DAY 2: Weather A Big Help In Track Renovation Project

The track maintenance crew at Laurel Park Aug. 22 continued to remove the cushion on the main track with a goal of having the base exposed by the end of the day.

With a chance for stray thunderstorms later in the day and evening, work began earlier in the morning, Maryland Jockey Club President Sal Sinatra said. The forecast for the next week or so, however, calls for dry conditions.

“This might have been the perfect week to do this,” Sinatra said. “They started taking the dirt off Monday, and we brought in a third grader to speed up the process. I made sure they all understand the importance of getting the track fixed and back to the horsemen as quickly as possible.”

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DAY 1: Laurel Surface Renovation Begins As Planned

Renovation of the main track at Laurel Park began as planned Aug. 21 as equipment began stripping away the surface to get to the base.

Removal of the surface is expected to take two days, and replacement of it another two days. The length of the project will hinge on the examination of the base, drainage improvements, and the weather.

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Multiple Owners Tie For Meet Title; Gonzales, Carrasco Win Outright

Four owners tied with six wins each while Claudio Gonzalez and Victor Carrasco captured the trainer and jockey titles, respectively, outright during the Laurel Park spring/summer meet that ended Aug. 20.

The top owners for the meet that began June 9 were R. Larry Johnson (pictured), Sagamore Farm, BB Horses and Robert Bone.

Johnson, a member of the MTHA Board of Directors, led the way in total earnings for the meet with $225,158 from 29 starts; Sagamore was second with $192,275.

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Renovation Of Laurel Park Main Track To Begin

For the first time since the mid-2000s, the main track at Laurel Park will be peeled back so the base can be examined in a project set to begin Aug. 21.

The work will be done during a break in the action at Laurel while the Maryland State Fair at Timonium holds its seven-day race meet from Aug. 25-Sept. 4. Laurel will begin its final meet of the year Sept. 8, but Maryland Jockey Club President Sal Sinatra said the goal is to get the track renovation completed as soon as possible.

“We’d like to get the track back to the horsemen as soon as possible for training purposes,” Sinatra said. “The weather, as it looks now, is supposed to be pretty good next week.”

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2017 Board of Directors Election Results

The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Aug. 18 announced the results of its 2017 election for the board of directors, which consists of seven owner representatives, seven trainer representatives and one at-large representative.

The final day for receipt of ballots by Election Trust of Bellevue, Wash., was Aug. 15. The final certified results, based on 519 valid ballots counted beginning July 22, are as follows:

Owner directors: Linda Gaudet, JoAnn Hayden, Michael Horning, R. Larry Johnson, Mark Lapidus, Robert Manfuso, and Charles “Chip” Reed. Lapidus is new to the MTHA board.

Trainer directors: A. Ferris Allen III, Dale Capuano, Timothy Keefe, H. Graham Motion, Philip Schoenthal, Michael Trombetta, and Katharine Voss. Schoenthal is new to the MTHA board.

At-large director: Trainer Hugh McMahon, who received the next-highest vote total from either the owner or trainer category. McMahon is new to the MTHA board.

According to Election Trust, an independent vote-counting firm, the total number of paper ballots mailed and presumed received was 2,320, which puts the voting participation rate at 22.3%.

MTHA elections are held once every three years. In all, 15 owners and 14 trainers were on this year’s ballot.

Backstretch Appreciation Day - September 19, 1-4pm

The MTHA will celebrate the unsung heroes of the state’s racing industry during its annual Backstretch Appreciation Day, which will be held Tuesday, Sept. 19.

The event, scheduled for 1-4 p.m., will be held under a tent on the racetrack apron at Laurel Park, which was the case last year.


The MTHA recognizes not only the hands-on care and attention backstretch workers provide racehorses on a daily basis, but also the unusual hours such jobs require. Family is a very important part of that equation, and the MTHA encourages workers to invite their family members for an afternoon of food, games, and cash giveaways.
The Maryland Jockey Club last year began offering cash prizes to Backstretch Appreciation Day attendees and will do so again this year. Plans call for $2,500 in cash to be awarded along with various door prizes.

Similar to last year, Russell Clark Catering will prepare an all-you-can-eat barbecue featuring chicken, pit beef and ham, as well as a variety of salads and side dishes and non-alcoholic beverages. The MTHA again has arranged for a DJ from Carlyle Entertainment to provide the sounds for the afternoon party.

If you’re looking for a little exercise other than dancing, adults and children will be welcome to play horseshoes, cornhole and other games.The Board and staff of the MTHA encourages all to attend to celebrate the work and dedication of those who work with our equine athletes on a daily basis throughout the year.

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