After Spike In Fatalities, Racing At Laurel Park Cancelled Through Dec. 5 - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

After Spike In Fatalities, Racing At Laurel Park Cancelled Through Dec. 5

In the wake of the news that seven horses have died during racing or training at Laurel Park since Nov. 6, the Maryland Jockey Club released the following statement on Thursday, Dec. 2:

“The Maryland Jockey Club today announced the cancellation of racing at Laurel Park through Sunday, December 5, as work continues to complete repairs to the track and to analyze recent equine injuries. While racing is suspended, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and the Maryland Jockey Club are working with industry experts to analyze surface composition and maintenance procedures directed at the safest possible racing surface.

“Until now, and through collaborative measures among industry participants, Maryland racing has experienced the lowest fatality rate in its history. The safety, health and welfare of equine athletes is the primary responsibility of all stakeholders in Maryland and must be taken seriously. The Maryland racing industry remains laser focused on this problem and collectively pledges to do whatever is necessary to ensure that Maryland's historic racing industry remains world-class.”

The Laurel Park main track was replaced earlier this year, closing in April after not responding satisfactorily to wintertime cushion repairs. Racing was moved on an emergency basis to Pimlico while a multi-million project replaced the cushion, base and substructure of the main track. It reopened for racing in September.

Stronach Group, which owns Laurel and Pimlico, has brought in California-based track consultant Dennis Moore to examine the surface. Horsemen have hired former Maryland Jockey Club track superintendent John Passero to offer his perspective.

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