Maryland's 2004 Dates Approved

The Maryland Racing Commission approved the 2004 racing schedule at its monthly meeting last week. Live racing will be conducted for 220 days on a Wednesday through Sunday schedule at Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park. The 129th Preakness Stakes will be Saturday, May 15 at Old Hilltop.

Laurel Park Winter Meet
Jan. 1-March 28, 64 days

Pimlico Spring Meet
March 31-June 6, 48 days

Laurel Park Summer Meet
July 22-Aug. 27, 27 days

Pimlico Summer-Fall Meet
Sept. 8-Oct. 3, 20 days

Laurel Park Fall Meet
Oct. 6-Dec. 31, 61 days

The annual six-week break happens when racing shifts to Colonial Downs in Virginia after the Belmont Stakes in early June. The Timonium Maryland State Fair meet is scheduled for the last week of August.

The commission also approved the winter stakes schedule. Twenty added money races will be run at Laurel, headlined by a pair of $200,000 grade II sprints in February: Barbara Fritchie Handicap (Feb 14) and General George Handicap (Feb 16).