Live racing moves to Pimlico as Laurel surface is evaluated

Live racing at Laurel Park for Saturday, April 17, through Monday, April 19 has been canceled, and the spring meet will move to Pimlico Race Course effective Thursday, April 22. There are eight scheduled racing days remaining during the spring meet.

The Maryland Jockey Club on April 15 announced that the move is necessary because of an “ongoing evaluation of the main track surface conditions. As part of regular track maintenance, the (MJC) identified on April 14 that the main track had not responded sufficiently to wintertime cushion repairs.”

The MJC said it submitted an application to the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association to shift racing to Pimlico on an emergency basis. The Laurel spring meet ends Sunday, May 2, and the 15-day Pimlico meet begins Thursday, May 6. The MJC release said racing will be held at Pimlico “until further notice.”

Cushion-replacement options for the Laurel dirt track are being considered by MJC Track Superintendent Chris Bosley, Dr. Mick Peterson of the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory, and California-based Dennis Moore, Senior Track Superintendent for The Stronach Group (1/ST RACING). They will work to “identify a project timeline,” the MJC said.

“We have full confidence that Dr. Mick Peterson, Dennis Moore and Chris Bosley will manage this project quickly and will deliver a rehabilitated main-track surface cushion that will offer superior training and racing to the benefit of Maryland horsemen for years to come,” said Aidan Butler, TSG Chief Operating Officer.

For several days, training at Laurel has been limited to gallops. The MJC April 15 issued a notice to Laurel-based trainers that said those who want to work horses at Pimlico may do so Sunday, April 18, through Wednesday, April 21. Shuttle vans will leave Laurel at 5 a.m., 5:30 a.m., 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. Horsemen can contact Joe Sansosti at 301-266-0914 to arrange travel.

Trainers who choose to ship privately must contact Terry Overmier at 443-324-6646 to make arrangements, the MJC said.

The starting gate at Pimlico will be available for schooling from Monday, April 19, through Sunday, April 25, from 6:30-9:30 a.m.

The seven stakes that make up the Spring Stakes Spectacular will now be run at Pimlico Saturday, April 24.

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