A STEP FORWARD AT LAUREL PARK
The entire width of Laurel Park’s main track will be open Tuesday morning, December 7 for the first time since November 28, the Maryland Jockey Club said via text message Monday afternoon.
The track will be open for normal training hours with “no dogs up,” the message read. However, workers will not be permitted; the track will be for galloping only.
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The track has drawn entries for its December 10 card. It is slated to draw for its Saturday card, which will include the Maryland Juvenile and Maryland Juvenile Fillies Stakes originally scheduled for December 4, on Wednesday.
Prior to that, however, will come Tuesday’s monthly meeting of the Maryland Racing Commission. Some Commissioners are expected to, at a minimum, push the Maryland Jockey Club for answers as to what has happened and how it can be rectified.
The MJC closed the track November 29 and was forced to cancel its most recent weekend of racing. That meant, among other things, that the December 4 Maryland Juvenile Championship and Juvenile Fillies Championship were both pushed off until December 11, assuming the track is operational by then.
The track closure was necessitated by a cluster of equine fatalities. Between November 6 and November 28, eight horses died at Laurel during racing or training. Seven of those horses had suffered fractures, while the eighth collapsed and died as a result of what the Racing Commission report termed “sudden death.”
The horses included three two-year-olds and four three-year-olds, including the undefeated Moquist, who was bound for stakes company. Only one had made more than seven previous starts, and one was unraced.
It was the second time this year that Laurel had been closed. In April, the MJC closed the track and shifted racing to Pimlico, during which time the company undertook an extensive renovation of the main track. Racing resumed at Laurel Park in September.