Laurel Park purses modified for March

As the March racing calendar kicked off, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association approved modifications to purses offered at Laurel Park through the end of March.

While the purses will now be less than they were during February, they still will be higher than they had been prior to the track issues that sidelined Maryland racing for a couple of weeks earlier this year.

During March, purses will be 10% higher than they were in December 2021. So, for example, a maiden special weight race will carry a purse of $50,600; a first-level allowance will go for $52,800; and a $5,000 claiming race will have a purse of $18,700.

Under the decision, agreed to at the MTHA’s March 3 meeting, purses will continue at this level through the end of March. At that time, the MTHA board will determine whether it’s financially feasible to continue the increased purse levels through April.

The initial purse bump had come in January, following a two-week shutdown caused by the need to winterize the Laurel main track. In order to make up for purse income lost, the MTHA decided to boost purses and add racing days through the end of February.

During that period, maiden special weight races carried a $55,200 purse, while first-level allowances went for $57,600.

Laurel Park will race three days a week through the end of March on a Friday-Sunday schedule.