Laurel Park live racing on hiatus “until further notice”

by | Mar 20, 2020 | Breaking, Business, Maryland, MD Business, Top Stories

Laurel Park

Racing at Laurel Park without fans. Photo by Allison Janezic.

In the end all the changes didn’t matter.

The decision to race without owners, as well as fans; a protocol requiring people entering Laurel Park to have their temperature taken; a ban on shippers: none of it mattered.

Laurel Park will cease racing “until further notice,” the track announced this morning via text message, a decision taken “because of orders from Maryland Governor Hogan.”

The track had raced without fans last weekend, creating a somewhat odd spectacle, especially on Saturday when the track hosted four stakes races. On Sunday, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) issued an order closing all racetracks, off-track wagering facilities, and casinos to the “general public.”

That set off a scramble, which saw Laurel introduce new and tightened restrictions seemingly every day to limit attendance at the races to only”essential racing personnel.”

Heading into the weekend, it seemed the changes would be sufficient. Laurel has already drawn for the entire weekend, and two races from Laurel were set to be part of Friday’s now-canceled Stronach 5.

Now Laurel Park — like Parx Racing and Penn National in Pennsylvania, and Aqueduct in New York, among others — is shut down by the coronavirus.

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About The Author

Frank Vespe

Frank Vespe, the founder and publisher of The Racing Biz, has owned, bought, sold, claimed, written, and talked about horses, in varying combinations, for a decade. Email him at [email protected] or follow him on twitter @TheRacingBiz.

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