MTHA approves Purse Bonus program, addition of days and races

In order to provide funds for owners and trainers in the wake of the recent cancellations of live racing programs, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association Board of Directors January 12 approved a 20% Purse Bonus on all overnight races through February 27 at Laurel Park.

In addition, the Maryland Jockey Club, during a meeting with the MTHA, agreed to add three Thursdays in February to the live racing calendar and said it will card at least 10 races a day in January and February when possible.

First post time has been moved to 12:10 p.m. in January to accommodate extra races.

Live racing at Laurel Park is scheduled to resume Sunday, January 16, after the cancellation of six racing programs due to a project that involves recomposition of the cushion material on the dirt track. Racing also is scheduled for Monday, January 17. Six stakes planned for Saturday, January 22, will move to Saturday, January 29.

A proposal to add live racing programs on Tuesday, January 18, and Wednesday, January 19, isn't feasible because of unavailable MRC personnel and required veterinarians. It was one of several suggestions made during an online community meeting held January 11 to provide an update on the racing surface project and solicit feedback from horsemen.

The complete racing schedule under the updated calendar is as follows: Jan. 16-17; Jan. 20-23; Jan. 27-30; Feb. 3-6; Feb. 10-13; Feb. 18-21; and Feb. 24-27 for a total of 26 days.

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