The financial health of Magna Entertainment Corp. could become part of the debate about legalizing slot machines in Maryland, as supporters and detractors ready for a statewide referendum in November.
Tim Tullock trained Gattopardo took another step towards the Preakness by winning at Laurel Park March 1.
A wintry mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain that is expected to hit the Baltimore-Washington region forced Maryland Jockey Club officials to cancel live racing at Laurel Park Feb. 22.
The day after undefeated Bustin Stones won the Feb. 18 General George Handicap at Laurel Park by a head, trainer Bruce Levine said the New York-bred will make his grade I debut in the $300,000 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct April 5.
Bustin Stones led from gate to wire and held off a late challenge by Lord Snowdon to notch his fifth consecutive win, and first graded-stakes score, in the General George Handicap (gr. II) at Laurel Park Feb. 18.
A tidy six-length winner of Aqueduct's Fiesta Lady Stakes in her last start, Marty Cunningham's Golden Dawn repeated the margin and added graded status to her resume when she took the $300,000 Barbara Fritchie Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Laurel Park Feb. 16.
Apprentice jockey Craig Gibbs rode the first four winners on Laurel Park's nine-race card Feb. 8, helping the 20-year-old rider move into a first place tie with Rosie Napravnik atop the winter meet standings.
At their monthly meeting Jan. 29, 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.
The 7-year-old mare became just the 17th Maryland-bred millionare Jan. 12 at Laurel Park.
Silmaril, a 7-year-old Maryland-bred mare, will attempt to reach the $1-million mark in earnings Jan. 12 at Laurel Park.
The Maryland Jockey Club announced its total handle declined by 8% during 2007, with five fewer racing days. All sources of handle totaled $883.8 million as compared to $960.2 million from the same period in 2006. The daily average handle from all sources decreased 6.5 % from $4.1 million to $3.8 million.
Morgan Wayson Jr.'s Apple Special turned in the most sparkling race of his career as he zipped past seven other two-year-olds in the year-end feature at Laurel Park, the $50,000 Maryland Juvenile Championship, to score his first stakes victory.
Luis Garcia, Scott Lake, and Robert Cole have wrapped up year-end titles at the major Maryland tracks for the calendar year in the jockey, trainer and owner divisions, respectively.
Trainer Ken Allard speculated that Ask the Moon was a quick filly, but he didn't know exactly how quick.
Jockey Abel Castellano reached the 1,000 win plateau when he guided Johnny Z. to victory in the fifth race at Laurel Park Wednesday afternoon. The 24-year-old achieved the milestone with his wife Claudia and two-year-old son Andrew in attendance.
The Maryland Jockey Club announced Nov. 28 that president and chief operating officer Lou Raffetto Jr. will be leaving effective immediately to pursue other opportunities, and that Chris Dragone, a former senior vice president and general manager at the MJC, will take over his duties.
Jockey Travis Dunkelberger reached the 3,000-win plateau when he guided Casey Doon, his only mount on the card, to victory in the eighth race at Laurel Park Nov. 28. The 30-year-old became the 140th rider to reach the milestone, according to Equibase.
Benny the Bull saved ground in the early going, angled four-wide entering the lane and then pulled away for a one-length victory in the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (gr. I) at Laurel Park on Nov. 24, scoring the first graded stakes win of his career.
The Maryland Racing Commission has approved the 2008 Laurel Park winter stakes schedule, which was trimmed by two stakes. The 15-week meet will feature 17 stakes worth a combined $1.75 million.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey homebred Talent Search has put together a banner year, placing in seven of eight starts, while winning three times. He has a golden opportunity for his first graded score Nov. 24 when he takes on seven challengers in the $250,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (gr. I) at six furlongs on the Laurel Park main track.
- By Tom LaMarra
Maryland racing interests are optimistic over passage of legislation to authorize a statewide referendum on slot machines in November 2008, but they indicated there remains a need for financial relief before the slots measure even comes up for a vote.
The Maryland House of Delegates passed a measure Nov. 16 to authorize a November 2008 referendum on slot machines in the state.
The Maryland House of Delegates put off voting on whether the state should have a referendum on slot-machine gambling after a day of changes in the proposal Nov. 15. The issue is on the agenda when the House reconvenes Nov. 16.
Millennium Farms' Will He Shine, a grade II stakes winner by Silver Deputy, will run next in the $300,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (gr. I) Nov. 24 at Laurel Park in Maryland.
