Laurel fall stakes schedule features 32 races worth $3.25 million
Edited Press Release
The Maryland Jockey Club on Tuesday announced a $3.25 million fall stakes schedule featuring 32 stakes races (four graded) and five Super Saturdays with four or more stakes races.
Highlights of the fall program at renovated Laurel Park, which will offer five additional stakes and $150,000 more in purses than 2015, include:
Commonwealth Day on Saturday, Sept. 24 featuring three graded stakes - $200,000 Commonwealth Derby (G2), $200,000 Commonwealth Turf Cup (G2) and $150,000 Commonwealth Oaks (G3). Commonwealth Day will feature a total of eight turf stakes with total purses of $850,000.
Fall Festival Day on Saturday, Nov. 19 featuring the $250,000 Frank De Francis Dash (G3) and six other stakes with the day's total purses $825,000.
Laurel Turf Festival Saturday, Sept. 10 featuring three listed stakes - $150,000 Lady Baltimore, $100,000 Laurel Dash and $100,000 Laurel Turf Cup - as well as the $75,000 Laurel Futurity and $75,000 Selima.
The $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Futurity and Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship will be two of three stakes for Maryland-bred/Maryland-sired horses run Saturday, Dec. 10
Five stakes totaling $475,000, including the Dave's Friend, Thirty Eight Go Go and The Marylander, will be run Saturday, Dec. 31.
Laurel's stakes schedule does not include Jim McKay Maryland Million Day on Saturday, Oct. 22.
"We're looking forward to the fall racing season at Laurel and we're anticipating some great racing," said Maryland Jockey Club President and General Manager Sal Sinatra. "The fall season has always attracted full fields and top horses and horsemen from across the country. We're extremely grateful to the horsemen and fans who continue to support our program. We believe our fall program will include full competitive fields, great racing on our main track and turf course, and our Super Saturday programs and Jim McKay Maryland Million will bring out the best of Maryland racing as we continue to renovate and refurbish Laurel Park.”
The fall season kicks off with a bang on Saturday, Sept. 10 with six stakes on Laurel Turf Festival, five of them on the turf. The Laurel Futurity and Selima will be for 2-year-olds at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf while the Lady Baltimore, for fillies and mares, will be contested on a 1 1/16 mile course, the Laurel Dash at six furlongs and the Laurel Turf Cup at 1 1/2 miles. The $75,000 Shine Again will be run on the main track at seven furlongs.
Commonwealth Day will feature eight turf stakes, including the Commonwealth Derby and Oaks at 1 1/8 miles and the Commonwealth Turf Cup at a mile. The Derby, run at Colonial Downs prior to last year along with the Oaks and Turf Cup, has been won in the past by Kitten's Joy, English Channel and Gio Ponti. Winners of the Oaks have included Onus, My Typhoon and Dreaming of Anna.
The five other stakes on Commonwealth Day will be restricted to Virginia-breds or Virginia-sired horses with total purses $300,000.
The $75,000 Politely for fillies and mares at six furlongs and the $75,000 Challedon at seven furlongs will be run Oct. 1 before Laurel plays host Saturday, Oct. 22 to the 31st Jim McKay Maryland Million.
Laurel's Nov. 19 program will include the 26th running of the $250,000 Frank De Francis Dash for 3-year-olds and up along with six other stakes including the $100,000 Safely Kept, $100,000 City of Laurel and $100,000 James F Lewis.
The Maryland Juvenile Futurity and Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship will be contested Dec. 10 along with the $100,000 Willa On the Move and $75,000 Howard Bender Memorial.
Laurel's fall schedule will conclude Dec. 31 with five stakes totaling $475,000 including the one mile Thirty Eight Go Go and Jennings at a mile.
Photo courtesy of the Maryland Jockey Club