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Concert Venues :: Laurel Park Racecourse


Now Known As Laurel Park
Date Opened 1911
Venue Capacity 15,185
Venue URL
Venue Address Racetrack Road & Route 198
Laurel, Maryland 20725

Venue Information

Laurel Park Racecourse opened October 2, 1911 under the direction of the Laurel Four County Fair. In 1914 James Butler purchased the track and appointed Matt Winn as its promoter and manager. In 1947, the Maryland Jockey Club, which owned Timonium and Pimlico, purchased Laurel Park. After the Maryland General Assembly rejected the idea of replacing Pimlico with Laurel Park, the track was sold to Morris Schapiro who had his son, John D. Schapiro, manage it.

From 1947 to 1984, Laurel Park underwent a period of great change. The track was renamed Laurel Race Course and the Washington, D.C. International was introduced at 1-1/2 miles on the turf. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the track was renovated extensively. In addition, it was awarded summer racing dates. In 1984, the track was sold to Frank J. DeFrancis and several business partners.

Laurel Park Racecourse was updated again with introduction of a Sports Palace facility, renovation of the clubhouse, and exterior improvements. In August 1989, Frank DeFrancis died and his son, Joe DeFrancis, began managing the track. In 1994 the tracks name returned to "Laurel Park". Yet more improvements included those to the main entrance, Grandstand interior and backstretch barns.

In 1998 Leucadia National Corporation acquired a significant interest in the Pimlico and Laurel tracks. A new backstretch housing facility followed, along with the opening of four clubhouse areas. Magna Entertainment Corp. bought majority control of the Maryland Jockey Club in 2002 and began another renovation of Laurel Parks track and facilty in 2004 with a nearly seven-month closure of Laurel Parks backstretch and racing surfaces for widening, extension and restoration of the dirt surface.

Venue Photos

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