Overnight purses in Maryland to increase 15% for remainder of year

Overnight purses in Maryland will increase 15% across the board for the remainder of 2021 effective July 2, the next live racing at Pimlico Race Course. The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association Board of Directors unanimously approved the increase during its June 29 meeting.

The idea was to devise a higher purse schedule that Maryland can sustain through the end of the year.

The MTHA Board of Directors also voted to restore overnight purse distribution levels effective July 2. First place will be 60%, up from 57%; second place is 20%, down from 21%; third place is 10% rather than 11%; and fourth place will be 5% instead of 6%. Fifth place will be 3% (plus 1% for the fifth-through-last place bonus) and sixth place will be 2% (plus a 2% for the fifth-through-last place bonus). The 4% bonus remains in place for horses that finish seventh through last.

The Pimlico summer meet runs through Aug. 22 and Laurel is scheduled to begin its fall meet Sept. 10. In between, the Maryland State Fair at Timonium will race seven days from Aug. 27-Sept. 6. The increased purses will be in effect for the State Fair meet as well.

Turf racing at Pimlico suspended; stall transition begins

Turf racing at Pimlico Race Course will be suspended from Friday, June 25, through Sunday, June 27, to allow for maintenance of the course.

The Maryland Jockey Club June 24 said the maintenance is needed as a result of the extended meet at Pimlico, which originally was scheduled to end live racing May 31. Pimlico opened a few weeks early in late April and was approved to race through Aug. 22 because of the ongoing dirt surface reconstruction project at Laurel Park.

The MJC said the maintenance will allow the Pimlico turf course to be used through the end of the summer meet in late August.

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Leaf, Roadcap stables earn first two Timonium barn awards

Trainers Bobby Leaf and Laura Roadcap are the winners of the first two “best kept” barn awards at the Maryland State Fair at Timonium.

The State Fair, which currently is housing more than 550 horses from Laurel Park, the week of June 6 began recognizing trainers who keep the area around their barns spruced up. One barn is recognized each week for as long as the horses are stabled at Timonium during the reconstruction of the Laurel dirt track.

Andy Cashman, General Manager of the State Fair, said the judges walk the barns on a daily basis and take notes on trainers whose stabling and maintenance of the stables and road area are organized, raked and generally clean. Each judge selects the top three in their estimation and takes into consideration the work required for horsemen with a larger number of horses.

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Record gaming revenue in May fuels Purse Dedication Account

Maryland’s six casinos set a single-month gaming revenue record of $172.39 million in May, the second time in three months a record has been set, and the number is reflected in a strong figure for the Purse Dedication Account that is funded by revenue from video lottery terminals.

The previous single-month revenue record of $169.17 million was set in March 2021, according to Maryland Lottery and Gaming statistics.

The PDA, 80% of which is dedicated to Thoroughbred racing, collected $6.90 million in May, up from $6.64 million in April and $6.58 million in March. The Thoroughbred share in May was $5.52 million, and thus far for calendar year 2021, $24.08 million has been generated for Thoroughbred racing.

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Maryland State Fair Offering Barn Awards

The Maryland State Fair at Timonium, which currently is housing more than 550 horses from Laurel Park, will begin recognizing the “best kept” barns beginning the week of June 6.

Based on judging by Fair officials, the trainer whose stabling and maintenance of the road area is selected as best will be awarded $400, which will go to the staff of the trainer. There will be only one award per stable.

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Match Series Heads To Round Two

The Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Champion­ships Series (MATCH) continues Sunday, June 13, at Pimlico Race Course with the $100,000 Shine Again Stakes, the second of six stakes in the Filly and Mare Sprint—Dirt division for 2021.

The Shine Again, originally scheduled to be run at Laurel Park at seven furlongs, will be a six-furlong event. The Maryland Jockey Club Racing Office received 19 nominations, including several horses that competed in the May 15 Skipat Stakes, the first race of the division.

Pennsylvania-bred Chub Wagon, winner of the Skipat, ran her career record to six wins in six starts. The 4-year-old filly based at Parx Racing was entered in her first graded stakes, in New York June 5, but her connections indicated she would scratch and race in the Shine Again.

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