Weekly Backstretch Events A Hit With Horsemen
The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association this year has stepped up its events for backstretch workers and horsemen at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, and the results have been positive.
The MTHA hired Frank Douglas part-time beginning in January, and he has been overseeing a host of events that began at Laurel and have expanded to Pimlico. The most recent, a pool tournament held at noon April 3 in the Laurel Recreation Room, had 10 players but Douglas said others showed up and wanted to participate. The tournament required a low-cost buy-in that was supplemented by funds from the MTHA.
The Preakness Stakes post-position draw will be held Monday, May 15, at Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore and will include a public concert by English musician John Waite, who is known for his many popular songs in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
After days of negotiations, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and Maryland Horse Breeders Association reached an agreement with the Maryland Jockey Club on hiring consultant John Passero to examine the Laurel Park dirt surface and make recommendations for its improvement in the wake of a string of equine injuries during training and racing.