Lou Raffetto

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Dragone Ready for MJC Challenge

Dragone Ready for MJC Challenge

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.

Raffetto Out, Dragone in at MJC

Raffetto Out, Dragone in at MJC

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.

Laurel Cuts Meet Takeout to 10% Across the Board

In a program billed "Ten Days at 10 Percent -- Racing's Best Bet," pari-mutuel takeout on Maryland's live races will be cut in half during Laurel Park's 10-day summer meet that runs from Aug. 10-23.

Preakness Card Realizes Small Handle Decline

Though the net result was slightly less than last year's effort, Pimlico Race Course still realized its fourth-highest wagering day ever May 19 for its card highlighted by the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).

Pimlico to Honor Team Barbaro During Preakness Week

Pimlico to Honor Team Barbaro During Preakness Week

The Maryland Jockey Club announced May 14 it will honor the late 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, his owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, his jockey Edgar Prado, and his surgeon Dr. Dean Richardson at Pimlico Race Course during Preakness Week.

Laurel Cancels Sunday's Live Card

A wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain that is expected to hit the Baltimore-Washington region Sunday forced Maryland Jockey Club officials to cancel live racing at Laurel Park for Sunday, Feb. 25.

10th Jockey Ruled Off By Tracks This Month

10th Jockey Ruled Off By Tracks This Month

Alex Beitia became the 10th jockey known to be denied access to a U.S. racetrack this month when Philadelphia Park officials cited an ongoing investigation and barred him from working there for an indefinite period.

Laurel's Handle Continues Upward Swing

The Maryland Jockey Club concluded its winter meet at Laurel Park on Sunday, posting total wagering figures that are nearly 24% higher than the same dates a year ago.

Pimlico Spring Meet to Open April 20

Live racing shifts to historic Pimlico Race Course April 20 for the spring meeting. The headline event of the eight-week stand is the 131st running of the $1-million Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, set for May 20.

Pimlico Spring Meeting Adds 25-Cent Pick Six

Pimlico Race Course will offer a 25-cent Pick Six wager at the spring meeting that opens April 20, the Maryland Jockey Club announced April 5. The wager will have a guaranteed net payout of $5,000, to be split equally among all tickets correctly selecting the winners of the six designated races.

Last Hold Orders Due to Virus Lifted in Maryland

The Maryland Department of Agriculture lifted the hold orders on the detention barn at Pimlico Race Course and an isolated barn at the Bowie Training Center March 8 after the final four horses in those barns tested negative for equine herpesvirus (EHV-1). The four are free to be moved back to their original barns to resume normal activities.

Laurel Handicaps Off Due to Virus Restrictions

Laurel Handicaps Off Due to Virus Restrictions

The 2006 runnings of the Barbara Fritchie Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) and the General George Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II), the marquee races of the Laurel Park winter meeting, have been canceled because of the equine herpesvirus outbreak, officials of the Maryland Jockey Club announced Feb. 20.

MJC Announces Executive Officer Changes

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.

Laurel Park Cancels Sunday Card

For the third consecutive Sunday, there will be no live racing at Laurel Park Feb. 12. The Maryland Jockey Club canceled the card due to a shortage of available horses because of the equine herpes outbreak in the state.

Quarantine Lifted at Pimlico; Stakes Rescheduled at Laurel

The Maryland Jockey Club lifted its self-imposed quarantine on Pimlico Race Course Feb.8, allowing horses from the Baltimore track to compete at Laurel Park for the first time since Jan. 21. Twelve Pimlico-based horses ran on Wednesday's card (after two were morning scratches). Five of the nine races featured Pimlico horses.

Horses Entered, But Trainers Holding Their Breath

Horses Entered, But Trainers Holding Their Breath

Maryland horsemen, in anticipation of the equine herpesvirus quarantine at Pimlico Race Course being lifted, entered 14 horses for the Feb. 8 card at Laurel Park. But some uneasiness remains given the volatile nature of the virus.

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