Maryland Jockey Club, Jim McCue

Laurel to Race 58 Days in Early 2010

Barbara Fritchie and General George are winter features

(Edited Maryland Jockey Club release)

The Maryland Jockey Club received approval Nov. 10 from the Maryland Racing Commission to race 58 days at Laurel in the winter/spring of 2010. Live racing will begin Jan. 1 and will take place four days a week on a Wednesday through Saturday schedule (with holiday exceptions) during a 15-week stand that will end April 10. 

The Maryland Jockey Club and the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association have agreed to a stakes schedule for the meet. Headlining the meet is a pair of $150,000, seven-furlong sprints on President’s Day weekend: the Barbara Fritchie Handicap for fillies and mares Feb. 13 and the General George Handicap for males two days later. Each stakes was a grade II event in 2009. Laurel will feature 16 stakes worth a combined purse of $1 million.

The meet also could include the $50,000 Conniver Stakes for Maryland-bred fillies and mares March 13, the only current Saturday without an added-money race. The Maryland Horse Breeders Association will meet next week to discuss whether the stakes will be included in the schedule.

“Having a Saturday stakes program in the winter gives us national focus,” said Maryland Jockey Club president and chief operating officer Tom Chuckas. “We want to thank the horsemen for their willingness to ensure the fans are treated to quality racing.”

Post time for the winter meeting will be 12:35 p.m.