A November 2008 referendum on allowing slot machines in the state was approved by the Maryland Senate the evening of Nov. 8.
Jockey Luis Garcia will miss six weeks after fracturing a bone in his right wrist at Laurel Park Nov. 8. The 23-year-old was injured when Yarroway clipped heels with another runner and tossed the rider in the eighth race.
Mario Pino became the 15th jockey in North America to earn 6,000 wins Nov. 7 when he piloted Pass Play to victory in the seventh race at Laurel Park.
The legislative race for slot machines in Maryland hit fever pitch Nov. 2 with rallies in the state capital.
- By Tom LaMarra
With a special session of the Maryland legislature fast approaching, the Maryland racing and breeding industry is planning a major push for financial assistance in the form of slot machines.
Maryland Jockey Club officials have applied for a 60-day winter meet--15 fewer days than usual--at Laurel Park beginning Jan. 1, 2008.
When Anthony Black broke a pair of ribs and three vertebrae in a spill at Philadelphia Park last November, it finally looked like the end for the 55-year-old jockey. But Black, who won a pair of stakes races on Maryland Million Day, isn't done defying the odds just yet.
Evil Storm, Akronism, and Moon Catcher were among the winners on the Oct. 13 Maryland Million program at Laurel Park.
Play Bingo, winner of the 2005 Maryland Million Classic, will not start in this year's renewal of the race at Laurel Park Oct. 13 because of a quarter crack in his left hind hoof, owner/trainer John "Doc" Fisher said Oct. 12.
The $300,000 Maryland Million Classic, feature of the 22nd Maryland Million Day at Laurel Park Oct. 13, has drawn a field of 10, including the champions from the previous two years.
The 22nd Maryland Million, set for Oct. 13 at Laurel Park, has attracted 120 entrants for 12 races, including the $300,000 Maryland Million Classic.
Fresh off a victory in the Sept. 1 Inaugural Stakes at Presque Isle Downs, Miss A. Bomb figures to be the one to beat in the Oct. 6 Safely Kept Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) at Laurel Park.
If Maryland's Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley gets his way with the notoriously restive Maryland legislature this fall, the state's horseracing fans may at long last find slot machines installed at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course.
- By Tom LaMarra
Magna Entertainment Corp. has exercised its option, pursuant to an agreement with certain companies controlled by Joe De Francis and his sister, Karin De Francis, to acquire the remaining interest in the Maryland Jockey Club, which operates Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course.
- By Tom LaMarra
An experiment by which the blended pari-mutuel takeout rate at Laurel Park was cut in half proved popular in theory but not at the betting windows. But was it a bust?
Live racing returns to Laurel Park Sept. 5 on the heels of the Maryland State Fair meet, which continues through Sept. 3 at Timonium.
Laurel Park's "Ten Days at 10 Percent" promotion didn't produce the desired results as far as handle is concerned, but track officials said the concept--cutting pari-mutuel takeout in half--should continue to be explored.
Republican members of the Maryland House of Delegates have proposed a state budget that would limit growth in spending and derive hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from slot machines to combat a $1.5-billion shortfall. There were no details on how the horse industry would benefit.
The Laurel Park fall stakes schedule was approved July 24 at the monthly Maryland Racing Commission meeting.
In a program billed "Ten Days at 10 Percent -- Racing's Best Bet," pari-mutuel takeout on Maryland's live races will be cut in half during Laurel Park's 10-day summer meet that runs from Aug. 10-23.
The 15-week Laurel Park winter stand ended April 15 with the cancellation of the meet's final day of racing due to heavy rains and high winds in the Baltimore region.
With his second victory on the card, jockey Horacio Karamanos reached the 1,000-win plateau Saturday at Laurel Park, but not without some drama.
Classic Star Stable's Southwestern Heat, the first foal of champion filly sprinter Xtra Heat, won his first race April 11 in impressive style.
Leading Maryland jockey Rosie Napravnik announced April 4 that she plans to switch tack to Delaware Park for a new agent once she is fit to ride again following a back injury sustained Jan. 26.
Maryland Million announced that the purse for the Maryland Million Classic will increase to $300,000. In addition purses for both the Maryland Million Ladies and the Maryland Million Turf will grow to $200,000.
Nearly a dozen jockeys ambushed Geovany Garcia when he returned to the Laurel Park jockey's room after riding his first career winner March 21.
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