Laurel fall meet to kick off with nine-race card Friday
Lovable Lady won the Jameela. Photo by The Racing Biz.
From a Maryland Jockey Club release
Laurel Park kicks off its 51-day fall meet with a nine-race Opening Day program Friday that includes six races contested over its world-class turf course.
A total of 102 horses were entered, an average of 11.3 per race, as Laurel looks to build on the momentum of its summer meet, which saw total handle rise 20 percent over 2015 as well as increases in average and in-state handle.
First race post time is 1:10 p.m.
Friday’s feature event comes in Race 8, a $45,000 optional claiming allowance for fillies and mares 3 and older going six furlongs on the main track. The field of seven includes 124-pound co-highweights Cursive, from summer meet co-training champion Hamilton Smith, and Scip’s Sonata, as well as 2015 Maryland Million Lassie winner Lexington Street.
Also on the program is a $42,000 allowance for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles on the All Along Turf Course in Race 6; a $40,000 maiden special weight at six furlongs in dirt for 2-year-olds in Race 5; and a $40,000 maiden special weight for 2-year-old fillies going 5 ½ furlongs on the Fort Marcy Turf Course in Race 4.
Smith and Tim Keefe shared Laurel’s 24-day summer meet title with 10 victories apiece while Jevian Toledo, Maryland’s leading rider in 2015, captured the jockey title with 29 wins. Smith has horses entered in two races Friday and Keefe is entered in one; Toledo is named in all nine races.
Fall meet racing will be conducted on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 31 with the exception of Christmas Day, Sunday, Dec. 25. There will be special programs on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 24, and Monday, Dec. 26.
A total of 32 stakes, four of them graded, worth $3.25 million in purses have been scheduled for the fall meet, not including the 31st annual Jim McKay Maryland Million Day program on Saturday, Oct. 22.