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Laurel's average handles rose during winter meet

Laurel Park closed its 2015 winter meet Sunday with total average handle up 14.6 percent overall and 15.8 percent on its live product. Laurel's average daily handle was $1.764 million compared with $1.540 in 2014. Daily export handle increased 20.2 percent from $1.179 million in 2014 to $1.417 million this winter. Laurel's increases on average handle came despite a mid-Atlantic dispute and the loss of 10 live days of racing — 12 total days — because of wintry weather and track conditions. Despite the lost days, total wagering was down only 5.4 percent, from $79.8 million to $75.5 million. Live racing in Maryland shifts to Pimlico beginning Thursday. First-race post is 1:10 p.m. Along with the introduction of the 10-cent Rainbow 6, Pimlico will offer a Pick 5 with an industry low 12 percent takeout.

More Pimlico: The Maryland Jockey Club has invested $1.5 million to broadcast the 2015 spring meet in high-definition television. Approximately 150 new TVs have been installed. The Maryland Jockey Club has partnered with International Sound Corporation on the upgrades.

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Baseball

Nats acquire outfielder den Dekker for Blevins

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The Washington Nationals traded left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins to the New York Mets on Monday for 27-year-old outfielder Matt den Dekker, plucking from a surplus of left-handed relievers to gain outfield depth that has become increasingly necessary as injuries have slowed projected starting outfielders and bench options. Den Dekker appeared in 80 games for the Mets over the past two seasons and hit .238 with a .345 on-base percentage and .322 slugging mark. He hit .328 with six doubles over the final two months of the season, and is solid defensively.

More Nationals: Washington traded defensive-minded catcher Sandy Leon to the Red Sox, who placed starting catcher Christian Vasquez on the 60-day disabled list with an elbow injury, for cash considerations. Leon played in 34 major league games with the Nationals between 2012 and 2014, hitting .189 with a home run. ... Star third baseman Anthony Rendon is getting a second opinion on his balky left knee. Rendon was scheduled to visit orthopedic surgeon James Andrews on Monday.

James Wagner and Chelsea Janes,

The Washington Post

Et cetera

U.S. Paralympics swimming team has local flavor

Baltimoreans Jessica Long, Rebecca Meyers and Brad Snyder and Loyola Maryland students McKenzie Coan and Alyssa Gialamas were named to the 25-member U.S. Paralympics Swimming World Championship team that will compete at the IPC Swimming World Championships on July 13-19 in Glasgow, Scotland. The roster has nine female and seven male Paralympians from the Paralympic Games in 2008 in Beijing and 2012 in London.

Men's college lacrosse: The Big Ten gave weekly honors to five local players: Maryland senior defenseman Casey Ikeda (defensive player) and junior goalkeeper Kyle Bernlohr (co-specialist); Johns Hopkins junior attackman Ryan Brown (Calvert Hall, offensive player) and senior goalie Eric Schneider (co-specialist); and Ohio State attackman (Boys' Latin, freshman). ... Navy sophomore long pole Matt Rees (Boys' Latin) was named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week. ... McDaniel senior attackman Patrick Serio (Marriotts Ridge) was named Centennial Conference Co-Player of the Week.

Women's college lacrosse: The Big Ten honored three Maryland players, naming junior midfielder Taylor Cummings (McDonogh) Co-Offensive Player of the Week, redshirt senior goalie Alex Fitzpatrick Defensive Player of the Week and attacker Megan Whittle (McDonogh) Freshman of the Week. ... Loyola Maryland junior Maddy Lesher was named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week. ... Elon freshman midfielder Stephanie Asher (Glenelg) was named Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Week. ... Salisbury junior attacker Megan Wallenhorst (Centennial) was named Offensive Player of the Week by the Capital Athletic Conference.

Women's college tennis: Loyola Maryland freshman Amanda Lanciano was named Patriot League Player of the Week.

College softball: Mount St. Mary's freshman catcher Niki Gonzalez was named Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week.

NFL: The Redskins re-signed running back Michael Hill, who spent time on the practice squad last season.

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Youth soccer: Old Line Football Club was officially launched Sunday as a member of US Club Soccer. The girls and boys club, headquartered in Harford County, has fall coaching commitments for the following age groups: girls U8, U9, U10, U11, and U12 and boys U8. Tryouts will be held the first two weeks of May. OLFC will conduct a public launch party April 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Rockfield Park in Bel Air, off Route 22. Go to oldlinefc.com for online registration and additional information.

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