MJC Alters Training Schedule For Safety Concerns

The Maryland Jockey Club said it has altered the track maintenance schedule during training hours at Laurel Park in an attempt to keep the surface more uniform and safer for horses.

The MJC, effective Dec. 9, announced that renovation breaks during training would be 7-7:30 a.m. and 9-9:30 a.m. Training at Laurel is available from 5:30-10 a.m. on race days and 5:30-10:30 a.m. on non-racing days; the first half-hour break had start at 7:30 a.m., two hours after training began.

“We’re trying to make each session the same amount of time so the surface has the same consistency,” Sinatra said. “The track was getting cut up (before the first break), so we shifted the break a half-hour earlier. Most of the horses train earlier in the morning, so we want to keep (the surface) as uniform as possible but not take training time away from horsemen.”

Sinatra noted training on Mondays and Tuesdays is much lighter than Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, which are live racing days in January and February. More than 1,000 horses are stabled at Laurel versus a couple of hundred at Pimlico, where training is offered each day from 6-10 a.m. with one break from 7:30-8 a.m.


December 2019 Newsletter Available

newsletter2019 12The December 2019 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.


177 racing days approved for Laurel Park, Pimlico in 2020

The Maryland Racing Commission Nov. 21 approved 177 live racing days at the Maryland Jockey Club tracks for 2020.

Laurel Park was approved for 165 days and Pimlico Race Course for 12 days. A seven-day meet for the Maryland State Fair at Timonium was approved at the MRC’s October meeting.

The Laurel winter meet will run from Jan. 1-March 29 with racing four days a week (Thursday through Sunday and two holiday Mondays) in January and February and three days a week (Friday through Sunday) in March.

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MRC will schedule stakeholder meeting to discuss house rules

The Maryland Racing Commission will continue to move forward with equine health and safety measures but has suspended action on various “house rules” pending a meeting with horsemen, veterinarians and other stakeholders.

MRC Chairman Mike Algeo made the announcement at the commission’s Nov. 21 meeting at Laurel Park. He noted that “significant discussion” on the house rules as well as proposed state regulations by the MRC Safety Committee and subsequently the racing commission at its October meeting.

“It’s obviously paramount in this environment that the primary concern has to be the safety and well-being of horses,” Algeo said. “We are trying to advance the industry but folks have some questions about the house rules. So we will suspend implementation and have a meeting with all stakeholders sometime in the next several weeks. We’ll try to find a date that’s convenient for everyone.”

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Nominations Sought For Backstretch Employees Of The Year

Trainers at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course are encouraged to submit nominations for the MTHA Backstretch Employees of the Year for 2019.

The MTHA, as it has in previous years, will recognize one backstretch employee at each racetrack based on the nominations. The awards will be presented in early 2020 at the third annual Renaissance Awards.

The deadline to submit nominations is Nov. 30.

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MTHA Christmas Party and Toy Drive

The Maryland Thoroughbred Horse­men’s Association will host the popular Horsemen’s Christmas Party celebration on Monday evening, Dec. 2, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Laurel Park’s new Sports Bar. Maryland Racing’s Party of the Year, the MTHA Christmas Party will feature a buffet dinner, open bar and a dance floor with tunes provided by Larry Smith’s party band Release.

Tickets are $35 in advance, $45 each at the door or $300 for a table of 10 and can be purchased on race days in the MTHA racetrack office at Laurel Park, online at our online store or by calling 410-902-6842. See Diana Pinones in the MTHA office for more details.

Horsemen are urged to purchase tickets in advance. MTHA will also be hosting its annual toy drive for the fifth consecutive year and is asking attendees to the party to bring a new, unwrapped toy to be collected at the door. Gifts will be distributed to children of backstretch workers during the holiday season.

Purse Release