Laurel Park

Laurel Park

Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club

Laurel Park Fall Meet Begins Friday

The popular Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash returns to the racing calendar.

Live racing returns to Laurel Park on Friday, Sept. 9, for the fall meeting with a nine-race card. First post is 1:10 p.m.

The meet will celebrate 100 years of live racing at Laurel Park. Opening day includes $2 food and drink specials and a BBQ on the apron.

“It is good to be back, it has been nearly 15 weeks since our last live racing day on Preakness day at Pimlico,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. “Celebrating 100 years of racing at Laurel this fall is going to be fun.”

The first promotion for the centennial will occur Saturday when the first 3,000 fans receive a complimentary mug featuring historic Laurel Park headlines. The mug can be used for $2 draft beers on each Saturday during the meet.

Twelve Laurel Legends video packages will be played on the simulcast signal throughout the meet and posted on Laurel Park’s YouTube page. The topics are the Early Years, Laurel Futurity, D.C. International, De Francis Dash, Maryland Million, King Leatherbury, Dave Rodman, Kent Desormeaux’s record breaking 1989 year, Horacio Karamanos’ seven-win day on 2002 Breeders’ Cup day, Little Bold John, Xtra Heat, and the Sports Palace.

The official centennial celebration will take place Saturday, Oct. 15, in conjunction with a community festival. The week will include birthday promotions on each of the five live racing days that week.

The 68-day fall meeting concludes Saturday, December 17 and includes 27 stakes races worth nearly $2.3 million. Headlining the stand is the Jim McKay Maryland Million on Saturday, Oct. 1, and the return of the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash three weeks later.

Racing will take place four days a week in September (Wednesday through Saturday) and five days a week in October, November and December (Tuesday through Saturday, with Columbus holiday exception).