Laurel Park Picks

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Race # Name Purse Distance Sex # Horses Surface Time  
1 Claiming 25K $35000 1M Filly & Mare 10 Turf 00:25
2 Claiming 12K $26000 11/16M Gelding 7 Dirt 00:56
3 Maiden 45K $44000 5F Gelding & Colt 9 Turf 13:27
4 Maiden 12K $25000 5F Gelding & Colt 10 Dirt 13:57
5 Claiming 12K $26000 11/16M Gelding & Horse 10 Turf 14:25
6 Claiming 30K $40000 11/8M Gelding 10 Dirt 14:55
7 Allowance $48000 5F Gelding & Filly 11 Turf 15:25
8 Allowance $70000 1M Gelding 8 Dirt 15:55
9 Maiden 45K $44000 5F Colt & Gelding 9 Turf 16:27
10 Allowance $6265 1.75M Horse 8 Dirt 17:00
11 Allowance $4150 11/2M Horse 10 Dirt 17:30
12 Allowance $5826 1.5M Filly 8 Dirt 18:00
13 Allowance $5826 1.5M Colt 15 Dirt 18:30
14 Allowance $4350 1.5M Horse & Mare 15 Dirt 19:00

About Laurel Park

Laurel Park is one of the most popular racetracks in North America and is located in Laurel, just outside Maryland. It is positioned between Washington DC and Baltimore and has a long and impressive history. It has been hosting regular race-days since 1911 and has fluctuated between the names of ‘Laurel Park’ and ‘Laurel Racecourse’ during its illustrious history. It is currently owned by the Stronach Group and hosts racing all year round. There are 168 race-days throughout the course of the year and is one of the most established racetracks in the region.

The track is a mile and 1/18 in circumference with a 7 ½ furlong chute to the first finish line. There is a one-mile chute to the second finish line, and the width of the dirt track is 95 feet.

The turf course is 7/8 of a mile and is composed of sandy loam.

There are 1058 stalls in total, which comes in particularly handy during high profile race-days and during the Maryland Million stakes event in October.

The track is positioned within easy access to public transport, and regularly attracts a decent-sized crowd with an annual attendance of over 670,000.

Laurel Park Track History

Laurel Park racetrack was opened in October 1911 by New York businessman Phillip J. Dwyer and James Butler purchasing the track. Racing was fairly sporadic at this early stage, and the venue was used for other purposes with US Army engineers opening a training camp in 1918 ahead of their deployment to France.

One of the most harrowing moments in the track’s history came in 1946 when a stable fire broke out. Luckily, no horses were harmed with 60 thoroughbreds being moved away from the course as a result.

The track changed hands a few times over the following decade with the Maryland Jockey Club and Morris Schapiro both owning the track for short periods.

From 1950 onwards, the track underwent a number of improvements with a new clubhouse and turf club added, whilst the grandstand was remodeled and refurbished in 1957. The Washington DC International Stakes was also added to the racing calendar around this time and helped attract a number of top horsemen to the track.

The addition of this superb contest helped attract European competitors to Maryland, and as a result, they were forced to lengthen the turf course to one mile while the main track was also extended beyond the mile.

Another fire broke out at Laurel Park in 1964, killing 34 horses.

The facilities underwent another major refurbishment in 1966, and this helped accommodate winter racing as Laurel Park extended its year-round offering. Summer racing was added to the schedule in 1982, with the track becoming one of the most prominent locations for thoroughbred racing In North America.

Robbie and John Mafuso purchased the track in 1984, and ten years later the track returned to its original Laurel Park moniker. Further improvements soon followed with the main entrance getting a much-needed makeover.

Four new clubhouse areas opened in 1999 as part of a $16million multi-year upgrade with a simulcast betting area also added to the track.

Magna Entertainment Group purchased the track in 2002 and aimed to take thoroughbred racing to the next level at Laurel Park. Both racing surfaces were widened in 2005 under their jurisdiction.

A proposal to add slot machines to the track was rebuffed in 2013, with the money being used to improve track facilities and improve their all-year-round racing program.

A GPS-based timing system was used for the first time at the track in 2018.

A number of hall-of-fame stars such as War Admiral, Sir Barton, and Affirmed all won at the track en-route to further success. Rapid Redux completed an amazing 22-race winning streak at the track in 2012.

