Maryland Jockey Club announces bolstered ’18 winter stakes sked

by | Nov 2, 2017 | Breaking, Business, Maryland, MD Business

High Ridge Road

High Ridge Road ran down By the Moon to win the 2017 G2 Barbara Fritchie Stakes. Photo by Laurie Asseo.

From a Maryland Jockey Club release

A total of 22 stakes worth $2.25 million in purses, highlighted by a Winter Carnival program featuring the $300,000 Barbara Fritchie (G2) and $250,000 General George (G3) Feb. 17, will be contested during Laurel Park’s 2018 winter-spring meet.

In all, 13 of 22 stakes will see purse increases of $25,000 for the 2018 winter-spring meet that opens Monday, Jan. 1 and runs primarily three days a week through Sunday, May 6. They are the first of 171 race days submitted by the Maryland Jockey Club, an increase of nine days over 2017.

“We continue to see fans and horsemen respond to our improved racing product and renovated facility at Laurel,” said Maryland Jockey Club President and General Manager Sal Sinatra. “Our handle continues to grow as our field size and quality continues to improve. We’re looking forward to more growth come the new year.”

Laurel will offer four Super Saturdays with four or more stakes, topped by the Winter Carnival program of six stakes worth $950,000 in purses Feb. 17 led by the 62nd running of the Barbara Fritchie for fillies and mares 4 and up and 41st running of the General George for 4-year-olds and up, both at seven furlongs.

All four undercard stakes received a $25,000 purse boost from 2017 – the $100,000 Miracle Wood for 3-year-olds at one mile and $100,000 Wide Country for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs, the $100,000 John B. Campbell for 4-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles, and the $100,000 Maryland Racing Media for fillies and mares 4 and up at 1 1/16 miles.

There will be five stakes worth $450,000 in purses on Owners Fantasy Day March 17, led by the $100,000 Private Terms for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles and the Beyond the Wire, formerly the Caesar’s Wish, for 3-year-old fillies at one mile. The Private Terms and Beyond the Wire serve as preps for the $125,000 Federico Tesio at 1 1/8 miles and the $125,000 Weber City Miss at 1 1/16 miles April 21.

For the third consecutive year, the Tesio and Weber City Miss will be ‘Win and You’re In’ races for the May 19 Preakness Stakes (G1) and May 18 Black-Eyed Susan (G2), respectively. The Tesio’s ‘Win and You’re In’ status applies to Triple Crown-nominated horses only.

The Tesio and Weber City Miss are among five stakes that close the winter-spring meet stakes schedule Saturday, April 21. They are joined by the $100,000 Primonetta for fillies and mares 3 and up at six furlongs, $100,000 Henry S. Clark for 3-year-olds and up and $100,000 Dahlia for females 3 and older, both at one mile over Laurel’s world-class turf course. The Primonetta, Clark and Dahlia are each among races that saw purse increases for 2018.

Four stakes are scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 27 topped by the $100,000 Frank Whiteley Jr. for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs and the $100,000 Marshua for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs. Older horses will be featured in the $100,000 Native Dancer and $100,000 Nellie Morse, both at 1 1/16 miles. All represent purse increases from 2017.

Laurel opens its winter-spring stakes schedule Saturday, Jan. 20 with the Fire Plug for 4-year-olds and up and the What a Summer for fillies and mares 4 and older, both at six furlongs. Both races received a $25,000 purse increase from 2017 to $100,000.