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Racing returns to Laurel Park for fall meet Friday

Live horse racing returns to Laurel Park on Friday with the track’s year-ending fall meet.

The racing calendar will be launched by a September to Remember Stakes Festival featuring back-to-back Saturdays with 14 stakes worth $1.8 million in purses topped by the Xpressbet Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) and Baltimore-Washington International Turf Cup (G3).

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A nine-race program, with six races scheduled for Laurel’s turf course, will kick off the 61-day fall stand that concludes Dec. 29. Racing will be conducted Friday through Sunday in September and December and Thursday through Sunday in October and November. There will be no racing Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and special holiday programs Monday, Oct. 14 and Nov. 11 as well as Thursday, Nov. 28 and Dec. 26.

For the complete fall stakes schedule, go to laurelpark.com/horsemen/stakes-schedule.

Varsity football: The Maryland High School Football State Poll, compiled by Sheldon Shealer, began its 30th year this week with its preseason poll. St. Frances, which is off to a 2-0 start after finishing No. 1 at 9-0 last season, again holds down the top spot, earning all 12 first-place votes.

Here’s a look at the poll: 1. St. Frances; 2. DeMatha; 3. Mount St. Joseph; 4. Good Counsel; 5. Calvert Hall; 6. Archbishop Spalding; 7. Quince Orchard; 8. Georgetown Prep; 9. Franklin; 10. Northwest; 11. Damascus; 12. Wise; 13. Landon; 14. National Christian; 15. Bullis; 16. North Point; 17. McDonogh; 18. St. Mary’s Ryken; 19. Milford Mill; 20. Dunbar; 21. Oakdale; 22. Broadneck; 23. Linganore; 24. Elkton; 25. Mervo; Others Receiving Votes: Flowers, Douglass-PG, Paint Branch, Arundel, Fort Hill, North Caroline, Northern-Calvert, Loyola Blakefield, Avalon School, Dundalk.

College football: Johns Hopkins opens the season on the road at Randolph-Macon on Thursday at 7 p.m. The Blue Jays are ranked sixth in the D3football.com Preseason Poll, while the Yellow Jackets check in at No. 24. It is the only Division III game in the nation this week featuring two nationally-ranked teams.

Men’s cross country: Johns Hopkins senior Andrew King has been named the Centennial Conference Athlete of the Week after earning the victory at the Mount St. Mary’s Duals on Friday afternoon.

Major Arena Soccer League: The 11-time champion Baltimore Blast will sport a fresh look for the 2019-20 season. The Blast will unveil their game jerseys Friday at Charles Village Pub in Towson.

Fans are invited to join Blast players for the party as well as a dinner buffet from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. with the jersey reveal scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $20 and can be ordered at baltimoreblast.com.

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