The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and Maryland Jockey Club have agreed to add racing days over the next several months to make up for cancellations in the winter and early spring because of weather conditions and EHV-1 restrictions, the MTHA announced.
EHV-1, from the family of the equine herpesvirus, is a contagious DNA virus that can cause respiratory and neurological disease. Numerous cases have been reported in Maryland.
Live racing had been scheduled for three days a week—Friday through Sunday—at Laurel Park in June and July. Seven Thursday programs have been added on June 3, 10, 17, and 24; and July 1, 8, and 15. The summer meet concludes with racing on a Friday through Sunday schedule until Aug. 22.
“We’re trying to make up days for the world’s trifecta—Mother Nature, COVID-19, and the EHV-1 quarantine,” MJC president Sal Sinatra said. “We’ll make up the opportunities as the races fill. And hopefully, we’ll be back to normal operations with our turf course in June after the Pimlico meet.”
MJC earlier announced that the Spring Stakes Spectacular program had been moved from April 17 to April 24. The track also delayed planned race dates of April 15-18 to April 17-19.
Only horses stabled at Laurel are eligible to enter through the end of the EHV-1 quarantine April 17. The quarantine at Pimlico Race Course is scheduled to end April 12.