Maryland Jockey Club

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MJC Announces Executive Officer Changes

Joseph A. De Francis announced Feb. 9 that he is stepping aside as president of the Maryland Jockey Club but will continue as the organization's chief executive officer. Louis J. Raffetto, the MJC's chief operating officer, takes over as president while Chris Dragone becomes senior vice president and general manager.

Pimlico Hold Order On Barn 6 Lifted

The Maryland Department of Agriculture lifted the "General Animal Hold Order" at Pimlico Race Course on Barn 6 after 33 of its 35 horses tested negative for equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) on both Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and virus isolation tests.

Laurel Park Cancels Sunday Card

For the third consecutive Sunday, there will be no live racing at Laurel Park Feb. 12. The Maryland Jockey Club canceled the card due to a shortage of available horses because of the equine herpes outbreak in the state.

Quarantine Lifted at Pimlico; Stakes Rescheduled at Laurel

The Maryland Jockey Club lifted its self-imposed quarantine on Pimlico Race Course Feb.8, allowing horses from the Baltimore track to compete at Laurel Park for the first time since Jan. 21. Twelve Pimlico-based horses ran on Wednesday's card (after two were morning scratches). Five of the nine races featured Pimlico horses.

Horses Entered, But Trainers Holding Their Breath

Horses Entered, But Trainers Holding Their Breath

Maryland horsemen, in anticipation of the equine herpesvirus quarantine at Pimlico Race Course being lifted, entered 14 horses for the Feb. 8 card at Laurel Park. But some uneasiness remains given the volatile nature of the virus.

Laurel Park Horse Tests Positive for Equine Herpesvirus

Laurel Park Horse Tests Positive for Equine Herpesvirus

Hey Ralphy, a filly trained by Rodney Jenkins at Laurel Park, was infected by equine herpesvirus (EHV-1), according to the Maryland Department of Agriculture. The 3-year-old was euthanized Jan 26 with a suspected pelvic injury. A Hold Order has been placed on Barn 9, where the filly was stabled, at the central Maryland track. Jenkins has elected not to train any of his horses until the Hold Order ends.

Trainers Worry Pimlico Quarantine is Too Late

Though the Maryland Jockey Club has stepped up its fight against the equine herpes virus 1 that has frightened horsemen throughout the state with a quarantine of the entire Pimlico Race Course stable area, some trainers continued to worry the move may have come too late.

Report: De Francis Takes on More Duties for MEC

Maryland Jockey Club president Joe De Francis will now oversee customer relations and HorseRacing TV for Magna Entertainment Corp., parent company of Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course.

Magna's 2006 Maryland Dates Deal Hits Snag

The deal that would settle the 2006 racing schedule in Maryland remained elusive on the night of Dec. 21 when the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association refused to accept the latest proposal from Magna Entertainment Corp.

Maryland Horsemen, Breeders Digest Dates Plan

Maryland Jockey Club president Joe De Francis presented a new proposal to horsemen and breeders the week of Dec. 12 and said he believes the three sides are near a deal for 2006 racing dates. Horsemen and breeders, however, said it's not a done deal.

Maryland Panel Upholds Live Racing Contract

The Maryland Racing Commission upheld the live racing contract between the state horsemen's organization and the Maryland Jockey Club Oct. 6 after Magna Entertainment Corp., which owns the MJC, proposed slashing the number of live racing dates at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course in 2006.

Virginia Board OKs Colonial's Management Purchase

The purchase of the Maryland-Virginia Racing Circuit was approved at a special meeting of the Virginia Racing Commission Sept. 28. The management entity of Colonial Downs was purchased for $10 million by Colonial Downs from the Maryland Jockey Club which is owned by Magna Entertainment.

Maryland in Turmoil Over Plan to Slash Dates

Maryland Jockey Club president and chief executive officer Joe De Francis created the picture of a locomotive bearing down on Maryland in the form of Pennsylvania slot machines as he encouraged the Maryland Racing Commission to accept a plan from Magna Entertainment Corp to cut live racing dates from 220 to 112 in 2006.

Ribbon Cut for Laurel's New Turf Course

Officials of the Maryland Jockey Club hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday to celebrate the opening of its new turf course at Laurel Park. Twenty-one horses galloped and worked over the lush greenery for the first time this morning.

Ribbon Cut for Laurel's New Turf Course

Officials of the Maryland Jockey Club hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday to celebrate the opening of its new turf course at Laurel Park. Twenty-one horses galloped and worked over the lush greenery for the first time this morning.

Thirty-Nine Stakes Highlight Laurel Park Schedule

Thirty-nine stakes races, with purses totaling almost $3.8 million, highlight the opening of the fall meet at Laurel Park. The meet kicks off Sept. 7 with live racing on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday during the month. Sunday racing will be added beginning the first week of October.

Maryland Lifts Ban on Delaware, NY Shippers

The Maryland Jockey Club announced June 8 that it has lifted the restrictions on horses planning to ship to Pimlico Race Course, Laurel Park or the Bowie Training Center from Belmont Park, Aqueduct and Delaware Park.

Sod Planted for New Laurel Park Turf Course

The Maryland Jockey Club said the installation of sod for the Laurel Park turf course began May 31 under the supervision of turf superintendent Robbie Mitten.

Pimlico Spring Meet Begins April 20

Live racing on the Maryland circuit shifts to historic Pimlico Race Course April 20 for the spring meet. The headline event of the eight-week stand is the 130th running of the $1 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the middle jewel of the VISA Triple Crown, on May 21.

Racing Industry Raises more than $120,000 for Noah Fund

More than $120,000 was raised for Noah Grove, the son of Bowie, Md.-based trainer Chris Grove, during a Laurel Park fundraiser Feb. 13. The 5-year old was diagnosed with bone cancer last February and to save his life he underwent a through-the-knee amputation.

VTA Stallion Season Auction Ends Wednesday

The Virginia Thoroughbred Association's expanded Mid-South Stallion Season Auction will conclude today at 8 p.m. Bidding starts at 9 a.m EDT. The auction will benefit the VTA, and has been expanded this year to include the North Carolina and South Carolina Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Associations.

Maryland Industry Issues Plan to Revitalize Racing

The Maryland racing industry has signed off on a plan to revitalize the sport should legislators approve alternative gaming. Though efforts to win approval for racetrack slot machines have stalled in recent years, a key legislator said the plan represents progress.

HRTV to Air on Comcast in Baltimore Area

The Maryland Jockey Club signal will appear on local Comcast systems beginning Jan. 14 as part of a digital sports package involving HorseRacing TV.

MJC Announces Final 2004 Handle Figures

With eleven fewer racing days than in 2003, the Maryland Jockey Club announced its total handle declined 4% in 2004. All sources handle totaled $868.1 million as compared to $905.7 million from the same period in 2003. The daily average handle from all sources decreased 2% from $3.48 million to $3.41million. For the fourth consecutive year, the daily average handle on the export signal increased, this time by 4%.

Horsemen's Group Critical of Delays With Laurel Project

Horsemen's Group Critical of Delays With Laurel Project

As tensions escalated between leaders of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and the chairman of the Maryland Racing Commission, executives of the Maryland Jockey Club said Tuesday that the rebuilding of the Laurel Park dirt track was nearly complete.

Pimlico Meet Extended; Laurel to Reopen Dec. 26

The Maryland Jockey Club announced Oct. 8 that it intends to extend the current Pimlico meet until mid-December, with the re-opening of Laurel Park scheduled for Dec. 26. The current Pimlico stand was tentatively scheduled to end on Nov. 2.

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