- Published: Thursday, 19 March 2020 17:29
The Laurel Park stable area will be closed to horses other than those based at Laurel and Pimlico Race Course, effectively immediately.
Shippers will not be permitted, and any that had been entered for the programs of Friday, March 20, and Saturday, March 21, at Laurel will be scratched.
The decision is part of a series of precautionary and safety measures put in place by the Maryland Jockey Club and Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association given the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. The MJC announced that any horses that ship to other tracks to race will not be permitted back to Laurel or Pimlico.
Laurel Park is scheduled to offer an 10-race card March 20 and an 11-race card March 21 with access severely limited to essential racing personnel only. Owners will not be permitted to MJC facilities including the stable area.
MJC closed Laurel Park to patrons effective March 13, and that policy continues.
In addition, the MTHA Board of Directors has announced that, though current purse levels remain in place for the time being, it unanimously voted to reduce the 4% purse bonus for horses that place fifth through last to 2%, effective immediately. Going forward, fifth-place will receive 3% and sixth through last will be 2%.
The percentage will be reassessed at a later date.