Laurel Park in the fall. (Maryland Jockey Club)
• Fridays – Sundays Through Dec. 31; No Racing Dec. 24-25
• Juvenile Stakes, Toy Drive, Calendar Giveaway on Saturday
David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club
LAUREL, Md. – The calendar year-ending fall meet moves to a three-day weekend schedule when live racing resumes Friday at Laurel Park.
Post time for the first of nine races is 12:25 p.m.
Live racing will be conducted Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 31 with the exception of Christmas Eve, Sunday, Dec. 24, though Laurel will remain open for simulcasting that day. Laurel will be closed Christmas Day.
A dozen Maryland-bred/sired 3-year-olds and up were entered for a six-furlong allowance in Race 6, where 57 Strong’s Take a Hint is the 9-5 program favorite. One of five sophomores in the field, the Bandbox gelding has been third or better in all seven starts this year, two of them wins, and was beaten a head when second in a similar spot against open company Nov. 16 at Laurel.
Race 7 is a second-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/8 miles. Morris Kernan, Yo Berbs and Jagger Inc.’s American Unity, trained and co-owned by Jamie Ness, chases a fifth consecutive victory. Three of them have come on turf, including a 1 1/16-mile optional claimer last out Nov. 3 at Laurel. The Addison Pour, third by a head and a neck in successive turf starts, returns to the main track.
The feature comes in Race 8, a third-level optional claiming allowance for fillies and mares 3 and up sprinting six furlongs. The 4-year-old filly Beneath the Stars, stakes-placed at 2 and 3, drew the rail looking for a second straight win. New York shipper Quick Munny is favored at 7-5 off a runner-up finish in a two-other-than Oct. 28 at Aqueduct. Prodigy Doll, winner of the 2021 Cheryl White Memorial and stakes-placed three times since, breaks from outermost Post 6.
Saturday’s nine-race card is highlighted by a pair of stakes for Maryland-bred/sired 2-year-olds sprinting seven furlongs, the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile and $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly.
In addition, Laurel will be hosting a holiday toy drive to benefit the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. Fans that bring in a new, unwrapped toy (no stuffed animals) or make a monetary donation will receive a $5 voucher to the coffee and hot chocolate bar located in the grandstand. Toys will be distributed by the MTHA in the Laurel track kitchen Saturday, Dec. 23.
Also, all fans will receive a free 2024 calendar, one per person, while supplies last.