Tracks on course for big holiday cards


Whatever your betting tastes, local racetracks seem to offer it on their Memorial Day weekend cards.

A quick survey of seven area tracks -- four flat, two harness and one steeplechase -- shows that in the next three days, 172 races will be run at four Maryland tracks and one each in Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

There will be 155 live races, programmed for about 1,000 horses in this area, plus 17 simulcasts of stakes events from New York, California, Illinois, Kentucky and Massachusetts. The live races will feature thoroughbreds, standard-breds, jumpers and Arabians.

Tracks will be giving away everything from free Orioles tickets at Pimlico Race Course to T-shirts and mugs at the Penn National and Charles Town courses. Delaware Park offers the most elaborate live entertainment -- a Caribbean fest with a steel band in the Picnic Grove tomorrow and a Best Body Contest -- for humans -- on Monday.

Two of the seven tracks will be closed on Memorial Day. They are Rosecroft Raceway at Fort Washington and the state's other trotting track, Delmarva Downs, near Ocean City. But both tracks are open tonight and tomorrow night.

Here is a quick rundown of local racing action this weekend:

* Pimlico Race Course (thoroughbreds in Baltimore):

Post time each day is 1 p.m.

Today: 12 races, 10 live. The stakes feature is the Lady Baltimore Handicap on the turf for older fillies and mares. Simulcasts include the Budweiser Breeders' Cup from Garden State Park and the Acorn Stakes from Belmont Park.

At 11:30 a.m., there is a Town Meeting on the second floor of the grandstand, which provides a forum for fans to meet and question track management.

Tomorrow: 12 races, 11 live. An allowance race for 3 year-old fillies on the grass is the feature. The simulcast is the Peter Pan Stakes (Belmont Park).

Monday: 12 races, 10 live. The first 3,000 paying customers receive a free ticket to an Orioles home game. The feature is the Roman Handicap for older turf sprinters. The simulcasts are the Metropolitan Mile (Belmont) and Jersey Derby (Garden State).

* Rosecroft, Fort Washington, and Delmarva Downs, Ocean City (harness):

Tonight and tomorrow night: 12 live races, plus cross-simulcasting between both tracks. Closed Monday. Post time at Rosecroft is 7:30 tonight; 6:30 p.m. tomorrow. Post time at Delmarva Downs is 7:40 tonight; 6:40 p.m. tomorrow.

* Fair Hill, Elkton (steeplechase):

Monday: There are nine live races. Post time is 1 p.m. The feature is the Miles Valentine Novice Stakes, 2-3/8 miles over 16 jumps.

* Delaware Park, Stanton, Del. (Thoroughbreds and Arabians):

Post time is 1 p.m. each day.

Today: 13 races, 12 live. There is one simulcast (Acorn Stakes). Admission is free.

Tomorrow: 12 races, 11 live. The feature is the Christiana Stakes for 3 year-old fillies on the turf. The simulcast is the Peter Pan Stakes.

Monday: 12 races, nine live. The simulcasts include the Metropolitan Mile, Jersey Derby and Kentucky Breeders Cup.

* Charles Town, Charles Town, W. Va. (Thoroughbreds):

Today: Post time is 7 p.m. There are 12 races, 11 live. The simulcast is the Rolling Green Handicap from Golden Gate Fields (Calif.).

Tomorrow: Post time is 1 p.m. There are 10 live races. The feature is an allowance sprint for 3 year-olds.

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