MJC, MTHA announce policy changes at Laurel Park

The Maryland Jockey Club is making a few policy changes at Laurel Park regarding access to facilities in response to Maryland Governor Hogan's authorization to enter into Phase 2 of his administration's Roadmap to Recovery plan. 

Effective Saturday, June 6, a limited number of owners will be permitted to watch races from the track apron. They will be required to follow the COVID-19 mitigation protocols already in place at Laurel such as adhering to social distancing of at least six feet and wearing face coverings.

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June 2020 Newsletter Available

newsletter2020 6The June 2020 edition of the Horsemen's Newsletter is now online and available for download. To view this edition click herearrow

The Horsemen's Newsletter is published monthly by the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and is mailed to licensed owners and trainers in the state of Maryland.


Important information on Lasix treatment times

The Maryland Jockey Club has advised horsemen to allow extra time when they ship to Laurel Park for racing. Because of COVID-19 protocols in place at the stable gate, horsemen should arrive early to ensure horses are treated with Lasix within the guidelines.

If you have any questions, contact Melanie, the Lasix Coordinator, at 443-631-4891. The following treatment times for the summer meet, which has first post of 12:40 p.m., are approximate and may vary slightly each day, per the MJC.

Lasix treatment times for summer meet by race and treatment time:

Race 1: 7:40-8:40 a.m.

Race 2: 8:10-9:10 a.m.

Race 3: 8:40-9:40 a.m.

Race 4: 9:10-10:10 a.m.

Race 5: 9:40-10:40 a.m.

Race 6: 10:10-11:10 a.m.

Race 7: 10:40-11:40 a.m.

Race 8: 11:10 a.m.-12:10 p.m.

Race 9: 11:40 a.m.-12:40 p.m.

Race 10: 12:10-1:10 p.m.

Protocols at the Horsemen’s Gate during live racing at Laurel Park

The Maryland Jockey Club has issued the following protocols for horsemen when they access Laurel Park through the Horsemen’s Gate during live racing. The protocols are effective May 30 when live racing resumes. 

  • Everyone entering through the Horsemen’s Gate must have a face covering and their Maryland Racing Commission badge. There are no exceptions.

  • Everyone will have their temperature checked as the enter. 
  • The trainer or their representative responsible for saddling the horse will be the only person allowed through the Horsemen’s Gate for their specific race. Once the race is finished, they must leave immediately through the Horsemen’s Gate. 
  • A racing official will be stationed at the Horsemen’s Gate to collect papers, coggins, colors, checks for the bookkeeper, or anything else that needs to go to the Racing Office. 
  • The claims box will be with the racing official at the Horsemen’s Gate, where a claim must still be dropped 10 minutes to post. No one will be allowed past the gate to observe the horses in the paddock. 
  • Any money that needs to get to the Horsemen’s Bookkeeper must either be wired (instructions are on the Laurel website) or be in the form of an official bank check made out to the Maryland Thoroughbred Purse Account and given to the racing official at the Horsemen's Gate. 
  • Please call the Racing Office if you are in need of papers or colors or anything else so we may get it out to the racing official at the Horsemen’s Gate. 
  • No family members, guests, owners, or jockey agents will be allowed through the Horsemen’s Gate. 
  • All grooms must have a MRC badge and face coverings once they leave the receiving barn or their respective barns to head to the paddock for their race. 

Laurel Park to resume live racing May 30

The Maryland Racing Commission May 28 approved the parameters of the Laurel Park summer meet, effectively allowing the track to reopen for live racing May 30 with only essential personnel permitted on the grounds.

Laurel will offer three racing programs its first week back—Saturday, Sunday and Monday (May 30-June 1)—and follow with three days of racing the following weekend. It's expected racing will be held twice a week thereafter on Fridays and Saturdays until further notice. Entries for the first threee days have already been drawn.

The Maryland Jockey Club submitted a request for 28 racing days for the Laurel summer meet. It was noted the facility will be closed to the public pending changes in state limits on the number of people allowed to attend events because of COVID-19.

The MJC, in conjunction with the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, The Stronach Group and MedStar Health, prepared a lengthy document outlining protocols and procedures necessary for COVID-19 mitigation when live racing commences at Laurel and presented it to state officials. Before racing was suspended in mid-March, Laurel raced three days with no patrons permitted under the governor’s executive order.

Many of the protocols and best practices are already in place for training in the stable areas at Laurel and Pimlico Race Course. The MJC said it contemplates “live racing only at Laurel Park for the duration of COVID-19 restrictions in order to limit the travel of personnel, horsemen and horses.”

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MJC to seek approval to begin racing at Laurel May 30

The Maryland Jockey Club will seek approval from the Maryland Racing Commission to commence live racing Saturday, May 30, for the first day of the Laurel Park condition book. Entries already have been drawn.

The industry fully expects official approval from the MRC to be granted during its meeting May 28. The second day of the condition book, for which entries have been drawn, is expected to be Sunday, May 31. The MTHA will provide an update after the meeting.

The MRC adopted several regulations before live racing was suspended in mid-March, and the MTHA and the MJC approved other changes designed to assist horsemen in advance of the resumption of live racing. The notices and reminders are available here.


Purse Release