MRC Approves Laurel Summer Meet Dates

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

The Maryland Jockey Club April 2 received approval from the Maryland Racing Commission for a 33-day summer meet at Laurel Park. Live racing will begin Friday, May 31 following the 11-day Preakness meet and conclude Sunday, Aug. 18.

MJC Acting President Mike Rogers told the MRC that pari-mutuel handle for the three-month Laurel winter meet was down about 11% due to the loss of six racing programs due to weather issues. Though the number of days dropped 15%, average handle during the meet was actually up from the same meet in 2023, he said.

Rogers also noted that representatives of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority were on hand at Laurel in March 28-29 to conduct its annual accreditation examination. Early indications were encouraging, he said.

“The initial feedback (on our operation) was very positive,” Rogers said. “The feedback was that Laurel punched above its weight. I’m told our policy format is one of the best.”

The HISA Racetrack Safety and Anti-Doping and Medication Control programs are enforced in Maryland. MRC employees handle the collection of blood and urine samples during for testing under the ADMC program.

Rogers said a full report from HISA is forthcoming and will be shared with the MRC.

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