Laurel Park Racecourse

Laurel Park Racecourse

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Laurel Park Racecourse

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Description:
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. Repeated renovations have marked the course's nearly 100 years of operation, though Maryland's horse racing industry is flagging. Slot machines are seen as a possible revenue source to keep the course in operation.

History

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 its promoter and manager. In 1947, the Maryland Jockey Club, which owned Timonium and Pimlico, purchased Laurel Park. After the Maryland General Assembly rejected the idea of replacing Pimlico with Laurel Park, the track was sold to Morris Schapiro who had his son, John D. Schapiro, manage it.

The track was originally founded by James Laurel Jr.From 1947 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 1½ miles on the turf. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the track was renovated extensively. In addition, it was awarded summer racing dates. In 1984, the track was sold to Frank J. DeFrancis and several...
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