by Gary Quill


Heading for home at the Big T. Photo by Jim McCue.

Heading for home at the Big T. Photo by Jim McCue.

How is it that HRTV broadcasts races from various California County Fairs, yet seems to have no interest in showing races from the Maryland State Fair?

It seems that since the 2013-2014 school year ended, there have been various County Fairs throughout the state of California. Any horse racing fan whose cable/satellite television channel provider makes HRTV available can attest to that. The southern California-based HRTV has proudly broadcasted horse (and mule) races from the Sacramento, Santa Rosa and most recently Ferndale County Fairs this summer.

If CA County Fair horse racing is good enough for broadcast, then why isn’t State Fair horse racing attractive to HRTV or TVG? It’s a rhetorical question in that, with everything in this world, it all comes down to money.

The Maryland State Fair, the only remaining state fair east of the Mississippi to continue to present Thoroughbred horse racing, kicks off its seven days of racing meeting on Friday at the Timonium Fairgrounds. Yet, bettors outside of the “Free State” miss the opportunity to see state fair racing at its finest. Neither HRTV nor TVG will broadcast any of the races from Timonium. Do you wager on a race just because it is being shown live on your favorite horse racing network?

Of course, if you have an online wagering account, you can treat yourself to the Timonium races via live streaming. There’s no sight like seeing Thoroughbreds negotiate the “bull ring” turns and head into the short stretch with the Ferris Wheel and other carnival rides in the background

Timonium is where my Dad introduced me to this great sport. Nearly 50 years later, I’m still a fan. It’s where I introduced my son and daughter to their father’s “hobby” (today they might refer to it as “addiction”).

Friday marks the first day of live racing in Maryland since the end of the Pimlico spring meet on June 7. Anyone who lives in the Mid-Atlantic region should consider a trip to Timonium.

Purses in Maryland have increased thanks to Maryland casino revenue that is earmarked for horse racing. Total purse for the nine-race opening day card is $166, 000 with an average daily purse distribution exceeding $150,000 for the seven -day meet. By comparison, Ferndale’s 6-race Friday card totals a measly $36,000. Even at Ellis Park, Kentucky’s feature track this time of year, whose races can be seen on HRTV… their Friday eight-race card purses total $114,000.

Racing will be conducted Friday August 22-24 and August 29 through Labor Day (Monday September 1). First race Post Time during the entire meet will be 1:05pm EDT. Admission to the track is included in admission to the fair.   The races at Timonium are a great escape from the beating you’ve been taking at Saratoga and Del Mar this summer. Unfortunately for you multi-race wager fans, Timonium is “old school” in that they only offer Early and Late Doubles, but do offer 50 cent Trifectas and 10 cent Superfectas.

Throughout the Timonium meet my “opinions” can be found via FREE smart phone app., PROPicks mobile app. Look for and “favorite” GQ Horse Racing Nut.      For more information if you plan to visit the “Free State” for the state fair, click here.