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.