June 9, 2023

Laurel opens fall meet with higher purses, more stakes

Last updated: 9/4/12 12:17 PM

After a 15-week break, live racing will resume at a major Maryland track on
Wednesday. The 2012 fall meeting begins at Laurel with a first post of 1:10 p.m.
(EDT). Racing will take place four days a week through the end of the year on a
Wednesday through Saturday schedule, holidays excluded.

“Our last live racing day was Preakness day at Pimlico, so it will be good to
be back,” Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas said. “Expect to see plenty
of turf racing during the meet. For the bettors, we are bringing back the
Jackpot Pick 5, which was a very popular for us in May at Pimlico where the
Preakness week carryover grew to over $1 million. Since we have been away for
the summer, it is important to have a wager that could lead to a major payday.”

The Jackpot Pick 5 is a 50-cent minimum wager that pays the jackpot carryover
to a single, unique 50-cent ticket. Multiple winners or “best of fives” split 60
percent of the daily net pool. The remaining 40 percent of the daily net pool
builds the jackpot carryover.

One of the races expected in the opening day Jackpot Pick 5 wager is the
$100,000 Jameela for Maryland-bred fillies and mares.

The 69-day fall meeting will include average daily purses of $240,000. The
Maryland Horse Breeders Association will provide $25,000 to $50,000 bonuses for
Maryland-bred runners in 16 stakes races, meaning the 34 fall stakes could be
worth more than $4.1 million.

Chuckas indicated there will be promotions on the majority of Saturday
afternoons during the 17-week stand. The highlights include Racing 101 Day At
The Races (September 29), Crab Feast (September 29), Track Of Terror-Haunted
House and Dance Party (October 26), Oktoberfest (October 27), Laurel Cap
Giveaway (October 27) and Brew and Bourbon Blow Out (November 17). Visit
www.laurelpark.com for
more information.

From a racing standpoint, the headline events are the 27th running of the Jim
McKay Maryland Million Day for the offspring of Maryland-based stallions on
October 6 and the return of the Fall Festival of Racing three weeks later. That
card will feature five stakes races on the turf as well as the $350,000 Frank J.
De Francis Memorial Dash.

“The Maryland Million is the staple event of the Laurel fall meet,” Chuckas
said. “Bringing back the Fall Festival of Racing was important to us and we
thank the horsemen for working with us to not make it happen and also to be
willing to boost the purse of the Dash up $200,000 from a year ago. This will
help us draw some of the nation’s top sprinters not going to the Breeders’ Cup
the following weekend.”

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