Rosecroft Raceway will reopen its doors Friday night

Rosecroft Raceway, founded in 1949 and closed in 2008, will reopen its doors on a new harness racing season Friday night.

"We're ecstatic," Tom Cooke, president of the Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Association, told the Maryland Racing Commission at its regular monthly meeting Tuesday. "

We're back to live racing, something a lot of people didn't think would ever happen." Rosecroft is opening for 20 days of live racing on Friday and Saturday nights. It will feature a 10-race card with post time at 6:45 p.m.

Cooke also told the Commission that Penn National, the track's new owner, is increasing the total nightly purse from $16,000 to $25,000.

"They're making up the difference and they deserve credit for that," Cooke said.

Also during the meeting, The Commission approved 2012 racing dates for Timonium Fair Grounds (Aug. 24 through Sept. 3); Fair Hill Races (4 days over Memorial Day weekend, May 25-28); and Rosecroft Raceway and Ocean Downs, which both asked for Jan. 1 through Dec. 31. Rosecroft and Ocean Downs will set their specific dates at a later time.