Pimlico Meet Extended as Laurel Work Continues

Pimlico Race Course will remain open for live racing until at least Nov. 2 while work continues on the racing surfaces at Laurel Park.

The Maryland Racing Commission approved the Maryland Jockey Club's request to extend the Pimlico meet at a Sept. 14 meeting. Reconstruction of the Laurel racing surfaces has fallen behind schedule because of inclement weather this summer, the MJC said in a release.

Pimlico was scheduled to race through Oct. 11. Two $50,000 stakes were added to the schedule: the Sonny Hine Stakes (Oct. 16) and Japan Racing Association Stakes (Oct. 23), as well as two $75,000 state-bred stakes--the Heavenly Cause and the Rollicking)--Oct. 30.

The Laurel fall meet is expected to open Nov. 4. The headline event for the nine-week meet is the $300,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (gr. I) Nov. 20. The backstretch and racing surfaces at Laurel have been closed since mid-June, when parent company Magna Entertainment Corp. began a $16-million renovation.

The width of the turf course will be expanded from 75 to 142 feet, while the dirt course width will be increased from 75 to 95 feet.