Laurel reopens to limited number of patrons, owners now allowed backstretch access

Laurel Park reopen for a limited number of patrons on live race days Friday, March 5, and also beginning immediately, licensed owners will be permitted access to the backstretch once again under specific protocols.

As was the case last fall when Laurel Park’s frontside reopened for patrons for about a month, the limit remains 250 people per orders from the state of Maryland and Anne Arundel County. 

All employees, owners, and patrons will continue using the Grandstand Entrance daily for admittance to the facility through a thermal scanning temperature check. Owners on the building side who desire to go the Paddock will continue to be allowed to travel along the Clubhouse apron for access to and from the Paddock. Owners will continue to be allowed to watch from the Paddock area but will not be allowed into the Paddock. Trainers will continue to be allowed in the Paddock but only for their specific races.

Owners, Trainers, and Jockeys will continue to use the Horsemen's Paddock Entrance as has been the practice in the recent past on live race days for hand-held temperature checks. Owners and Trainers will continue to be granted limited access to the Horsemen's Boxes and will use the staircase in the Grandstand.

As for parking, the Valet Lot will be reserved for horsemen only on live race days.

Win photos will continue to be allowed from the Winner's Circle. The Racing Office remains closed to horsemen.

The Jockeys’ Quarters is only available to the current riding colony. Jockeys who come to Maryland from other states must quarantine in Maryland for five days and then receive a negative PCR test—no rapid tests are permitted—before admittance. Members of the current Maryland colony may ride and exercise horses out of state but in so doing must quarantine for five days and then receive a negative PCR—no rapid tests—before re-admittance. All such test results must be sent to Dr. Kelly Ryan of MedStar Health and Maryland Jockey Club Director of Health & Safety Ryan Allen.

Under protocols endorsed by MedStar Health, which provides services for the Horsemen’s Health System, owners will be permitted on the backstretch on any day only if they adhere to the following: 

  • be subjected to a Covid screening at the Stable Gate; 
  • wear masks and follow six-foot social distancing policies; 
  • do not visit barns at which they do not have business within; 
  • have not traveled internationally for seven days prior to their visit or have not traveled five days prior domestically outside of Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia or Washington, D.C.; 
  • and have not exhibited symptoms for five days prior or had exposure to anyone testing positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of their visit.

Access will be restricted to licensed owners only and guests will not be permitted.

Jockeys, Valets and necessary Racing Officials will continue to be the only persons permitted in TIPS, which serves as the Jockeys’ Quarters, and on the first floor of the Clubhouse. Jockeys and Valets will continue to have exclusive access to their designated area outside of the Clubhouse in front of the glass doors leading out to the apron. Jockeys will continue to leave the building after their last scheduled mount.

Horsemen overflow and VIP Patrons will share the adjacent lot in between the Valet Lot and roadway perpendicular to the White House. Employees with Official parking placards should continue to park in the Officials’ Lot in front of the Administration Entrance. Patrons will be able to park in the Carriage Room Lot and the lot on the far side of the roadway perpendicular to the White House.

The Clubhouse Entrance and ramp will continue to be closed. Handicapped patrons requesting to access the second floor of the Clubhouse or Sports Book will be assisted with entry via the Turf Club Entrance using the elevator.

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