Laurel to race but public not permitted access; OTBs remain open

Effectively immediately, the Maryland Jockey Club said it will temporality close Laurel Park, Pimlico Race Course and Rosecroft Raceway to the public "with the utmost regard for the safety and well-being of our customers and employees and in following the best available guidance from local and international health authorities" regarding coronavirus.

Live racing will continue at Laurel and Rosecroft, but only personnel licensed by the Maryland Racing Commission and staff required to put on the racing product will be allowed access. Wagering on live and simulcast tracks will not be available at Laurel or Rosecroft, and no simulcasts will be offered at Pimlico.

The MJC said all seven off-track betting outlets—standalone facilities in Boonsboro, Frederick, Hampstead and Timonium and those located in Maryland casinos (Horseshoe Balitmore, MGM National Harbor and Hollywood Casino Perryville)—will remain open. Wagering is also available online through The Stronach Group's 1/ST Bet and Xpressbet apps and other advance deposit wagering providers.

"We will continue to monitor the situation and will look forward to welcoming our fans and guests again soon," the MJC said in a release.

Live racing is scheduled at Laurel on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in March. First-race post time is 1:10 p.m.

Horsemen invited to attend veterinary symposium in Maryland

The North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians this year is inviting horsemen to attend its spring symposium, which will be held April 9-10 in Hunt Valley, Md.

The two-day agenda begins Thursday at 3:15 p.m. and continues Friday with a full day of lectures from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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MD Senate passes sports betting legislation on 47-0 vote

The Maryland Senate March 10 passed a sports betting bill by a vote of 47-0 and will send it to the House of Delegates for consideration.

Multiple amendments were made to the bill last week. All of them were added to the legislation, which would authorize sports betting should the public approve a statewide constitutional amendment in November.

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MD Senate approves Racing Development Act on 44-1 vote

The Maryland Senate March 6 overwhelming passed the Racing and Community Development Act of 2020, which now goes to the House of Delegates for consideration.

There was no discussion before the vote, which was registered at 44-1. It came almost a year after Maryland lawmakers shot down a plan to rebuild Laurel Park but not Pimlico Race Course, which hosts the Preakness Stakes, third leg of the Triple Crown.

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Tullock returns to MJC as racing secretary

The Maryland Jockey Club March 5 announced that respected racing official Jillian Tullock has been appointed racing secretary at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course.

Tullock worked in nearly every capacity for the MJC from 1994-2019, including assistant racing secretary under Georganne Hale.

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MJC recommends precautions regarding coronavirus

The Maryland Jockey Club is taking precautionary measures in its barn areas and racetrack enclosures regarding coronavirus (COVID-19).

During a backstretch community meeting at Laurel Park March 5, Major Mike Singletary, Director Security for the MJC, said various procedures and protocols are being put in place at all racing facilities owned by The Stronach Group. The company held a meeting to that effect earlier in the day.

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