Winter Racing at Laurel Park
Laurel Park Racecourse and Pimlico Racecourse have always been viewed as one entity, but with the bankruptcy proceedings underway, of Magna Entertainment Corporation, the future of these two racecourses have been hanging in the balance. Trying not to be discouraged, Laurel Park Racecourse still applied for the authorization of their scheduled winter racing season, and finally, their application has been accepted. So, amidst auctions and buyers trying to purchase the racecourses, Laurel Park Racecourse will forge ahead with an action filled horse racing schedule.
Bidding and the auctioning off of the racecourses will begin in January 2010, and Maryland horsemen are hoping that the rule in regard to the Preakness Stakes will hold fast. Negotiating for Pimlico Racecourse, for out of state buyers, will include not moving this prestigious racing event away from the state. But while prices are being discussed and the future of the racecourses are being decided, Laurel Park will open its winter racing season on 1 January 2010.
A total of 58 racing days have been approved by the Maryland Racing Commission for Laurel Park Racecourse. Live horse racing will take place at the racecourse until 10 April 2010, and feature four race days a week. Wednesday to Saturday has been set aside for the live horse racing action and will feature a number of noteworthy stakes races such as the General George Handicap and the Barbara Fritchie Handicap. The General George Handicap is a Grade 2 racing event for three year old horses and older, with a purse of $150 000. Run over seven furlongs, the Barbara Fritchie Handicap is another Grade 2 event, that is for mares and fillies, and has a purse amount of $150 000. There is a chance that Laurel Park Racecourse will also be hosting the Conniver Stakes for mares and fillies bred in Maryland, which carries a purse of $55 000.
Over and above the racecourse featuring sixteen stakes races, the Maryland Jockey Club has also reinstated Laurel Park Racecourse’s pick six. Posting time will be at 12:35pm and it is gearing up to be a wonderful fifteen weeks of racing at Laurel Park Racecourse.