Laurel Officials Worried About Weekend Weather

(from track report)
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the Baltimore and Washington D.C. metropolitan areas for Saturday and Sunday, which coincides with Laurel Park's biggest stakes weekend of the winter meet.

If either racing day is canceled, the stakes races scheduled for that day will be added to Monday's nine-race card, a track official said.

The $200,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap (gr. II), scheduled for Saturday, would be the 10th race, while the $100,000 John B. Campbell Handicap, Sunday's added money feature, would be the 11th race of the day. The $200,000 General George (gr. II) is scheduled to be the ninth and final race for Monday afternoon.

"Racing looks extremely questionable for both Saturday and Sunday," said Maryland Jockey Club chief operating officer Lou Raffetto. "We thought the best thing to do was to card these stakes races as soon as possible because we have so many horses coming in from out of town. If the forecasters are correct we are trying to make the best out of a bad situation and we would do that by carding the General George, Fritchie and Campbell on the same day."

Two hundred and forty-nine horses are entered for the 28 races this weekend (8.9 per race) with purses of $966,500, making it the biggest weekend of the Laurel Park winter meet.