October 6, 2005
If you're a fan of Maryland horseracing, you'll want to be at the Maryland Million at Laurel Park on Saturday. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the racing event, which is restricted to the offspring of Maryland stallions. Racing fans will see Maryland horses compete in 12 races, with purses totaling nearly $1.5 million. In addition to watching the races, visitors can attend an autograph-signing by Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, watch musical performances by the Marine Corps Marching Band and see the Maryland Million Horse Fair.
April 30, 1993
CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- Racing fans can watch and wager on the 119th running of the Kentucky Derby tomorrow, when the Charles Town Races presents the race as part of a full-card simulcast-live racing tripleheader.Wagers on the Kentucky Derby will be commingled with those placed at Churchill Downs and numerous other simulcast outlets.Gates for Charles Town's Churchill Downs Derby Day simulcast open at 10:30 a.m., and the first 1,000 fans paying full regular admission will receive a souvenir Kentucky Derby glass.
November 1, 2003
The wrecking ball began swinging its way two weeks ago through the old wooden, steel and glass grandstand at Bowie Race Course, where for 71 drama-filled years horseplayers cheered winners and mourned losers. Perfect Park, ironically, won the last race before 12,012 racing fans at the Prince George's County race track, which closed on July 13, 1985. While departing fans were serenaded over the public address system by a recording of Guy Lombardo's "Thanks for The Memories," the infield board flashed its final message: "Bowie: 1914-1985.
May 14, 2003
There aren't many sure things in horse racing, but state officials say that Saturday's Preakness Stakes - and the surrounding hoopla - are a safe bet to pump $60 million into Baltimore's economy. The city's major hotels say they have to turn away thousands of potential guests, and spending on food, drinks and transportation is solid. In some cases, the annual windfall represents a company's biggest day of the year. Even with Pimlico Race Course's aging facilities, the event is a dependable economic boost because the winner of the Kentucky Derby nearly always runs in the Preakness, giving racing fans hope of seeing the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
July 20, 1991
LAUREL -- The late Frank De Francis had a knack for knowing what turned racing fans on. Although he was a self-styled king of promotion, De Francis knew that no amount of promotion could top the legitimacy of a race among top-class horses.So when Safely Kept and Housebuster meet for the first time in today's second Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel Race Course, the ideals of De Francis, who died nearly two years ago, will be uppermost in the mind of his son, Joe De Francis."The thing my dad never forgot," said De Francis, who has assumed the legacy of his father as controlling owner and president of Laurel and Pimlico race courses, "was that he was selling horse racing.
May 15, 2009
Maryland is fortunate to be a state with a long history rich in traditions - including the horse racing industry, which dates back to the Colonial era. The Maryland Jockey Club is almost 250 years old. In 1771, George Washington wrote that he came to Annapolis to watch and bet on the Maryland horse races. Saturday, the Preakness Stakes will be run for the 134th time. As other professional sports have evolved and prospered in our state, we have slowly started to lose this tradition upon which much of our agricultural heritage is founded.