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Maryland To Have Increase In Thoroughbred Racing In 2018

October 31, 2017
There will be more thoroughbred racing in Maryland in 2018 as a result of the Maryland Jockey Club applying for an increase in racing dates.

On Oct. 26 the MJC applied for 171 race days next year, an increase of nine days over 2017.

Laurel Park will have 159 of those racing dates and Pimlico Race Course will have 12 days.

- The first race session at Laurel will start Jan. 1 and run mostly three days a week through May 6.

- There will a 12-day Preakness at Pimlico Meet from May 10-28 -- a meet that includes the 143rd running of the Preakness Stakes (G1) and 94th running of the Black-Eyed Susan (G2).

- Racing will resume at Laurel from June 1 through Dec. 31. Laurel will race primarily four days a week from October through December to take advantage of its turf course.

There will be no racing at Laurel from Aug. 24 to Sept. 3.

"We continue to grow the business of thoroughbred racing in Maryland as well as our racing schedule," said Sal Sinatra, president and general manager of the Maryland Jockey Club. "We're seeing more interest from horsemen throughout North America and our handle continues to grow. Our ultimate goal will be to race four days a week throughout the year, but for now we'll focus on racing four days in the fall. One of those days will likely be Monday to continue our partnership with TVG."

The Maryland Jockey Club's efforts to grow Maryland racing have included more than $30 million in improvements to Laurel Park, a growing simulcasting network and eight consecutive meets with increases in total handle.

Photo Credit: Jaclyn Borowski/PressBox