Laurel, Pimlico approved for 177 racing dates in 2020

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: Nov. 21, 2019

The Maryland Racing Commission Nov. 21 approved 177 live racing days at the Maryland Jockey Club tracks for 2020.

Laurel Park was approved for 165 days and Pimlico Race Course for 12 days. A seven-day meet for the Maryland State Fair at Timonium was approved at the MRC’s October meeting.

The Laurel winter meet will run from Jan. 1-March 29 with racing four days a week (Thursday through Sunday and two holiday Mondays) in January and February and three days a week (Friday through Sunday) in March.

For the spring meet from April 2-May 3, racing is scheduled for Thursdays through Sundays with Easter a dark day.

Pimlico will race from May 7-25. Racing will be offered Thursdays through Sundays with the exception of May 17, the Sunday following Preakness Stakes Day. The meet will end on Memorial Day.

The Laurel summer meet (May 29-Aug. 23) will feature racing on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Timonium will race Aug. 28-30 and Sept. 4-7.

The Laurel fall meet begins Sept. 11 and ends Dec. 31 with racing four days a week (Thursday through Sunday) in September, October and November, and three days a week (Friday through Sunday) in December. There will be racing Columbus Day and Thanksgiving Day.

An earlier proposal called for three-day-a-week racing in January and February, but that was altered after talks between the MJC and Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. The 2020 schedule represents a reduction of three days—all at Laurel—from the calendar approved for 2019.

“The horsemen felt they would have enough stock this coming winter,” MJC President Sal Sinatra said. “We always work with the horsemen as best we can, but we also want to be prudent with purse money.”

Download 2020 schedule.

(Laurel Park photo by Tom LaMarra)