Maryland is known for a lot of things – crab cakes, sailing, baseball and Thoroughbred horse racing. While the centerpiece of Maryland horse racing is the second jewel of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, there is competitive racing year-round so a horse racing fan never has to go far to enjoy the sport. The Maryland horse racing industry continues to thrive and develop despite competition from neighboring states.
There are several racetracks located throughout the state, each with a deep history and competitive action, as well as several off track betting facilities.
Maryland Off Track Betting Sites
Even if you cannot make it to Maryland to enjoy the live racing action from Pimlico or Laurel Park in person, you can still get in on the excitement through one of these recommended racebooks. With an online racebook, wagering on horse racing is safe, secure and convenient – you can cash in on exclusive rebates and incentives all from the a computer or mobile device.
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Maryland Horse Race Tracks
There are several racetracks in Maryland which feature a mix of top class stakes action as well as competitive day to day racing that is sure to satisfy any horseplayer. The breeding industry in Maryland has been revitalized in recent years so there are more and more races exclusively for horses bred in Maryland.
Pimlico Race Course
Pimlico Race Course, located in Baltimore, opened in 1870 and has one of the oldest and richest histories of any track in America. Though in recent years the track has faced some economic hardships, it is still the home of one of the most important races of the year – the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown. Known as “Old Hilltop”, live racing season at Pimlico runs throughout the month of May.
Pimlico Race Course has a one mile dirt oval and a seven furlong turf course. The track is known for a large infield party during the Preakness Stakes. The Preakness Stakes is the lone Grade 1 remaining at the track but there are nine other graded stakes including the Dixie Stakes (G2), Black Eyed Susan Stakes (G2), Pimlico Special (G3) and more.
While neighboring Pimlico has struggled in recent years, Laurel Park has continued to thrive. Opened in 1911 and located in Laurel, the track is currently owned and operated by the Stronach Group. Live racing is held from January through May each year and again in the fall.
The main track is a mile and an eighth and inside of that is a one mile turf course. While the track is subject to winter weather conditions at times, the track is known for being both safe and fair. There are over a half dozen graded stakes races held annually at Laurel Park and the premier event is the Grade 1 Frank J. DeFrancis Memorial Dash which attracts some of the best sprinters in the country.
One of the highlights of the racing season at Laurel Park is Maryland Million Day which is a showcase for the local breeding program and offers a day of racing with generous purses restricted to Maryland-bred racehorses. It began in 1986 and has been one of the most popular events in Maryland racing since then.