Laurel Park Configuration and Track Bias

Laurel Park is one of the widest courses in North America, and this helps eliminate any bias towards frontrunners. Field sizes on the turf tend to be a decent size, and there is often an even spread of winners across the card.

Compared to a number of other tracks in the region, Laurel Park does tend to slightly favor closers. Runners who begin to make their move around the turn will often find that they have plenty of space to stretch out and find enough room to manoeuvre.

Laurel Park also sees a fair share of big price runners entering the winner’s enclosure.

Winning Post Positions

On the turf course, being drawn in the middle appears to be hugely beneficial. Stalls four and five have produced the highest number of winners so far in 2019.

Although it’s a relatively small sample size, almost 38% of winners in 2019 have come from either of these two stalls. The inside stalls have proved largely barren so far, with the inside post produced very few winners.

Stalls six and seven have almost identical records so far, each producing 16.7% of winners during the latest meet.

On the main dirt track, there is no obvious bias when it comes to post positions in sprint events. Stall seven is the most profitable, although this % is slightly skewed by a smaller number of runners being drawn in this position.

Over the longer trip, the outside stalls have a distinct advantage with stalls seven and eight producing a high number of winners so far. Just 18% of winners came from the two inside posts, which is yet further evidence that the wider track at Laurel clearly helps horses who are drawn wide.

Laurel Park Racing Season

Laurel Park is one of a handful of North American tracks which hosts racing all year round. There are 171 race-days throughout the course of the year, with regular meets on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Although the majority of these meets will consist of a mixture of maidens, claimers and allowance contests, there are also a number of valuable race-days which features stakes contests.

There are a number of key races taking place each year:

Grade I:

Frank J DeFrancis Memorial Dash Stakes

Grade II:

Barbara Fritchie Handicap, Baltimore Washington International Turf Cup, General George Handicap, Commonwealth Derby

Grade III:

All Along Stakes, Safely Kept Stakes, Commonwealth Oaks.

Showcase Stakes Races:

Maryland Million Classic, Maryland Million Ladies, Maryland Million Turf, Maryland Million Sprint Handicap, Maryland Million Distaff Handicap, Maryland Oaks, Maryland Nursery, Maryland Million Lassie, Maryland Million Turf Sprint Handicap.

Laurel Park Racetrack Address

198 Laurel Race Track Rd, Laurel, MD 20725, USA

Laurel Park Best Jockeys and Trainers

A number of top horsemen tend to visit the track on a regular basis throughout the season, and there are a number of top trainers who possess tremendous records at the Maryland venue.

There are a number of jockeys who regularly ride winners at Laurel Park, and many of these riders know every single yard of the track. They are specialists at getting the most out of their mounts, and their presence should be factored in by handicappers.

Top Jockeys
Jockey Races Win Rate Place Rate Show Rate
Rivera Jr Luis R 110 28.18% 30.91% 50.00%
Russell Sheldon 169 21.89% 34.32% 43.20%
Barbosa Jeiron 581 20.14% 40.28% 52.84%
Aviles Yan 162 19.75% 30.25% 39.51%
Monterrey Richard 121 19.01% 24.79% 24.79%
Perez Xavier 334 18.56% 28.74% 42.81%
Gomez Kevin 259 16.99% 24.32% 38.61%
Cruz Angel 580 16.38% 30.34% 42.24%
Boyce Forest 188 15.43% 31.38% 41.49%
Rodriguez Jaime 364 15.11% 36.26% 61.81%
Top Trainers
Trainer Races Win Rate Place Rate Show Rate
Meyers Madison F 40 50.00% 50.00% 50.00%
De Paz Horacio 40 32.50% 50.00% 67.50%
Russell Brittany T 289 29.76% 51.56% 67.82%
Capuano Gary 41 29.27% 43.90% 43.90%
Robb John J 297 27.95% 35.69% 48.82%
Frock Charles L 63 23.81% 44.44% 55.56%
Stidham Michael 39 23.08% 51.28% 51.28%
Magee Kieron 232 22.84% 51.72% 65.95%
Gorham Michael E 150 22.00% 42.67% 56.00%
Geralis Emanuel J 54 20.37% 33.33% 55.56%