Maryland Jockey Club and the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association have agreed to reduce purses and slash the stakes schedule for the balance of the 2007 racing campaign as the industry faces a $3 million shortfall in the purse account by the end of the calendar year.
The Maryland Jockey Club unveiled the 2007 Pimlico spring stakes schedule Feb. 20. The 31-day meeting at the Baltimore track, which is headlined by the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), will begin April 19 and conclude June 9.
In its review of information at its regular monthly meeting concerning the injury to Barbaro, the Maryland Racing Commission has decided to review the stewards' tape of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) to determine whether they can shed further light on exactly what happened to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner.
The Maryland Jockey Club and Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association have agreed to racing dates for the balance of 2006 and the entire 2007 racing campaign. The dates were approved this afternoon at the monthly Maryland Racing Commission meeting.
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.
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.
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.
As tensions escalated between leaders of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and the chairman of the Maryland Racing Commission, executives of the Maryland Jockey Club said Tuesday that the rebuilding of the Laurel Park dirt track was nearly complete.
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.
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.
Despite financial woes, the Pimlico Special (gr. I) has been scheduled for May 14, the day before the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), a Maryland Jockey Club executive told the Maryland Racing Commission Feb. 10.
After Funny Cide delighted racing fans with his sizzling victory at Gulfstream Park, the schedule for the popular New York-bred gelding included the Pimlico Special (gr. I), which could be canceled this year due to a purse shortfall.
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.
In the continuing dispute over the Maryland Jockey Club's closing of the Pimlico stables for the winter, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association has voted to try to stop the MJC from simulcasting out-of-state races.
The Maryland Jockey Club reported that pari-mutuel handle from all sources totaled $535,813,090 in 2001, compared to $530,833,234 in 2000, despite the fact that there were three less live Thoroughbred days and 14 fewer Standardbred days run during the year. The increase in total handle was just 1 percent.
The Maryland Jockey Club announced Friday a reorganization of its executive board, including the hiring of Louis J. Raffetto, who will become the MJC's chief operating officer effective Jan. 1, 2001. The MJC also announced new titles and responsibilities for three current members of its board.
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