LAUREL -- Racing fans can get a quick start from the gate today when Laurel Race Course begins a 15-race program at 10:30 a.m.
A live eight-race program, highlighted by the $75,000 Find Handicap, will be followed by simulcasts of the seven Breeders' Cup races. Post time for the first Breeders' Cup event, the Sprint, is 1:55 p.m.
On a normal racing day, a showdown in the Find between Master Speaker and Baron de Vaux may have merited considerable attention. Master Speaker might be the best older horse in Maryland and Baron de Vaux the best 3-year-old. The two have not met.
The program starts with an unusually rich race -- a $40,000 allowance. "It just worked out that way," racing secretary Larry Abbundi said when asked whether such an attractive race was used to entice fans to come early. "Three of the eight races are on the turf, and I had to spread them out."
With the expanded program, the betting format has been rearranged. Pick Three wagering will be on races 2-3-4 and 6-7-8. Triples will be on races 4, 7, 11 and 12.
The track would have offered more Triple races, but state racing rules will not allow Triples on races with stable entries. There are entries in five Breeders' Cup races.
Wagering on all 15 races also is available at the Pimlico Race Course intertrack outlet.
* Jockey Edgar Prado will be out 10 days to two weeks after undergoing surgery Thursday night for a kidney injury.
Prado's agent, Steve Rushing, said Prado originally was believed to have kidney stones, but doctors found a small tear in a tube leading from the kidney. Rushing said Prado was told that the injury probably was the result of one of several falls in which the jockey was involved this year.
Prado, 23, leads the Laurel jockey standings with 42 victories, 13 more than Joe Rocco, who rode three winners yesterday.