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Laurel Park Racing Info
Laurel Park (Laurel, MD)
(Racing Dates: 01/01/2020 - 03/22/2020, 03/27/2020 - 05/03/2020, 05/29/2020 - 08/23/2020, 09/11/2020 - 12/31/2020)
Laurel Park is an American thoroughbred racetrack located just outside Laurel, Maryland which opened in 1911. The track is 1 1⁄8 miles in circumference. Its name was changed to "Laurel Race Course" for several decades until returning to the "Laurel Park" designation in 1994.
Laurel Park Racecourse opened October 2, 1911 under the direction of the Laurel Four County Fair. In 1914, New York businessmen and prominent horsemen, Philip J. Dwyer and James Butler purchased the track and appointed Matt Winn as the general manager.
In 1918 the field was used by Army Engineers as a training camp before deployment to France. In 1946, a stable fire broke out with 60 horses saved. In 1947, the Maryland Jockey Club, which owned Timonium and Pimlico, purchased Laurel Park from the Butler estate with the idea of shifting the Pimlico meeting to Laurel.
After the Maryland General Assembly rejected the idea of replacing Pimlico with Laurel Park, the track was sold in 1950 to Morris Schapiro who had his youngest son, John D. Schapiro as the track's new president.
From 1950 to 1984, Laurel Park underwent a period of great change. The track was renamed Laurel Race Course and the Washington, D.C. International was introduced at 1 1⁄2 miles on the turf.
In 1953 Laurel opened a new clubhouse and turf club. In 1954, 14 horses were saved from another stable fire. In 1957 the grandstand was remodeled. In an effort to improve conditions for the International, Laurel lengthened its turf course from seven furlongs to one mile in 1959; simultaneously, the main track was extended from one mile to one mile and one-eighth. In 1964, an intentionally set stable fire destroyed 34 horses. In 1965, the trotting track was covered with an artificial 3M "Tartan Turf".
Laurel remodeled its clubhouse and grandstand to accommodate winter racing in 1966, enclosing the track's seating area with 30,000 square feet of half-inch-thick glass. In 1967, another fire was set on two stables which was mitigated by new sprinklers.
When Laurel was awarded the summer racing dates in 1982, the track installed an air conditioning system in the grandstand and clubhouse. In 1984, the 34-year Schapiro era ended with the sale of the track. READ MORE!
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