At its Jan. 29 meeting, the Maryland Racing Commission accepted the Maryland Jockey Club’s proposal to alter the live racing calendar for the final seven weeks of the current Laurel winter meeting.
Live racing, which is currently being conducted on a Wednesday through Saturday basis, will now be offered Thursdays through Sundays, beginning the week of Feb. 25-March 2. The 15-week stand will now end April 13 instead of April 12.
“We saw a decline in the on-track handle last year and it has continued during the first four weeks of the new year so we decided to try something new,” said Maryland Jockey Club president and general manager Chris Dragone. “I believe we can get more fans out to the track on a Sunday versus a work day. That is the whole method behind the decision. The football season is wrapped up and we think people might have more time to come out to the track.”
Dragone indicated live racing will not take place on Easter Sunday, March 23. The date will be made up during the Pimlico spring meeting, which begins April 17.