Lou Raffetto Jr. was named president and chief operating officer of the Maryland Jockey Club, with Chris Dragone replacing him at the organization that operates Pimlico and Laurel as vice president and general manager.
Laurel Park's leading rider, Rosie Napravnik, took off her final five mounts Friday after being tossed from the mare Hazard during the third race at Laurel.
In anticipation of the quarantine at Pimlico Race Course being lifted next week, 11 trainers entered 14 horses Friday for the Feb. 8 card at Laurel Park.
Test results on the horse euthanized last week on a private Kent County, Md, farm confirm that the horse was infected with equine herpesvirus (EHV-1).
The Maryland Department of Agriculture placed an initial "Investigational Animal Hold Order" on Barn 1 at the Bowie Training Center Wednesday afternoon after a horse showed symptoms of equine herpesvirus.
Hey Ralphy, a filly trained by Rodney Jenkins at Laurel Park, was infected by equine herpesvirus (EHV-1), according to the Maryland Department of Agriculture. The 3-year-old was euthanized Jan 26 with a suspected pelvic injury. A Hold Order has been placed on Barn 9, where the filly was stabled, at the central Maryland track. Jenkins has elected not to train any of his horses until the Hold Order ends.
Magna Entertainment Corp. has received local approval to develop a commercial district at Laurel Park in Maryland.
The Maryland Jockey Club will offer 19 stakes races worth just under $2 million at Laurel Park this winter under the stakes schedule approved by the Maryland Racing Commission.
Maryland jockeys Luis Garcia and Ryan Fogelsonger were released from Laurel Beltsville Hospital with minor injuries following a spill in the eighth race at Laurel Park on Sunday.
Jockey Erick Rodriguez was sent to the hospital for x-rays on his tailbone after being thrown from his mount in an eventful seventh race at Laurel Park Thursday.
Live racing shifts to Laurel Park Wednesday for a 78-day fall meeting that is highlighted by the Maryland Million (Oct. 8) and the Fall Festival Of Racing (November 19), headlined by the grade I Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash. The meet will feature 39 stakes races with purses exceeding $4 million.
The Maryland Jockey Club announced June 8 that it has lifted the restrictions on horses planning to ship to Pimlico Race Course, Laurel Park or the Bowie Training Center from Belmont Park, Aqueduct and Delaware Park.
Jim Gagliano, executive vice president of Maryland racing operations for the Maryland Jockey Club, resigned today.
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.
Jockey Ryan Fogelsonger was released from the Shock Trauma Unit at the University of Maryland Medical Center in downtown Baltimore this evening after x-rays on his injured neck were negative.
- By Tom Keyser
Despite the passage of slot-machine legislation by both chambers of the Maryland General Assembly, the headline in the Feb. 27 Baltimore Sun cautioned: "Slots' Future Still Uncertain."
- By Tom Keyser
For the third straight year, a bill legalizing slot machines in Maryland is headed for the House of Delegates, where it's anyone's guess what will happen next.
Inclement weather continued to play havoc with racing, as Turfway Park and Laurel Park canceled live racing Sunday.
Laurel Park's new dirt track opened for training Sunday and about 140 horses took the opportunity to test the new surface. Twenty-two official workouts were recorded.
Racing won't return to Laurel Park until after the new year as workers rebuilding the racing surfaces have encountered weather delays and continue to address foundation problems.
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.
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.
- By Tom Keyser
Although racing in Maryland faces an uncertain future, one thing is clear, according to Frank Stronach, head of the company that controls the Maryland Jockey Club: The Preakness will remain at Pimlico.
- By Tom Keyser
As the Maryland General Assembly lurched into the final week of its 2004 law-making session, the future of slot machines in the state remained in the unpredictable grip of politics and, seemingly, outside the control of anyone in the horse industry.
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.
Trainer Michael Dickinson has notified Laurel Park officials that he plans to work his Triple Crown candidate Tapit between races on Wednesday.
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.
Trainer Ronny Werner confirmed today that Badge of Silver will make his next start in Monday's General George Handicap (grade II) at Laurel.
Fasig-Tipton Midlantic's July sale of 2-year-olds in training and older horses of racing age will not be held this year.
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.
- By Tom Keyser
The decision by Laurel Park jockeys not to ride yesterday [Jan. 10], forcing cancellation of the nine-race card, incensed track managers who denounced the move and said racing should have taken place.
Magna Entertainment Corp. chairman Frank Stronach formally announced Wednesday plans for a new job-training center to be located near Pimlico Race Course in Maryland.
Apprentice rider Brandon Whitacre produced the first multiple win day of his career, winning three races on Friday at Laurel Park.
- By Tom Keyser
Tough times and uncertainty mark the passing of one year and the beginning of another in Maryland racing. Joe De Francis, president and CEO of the Maryland Jockey Club, calls 2003 "the toughest year we've had in the last decade." And the battle for relief in the form of slot machines has taken more unexpected twists and turns.
Racing at five eastern tracks was cancelled Sunday because of heavy snow flurries that pounded the region.
Laurel Park's $100,000 Geisha Handicap, one of six races cancelled Saturday because of severe winds, has been rescheduled for Dec. 6.
Live racing at Laurel Park was halted after the third race Saturday due to extreme wind gusts.
- By Tom Keyser
The first indication a deal might be worked out to keep Pimlico's stable open for the winter emerged Tuesday. Meetings took place between horsemen's leadership and track management in a Baltimore office and between horsemen's leadership and angry Pimlico backstretch workers in the Pimlico track kitchen.
Robert Cole Jr.'s Shake You Down heads a field of 10 in Saturday's $300,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (gr. I). The 4-5 morning line choice might be the most accomplished entry in the field, but he still has plenty to contend with.
The $300,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (grade I) is the headline event of Saturday's Fall Festival of Racing, but the day also features five additional stakes races on the 10-race program.
One day after leading to cancellation of the last two races at Hawthorne Race Course in Illinois, high winds also cancelled the Thursday card at New York's Aqueduct, Laurel Park in Maryland, and Woodbine in Canada.
In Saturday's $200,000 Maryland Million Classic at Laurel Park, 2002 winner Docent will try to join Timely Warning (1990 & 1991) and Algar (1997 & 1998) as back-to-back winners of the race. The Classic is the headline event of a day featuring 11 stakes races and purses of $1,025,000.
Horacio Karamanos, Dale Capuano and Michael Gill captured individual titles as the five-week Pimlico summer-fall meet concluded this afternoon.
The 18th Maryland Million is set for Oct. 11 at Laurel Park and the pre-entry deadline has been set at Oct. 1. Maryland Million Day will showcase Maryland-sired horses on an 11-race card.
Laurel Park reported wagering increased 6% to total $71.8 million from all sources during the recently concluded 22-day summer meet at Laurel Park.
It appears unlikely Magna Entertainment Corp., majority owners of the Maryland Jockey Club, will fulfill its promise of spending $5 million on improvements at Laurel Park prior to an Aug. 31 deadline.
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