Spike In Fatalities Leads To Examination Of Laurel Park Main Track – Horse Racing News

Laurel Park in Laurel, Md. (photo courtesy of Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, taken in April 2021)

What began as something officials called “routine maintenance” that would suspend training at Laurel Park in Laurel, Md., for one day on Nov. 29 has turned into a much more serious situation that could cause racing cancellations this week, according to Thoroughbred Daily News.

Seven horses have died at Laurel since Nov. 6, TDN reports, four as a result of racing injuries and three while training. Several of the fatalities occurred in mid-stretch, where track maintenance crews  and consultants have focused their efforts to examine the surface.

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.

Alan Foreman, who represents the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, told the TDN Friday’s live racing program could be in jeopardy. 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.