Moisture concerns lead to cancellation at Laurel

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Live racing at Laurel Park for Sunday, Jan. 21, was canceled given concerns that moisture from the Jan. 19 snowstorm could impact the surface as temperatures rise into the low 30s from an overnight low forecast at 17 degrees.

Roughly four inches of snow was recorded in Laurel, and training and live racing were canceled Jan. 19-20. There will be normal training hours at Laurel and Pimlico Race Course Jan. 21.

Maryland Jockey Club Track Superintendent Ken Brown said timing is the reason training will be permitted at Laurel but not racing.

“The snow wanted to stick to the track Friday when we tried to get it off, and we know there is a lot of snow in the track,” Brown said. “It should be OK for training Sunday morning because of the temperature. It’s actually getting a little wet now (Saturday afternoon) with the sun out. With 33 degrees and sunshine, I believe it could well be sloppy at some point Sunday. Then it becomes unmanageable. We try to beat Mother Nature, and sometimes we lose.”

MJC Acting President Mike Rogers said the track looked fine Saturday afternoon but there is moisture in the surface. He said management opted not to take the chance of starting the card and then having to cancel.

“When the moisture comes up the track can get extremely sloppy, and we don’t know how loose it could get,” Rogers said. “We are of the opinion that taking that risk is too great. We do everything with safety as a priority.”

Live racing is scheduled to resume Friday, Jan. 26, with a 10-race program that includes a pair of rescheduled stakes. The current forecast calls for rain and a high in the low to mid-60s.

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