Laurel Park

Laurel Park

Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club

Museum Celebrates 100 Years of Laurel Racing

The Laurel Museum in Laurel, Md., will celebrate 100 years of racing at Laurel Park.

The Laurel Museum in Laurel, Md., will open an exhibit Feb. 6 to celebrate 100 years of racing at Laurel Park, which opened Oct. 2, 1911.

“And They’re Off! 100 Years at Laurel Park” will look at the “glamour and grit of racing, life behind the scenes at Laurel Park, and its impact on the town for which it is named,” the museum said in a release.

The exhibit studies Laurel from its early years through ownership by different groups. Laurel Park in 1911 was part of the Four County Fair, which featured high-wire acts, and decades later hosted the Washington, D.C., International, a premier turf race.

The exhibit also will feature articles and memorabilia, including items such as Willie Shoemaker’s boot, jockey silks, race cards, and famous winner’s circle photos. There are celebrities, both human and equine, including Secretariat, Count Fleet, and Kelso, Tip O’Neill, and Elizabeth Taylor.

“The most exciting part of planning this exhibit was meeting all of the wonderful people involved at Laurel Park,” Laurel Historical Society executive director Lindsay Baker said in a statement. “Our exhibit works hard to introduce all of these people and the industry that they love to the people of Laurel.”

The exhibit will run through December. The Laurel Museum is located at 817 Main Street in Laurel; hours are Sundays 1-4 p.m., and Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Group visits are available throughout the week by appointment.

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