Ownership, scratch rules to change effective Nov. 22 at Laurel

New regulations approved by the Maryland Racing Commission are now in effect.

Beginning with the Nov. 22 program at Laurel Park, entries with similar ownership can be uncoupled in overnight races if the connections of a horse decide to do so.

In addition, all scratched horses will be penalized 10 days—they can’t run for the subsequent 10 day-period—instead of five days, as has been the case.

Turf racing has officially ended for the year, but the following rules will be on the books when grass racing resumes in 2019:

The shoe rule will be the same as turf for dirt and turf, and if one or more races come off the grass in a Pick 6 sequence, bettors will receive “all” horses in those races rather than receive a refund on the wager.

Rodent Mitigation Program Underway at Laurel

Horsemen based at Laurel Park may notice an increase in the rat population, but that’s part of a current rodent mitigation project being handled by Innovative Pest Management of Beltsville, Md.

The company, which recently began the project, said it plans to dust active rat burrows with tracking powder along exterior areas of barns and use dry ice and newspaper in burrows inside or near stalls. It will also employ about 160 traps throughout the barn area. The initial placement of materials took about five days and will be followed by regular checkups once a week.

Maryland Jockey Club Director of Facilities Rick Allen said an increase in visible rats is because rather than using poison, the company is targeting their burrows.

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REMINDER: In Today Sign Use Mandatory

The Maryland Jockey Club is again reminding horsemen to use the red-and-white “In Today” signs on horses’ stalls as part of important race-day protocol at Laurel Park.

The signs, which are available at the MTHA office in the Laurel grandstand, are recommended as part of National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance best practices for security in the barn area. They are designed in part to assist regulatory veterinarians in identifying horses that are scheduled to receive Lasix on race day.

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November 2018 Newsletter Available

newsletter2018 11The November 2018 edition of the Horsemen's Newsletter is now online and available for download. To view this edition click herearrow

The Horsemen's Newsletter is published monthly by the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and is mailed to licensed owners and trainers in the state of Maryland.


Laurel track crew to address area near five-eighths pole

Training will be suspended at Laurel Park Oct. 30-31 so the track crew can examine and repair an area near the five-eighths-mile pole.

Maryland Jockey Club President Sal Sinatra said there is a “dip” in that location on the dirt track, and that it has been addressed several times before. He said track superintendent Chris Bosley has taken a proactive approach and would like to repair it before cold weather sets in.

“It’s not bad but Chris noticed it, and I’d rather have him notice it and fix it before (there is an incident),” Sinatra said.

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Racing Community Loses Polinger

Helen Polinger, a longtime Thoroughbred owner and breeder who raced multiple graded-stakes winner and millionaire The Very One in the late 1970s and early 1980s, died Sept. 12 in Maryland.

Polinger, whose farm in Montgomery County at one time stood several stallions, was a mainstay of the state’s breeding program for many years along with her late husband, Milton. She greatly reduced her operation after her husband’s death but in this decade has maintained a small racing operation in the state.

“She built her farm in the early 1960s and was very with involved with Thoroughbred breeding until the day she died,” said Stanley Herwitz, a close friend of Helen Polinger. “She was very hands-on with her breeding operation, and was a talented artist—she did portraits of her children.”

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