The Maryland Jockey Club will try a new approach to the stakes schedule at Laurel Park, which will open Sept. 19 for a 59-day fall meet.
The MJC this year will cluster stakes on six days during the meet rather than have at least one almost every Saturday. There will be 31 stakes this fall versus 34 in the fall of 2012.
The stakes schedule was approved by the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and Maryland Horse Breeders Association. The Maryland Racing Commission signed off on it July 16.
The richest race on the $3.35 million stakes slate is the $350,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Sept. 21. It will be joined by five $100,000 open stakes and a Maryland-bred stakes, all on the turf.
"All of the stakes will occur on six Saturday afternoons, which we feel will help our profile on the simulcast signal," MJC president Tom Chuckas said in a release. "Kicking off the meet on opening weekend with the turf stakes and the De Francis Dash will get us off to a great start."
Jim McKay Maryland Million day, with nine stakes for horses that are eligible to the program, is scheduled for Oct. 19. The MJC said the Turf Sprint and Oaks were dropped this year in favor of two $50,000 maiden special weight events.
The other stakes Saturdays are Nov. 9, Nov. 16, Dec. 7, and Dec. 28. The meet concludes Dec. 31.
The 2013 fall meet is 10 days shorter than last year's meet and will start roughly two weeks later. Given accumulating revenue from video lottery terminals at casinos in Maryland, purses are expected to increase this fall.
Last fall Laurel paid about $19 million in purses during the fall meet, good for an average of $275,835 a day, according to The Jockey Club Information Systems. Higher-level races usually fill well in the fall because the turf course is used extensively.
Purses for this year's 50-day winter/spring meet totaled about $12 million for an average of $240,602 per day.
No live Thoroughbred racing has been held in Maryland since the end of the Pimlico Race Course spring meet June 8. The Maryland State Fair at Timonium meet, expanded to 10 days from seven this year, will run from Aug. 23-Sept. 2.
|21-Sep||Frank J. DeFrancis Memorial Dash||3 & UP||6 furlongs||350,000|
|21-Sep||Laurel Futurity||2 YO||5.5 furlongs (T)||100,000|
|21-Sep||Selima||2 YO fillies||5.5 furlongs (T)||100,000|
|21-Sep||Laurel Dash||3 & UP||6 furlongs (T)||100,000|
|21-Sep||Laurel Turf Cup||3 & UP||1 1/2 mile (T)||100,000|
|21-Sep||Lady Baltimore||F & M 3 & UP||1 1/16 mile (T)||100,000|
|21-Sep||Jameela||F & M 3 & UP (MD-bred and/or MD-sired)||6 furlongs (T)||100,000|
|19-Oct||Md. Million Classic||3 & UP (MD-sired)||1 1/8 mile||150,000|
|19-Oct||Md. Million Turf||3 & UP (MD-sired)||1 1/8 mile (T)||125,000|
|19-Oct||Md. Million Ladies||F & M 3 & UP (MD-sired)||1 1/8 mile (T)||125,000|
|19-Oct||Md. Million Sprint||3 & UP (MD-sired)||6 furlongs||100,000|
|19-Oct||Md. Million Distaff||F & M 3 & UP (MD-sired)||7 furlongs||100,000|
|19-Oct||Md. Million Nursery||2 YO (MD-sired)||6 furlongs||100,000|
|19-Oct||Md. Million Lassie||2 YO fillies (MD-sired)||6 furlongs||100,000|
|19-Oct||Md. Million Starter Handicap||3 & UP (MD-sired)||1 mile||50,000|
|19-Oct||Md. Million Distaff Starter Handicap||F & M 3 & UP (MD-sired)||1 mile||50,000|
|9-Nov||City of Laurel||3 YO||7 furlongs||100,000|
|9-Nov||Safely Kept||3 YO fillies||7 furlongs||100,000|
|9-Nov||Japan Racing Association||3 & UP||1 1/16 mile (T)||100,000|
|9-Nov||Geisha||F & M 3 & UP (MD-bred and/or MD-sired)||1 mile||100,000|
|16-Nov||Jennings Handicap||3 & UP (MD-bred and/or MD-sired)||1 mile||100,000|
|16-Nov||Dave's Friend||3 & UP||6 furlongs||100,000|
|16-Nov||James Lewis||2 YO||6 furlongs||100,000|
|16-Nov||Smart Halo||2 YO fillies||6 furlongs||100,000|
|7-Dec||Broad Brush||3 & UP||1 1/8 mile||100,000|
|7-Dec||Thirty Eight Go Go||F & M 3 & UP||1 mile||100,000|
|7-Dec||The Marylander||2 YO||7 furlongs||100,000|
|7-Dec||Gin Talking||2 YO fillies||7 furlongs||100,000|
|28-Dec||Md. Juvenile Championship||2 YO (MD-bred and/or MD-sired)||7 furlongs||100,000|
|28-Dec||Md. Juvenile Filly Championship||2 YO fillies (MD-bred and/or MD-sired)||7 furlongs||100,000|
|28-Dec||Willa On The Move||F & M 3 & UP||6 furlongs||100,000|