MD Racing Commission sets special meeting to discuss Laurel surface

Sunday, April 23, 2023
Monday, May 1, 2023

The Maryland Racing Commission has scheduled a special meeting for Tuesday, April 25, to discuss the Laurel Park racing surface and other related issues.

The meeting will be held at 11 a.m. at Laurel. The only agenda item listed is Laurel Park.

Live racing was suspended at Laurel beginning Friday, April 21. The April 22-23 programs were scrapped, and due a lack of entries, the program scheduled for Thursday, April 27, was canceled. The Maryland Jockey Club intended to take entries for Friday, April 28, at Laurel after rejecting a request from the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association to move live racing to Pimlico Race Course ahead of the scheduled May 11 opening day of the spring meet.

The MTHA and Maryland Horse Breeders Association on April 22 sent a letter to top state officials discussing the situation and requesting that the MRC authorize former Maryland track superintendent John Passero to examine the Laurel dirt surface and make recommendations. The MTHA asked MJC to do so, but it declined.

The MRC, which is charged with protecting the health and welfare of equines and racing participants, has statutory authority to bring in consultants when needed.

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