Laurel Park winter stakes schedule announced

The Maryland Jockey Club today issued the following press release. The stakes schedule outlined here is subject to the state’s horsemen’s group reaching agreement with the track operator to continue racing beyond December 31.

Highlighted by a Winter Carnival program featuring the Barbara Fritchie (G3) and General George (G3) for older sprinters, as well as the start of Maryland’s series for 3-year-olds leading up to the 149th Preakness Stakes (G1), Laurel Park will offer 17 stakes worth $1.8 million in purses during its 2024 winter meet.

The 38-day winter stand begins Friday Jan. 5 and runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Saturday, March 30, with a 12:25 p.m. post time. There will be no live racing on Easter Sunday, March 31.

Stakes action begins Saturday, Jan. 20 with the $100,000 Fire Plug for 4-year-olds and up going 6 ½ furlongs and $100,000 What a Summer for fillies and mares 4 and older at six furlongs. Also on the program are a pair of $75,000 events restricted to Maryland-bred/sired horses, the Jennings for 4-year-olds and up and Geisha for females 4 and older, both at one mile.

Winter Carnival is set for Saturday, Feb. 17 led by the 70th running of the $200,000 Barbara Fritchie for fillies and mares 4 and up and 49th edition of the $200,000 General George for 4-year-olds and up, both sprinting seven furlongs. Older horses will go 1 1/8 miles in the $100,000 John B. Campbell and 1 1/16 miles in the $100,000 Nellie Morse, the latter for females.

Maryland’s second series of races for sophomores comes Saturday, Feb. 24 with the $100,000 Miracle Wood going one mile and $100,000 Wide Country for fillies sprinting seven furlongs.

Saturday, March 16 offers the $100,000 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial for 4-year-olds and up at one mile, and a pair of $75,000 sprints restricted to Maryland-bred/sired horses – the six-furlong Not For Love for 4-year-olds and up and seven-furlong Conniver for fillies and mares 4 and older.

The winter meet stakes schedule wraps up Saturday, March 23 with the $100,000 Private Terms for 3-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles and the $100,000 Beyond the Wire for 3-year-old fillies.