey Ramon Dominguez in 1:29.70.
New York shipper Well Fancied led every step of the way and held off some late challengers as he went on to win the $200,000 grade II General George Handicap at Laurel Park on Monday.
After having reviewed film of the Feb. 12 incident at Laurel Park involving Rogue Agent and Evening Attire in the John B. Campbell Handicap, the Laurel
stewards suspended Norberto Arroyo Jr., rider of Rogue Agent, for 15 days.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Badge of Silver, who arrived at Laurel Park Friday afternoon, has been installed the 4-5 choice in Monday's General George Handicap (gr. II) at seven furlongs.
A field of 12 has been entered in the $200,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap (gr. II), a Feb. 14 feature that kicks off Laurel Park's Winter SprintFest weekend.
Aqueduct in New York and Laurel Park in Maryland have both canceled racing today (Feb. 6) because of ice and heavy rains in the northeast corridor of the United States.
The Magna 5, a five-race wagering series with a guaranteed $500,000 minimum pool, begins Saturday at approximately 4:25 p.m. (EST). In the span of a little more than an hour, five races, tied together with one bet, will be presented at Magna Entertainment Corp. tracks.
Eighty-nine horses have been nominated to Laurel Park's Winter SprintFest to be run on President's Day weekend (Feb. 14-16).
Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich asked the state legislature on Monday to authorize slot machines at two "non-racetrack destination locations" in addition to four racetracks in the state.
The familiar blue colors of owner Michael Gill visited the winners' circle four times Thursday at Laurel Park, bringing his total victories for the current Maryland winter meeting to 14 through the first 10 days.
For the second straight day, cold temperatures hampered racing at New York's Aqueduct Racetrack, with live racing cancelled for Saturday. Meanwhile, jockeys at Laurel Park refused to ride Saturday's nine-race card and racing was also cancelled at Philadelphia Park and Penn National.
Apprentice rider Brandon Whitacre produced the first multiple win day of his career, winning three races on Friday at Laurel Park.
Because of this weekend's snowstorm, next Saturday's card at Laurel Park will feature three stakes races.
At least five racetracks, including Aqueduct in New York and Laurel Park in Maryland, cancelled live racing Friday as a result of a snowstorm that hit the Northeast. Philadelphia Park and Penn National in Pennsylvania and Charles Town in West Virginia also cancelled live racing Friday.
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