Corporate Name: Laurel Racing Association, Inc.
Mailing Address: Box 130, Laurel, Maryland 20725
Street Address: Racetrack Road & Route 198, Laurel, Maryland 20725 (click for map)
Telephone: (301) 725-0400 or (410) 792-7775
Fax: (410) 792-4877
Laurel Park underwent a rebirth in 2015, undergoing $20 million in front and backside improvements while increasing handle, field size and its off-track betting network in Maryland.
Laurel was a major factor in the Maryland Jockey Club’s (including Pimlico) 20 percent increase in total live handle and eight percent increase in live handle in state. Meanwhile, as field size grew with the increase in turf races from 103 in 2014 to 234 in 2015, so did attention on Laurel’s competitive fields and fall, winter and summer stakes programs.
The Maryland Jockey Club also opened an off-track betting facility inside the Horseshoe Casino in downtown Baltimore, which added $6.9 million in total handle.
Laurel’s highlights on-track included Lady Sabelia’s victory in the Grade II Barbara Fritchie, Misconnect winning the Grade III General George, Gentlemen’s Bet taking the De Francis Memorial Dash and Admirals War Chest winning the Maryland Million Classic.
Improvements to Laurel included new barns, a new simulcast center, hardwood floors, 150 flat-screen televisions, new furniture, renovations of dining facilities, and an upgrade to a high definition broadcast signal.
Laurel Park, the sister track of Pimlico Race Course, first appeared on the racing scene in 1911. In July 2002, Magna Entertainment Corp. (MEC) purchased Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park, which operated under the trade name Maryland Jockey Club, from the De Francis family. Laurel Park provides action for fans in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas with live racing 40 weeks a year and year-round simulcasting. Laurel enjoyed several decades of fame with the Washington, D.C. International, which burst onto the scene in 1952 and almost immediately became a world-wide news event.
Until then the idea of bringing horses from Europe to the United States was unprecedented. The success of the Breeders’ Cup forced Laurel to suspend the International in 1995. The marquee event at Laurel is Maryland Million day. The idea was conceived by Jim McKay, the late Hall of Fame broadcaster, to showcase the best products of the state’s breeding farms and the horses sired by Maryland stallions. After 29 years, more than 20 other states have imitated the Maryland Million concept.
Laurel also plays host to the Winter Carnival, a weekend historically run in February that is highlighted by the Barbara Fritchie and General George.
|Executive Officials: Sal Sinatra, Vice President and General Manager; Doug Illig, Chief Financial Officer
Vice President of Racing/Racing Secretary: Georganne Hale
Vice President, Wagering & Simulcast Operations: Dave Scheing
Vice President of Marketing: Carrie Everly
Vice President of Communications/Media Relations: David Joseph
Director of Horsemen’s Relations: Phoebe Hayes
Nearest City: Midway between Baltimore & Washington, approximately 20 miles from each
Track Data: 1-mile and 600-feet oval with 7˝-furlong chute to first finish line; one turn mile chute to second finish line; length of stretch from last turn to first and second finish line, 1,089 and 1,419 feet, respectively; track width, 92 feet; turf course is 7/8 mile and 254 feet, inside main track with length of stretch 1,089 feet to finish line, width of turf is 142 feet
Price of Admission: $3 for grandstand and clubhouse; complimentary box seats (except Saturdays and holidays)
Seating Accommodations: 15,200
Dress Requirements for Clubhouse: Proper attire for ladies and gentlemen
Parking Facilities: Capacity, 8,000; general, free; valet, $5
Nearest Airport: Baltimore-Washington International (BWI), 12 miles