Laurel Park

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Laurel Park

Laurel Park is a horse-racing track in Laurel, Maryland, United States. It opened in 1911, at Laurel Race Track Rd.

History

It was opened on October 2, 1911, under the management of the Laurel Four County Fair. In 1914, Philip J. Dwyer and James Butler purchased the track and appointed Matt Winn as the general manager. In 1918, the field was utilized by the Army Engineers as a training camp. In 1946, a fire broke out in the stables; fortunately, they saved 60 horses. In 1947, the Maryland Jockey Club, owned by Timonium and Pimlico, purchased the Laurel Park from the Butler estate to shift the Pimlico meeting to Laurel. However, Maryland General Assembly rejected the idea. Hence, the track was sold in 1950 to Morris Schapiro and appointed his youngest son, John D. Schapiro as the new president of the track.

Since then until 1984, the race track had gone many changes under the Schapiro era. One of which is the revision of its name from Laurel Park to Laurel Race Course, and the Washington, D.C. International was introduced at 1 1⁄2 miles on the turf. The track also opened a new clubhouse and turf club in 1953, and then the next year (1954), another stable fire occurred and only saved 14 horses. They remodeled the grandstand and the turf, but another fire broke out in 1964 and ruined 34 horses. Another remodeling happened (clubhouse and grandstand). Unfortunately, another fire was set on two stables but was alleviated by the new sprinklers. In 1982, the track installed an air conditioning system in the grandstand and clubhouse. But in 1984, the 34-year Schapiro era ended when governor Harry Hughes’s selection purchased it for Economic Development secretary Frank J. De Francis and his partners, Robert and John “Tommy” Manfuso. Then in August 1989, Frank DeFrancis died, so his son Joe DeFrancis served as president of Laurel and Pimlico. In 1994 the track’s name then returned to its original name, “Laurel Park”.

The renovation and remodeling of the track did not stop there, but it also went into bankruptcy in 2009. Hence, it was bought by the Stronach Group, the track’s current owner, until its current physical appearance.

Track Details

Its dirt track is one-mile and 600 feet oval with a 7 1⁄2 furlong chute to the first finish line. One turn mile chute to the second finish line. The stretch length from the last turn to the first finish line is 1,089 feet, while the stretch from the last turn to the second finish line is 1,419 feet, and the track width is 95 feet. The turf is 7/8 mile, and 254 feet is inside the main track. The stretch length is 1,089 feet to the finish line, and the width of turf is 142 feet. The turf composition is sandy loam. They also have 1058 stalls and accommodation for 116 rooms +20 for stakes. The track kitchen is located off the backstretch between ½ mile pole and 3/8 pole.

Contact

Laurel Park

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