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Laurel Park to resume admitting horse racing fans Thursday with capacity of 250

Twelve days after the Preakness Stakes was run with no spectators, Laurel Park will open to as many as 250 fans on Thursday, the Maryland Jockey Club announced.

The track ceased admitting spectators March 15 as the initial wave of the coronavirus pandemic prompted statewide shutdowns to sports and entertainment venues. But in a Sept. 28 revision to his executive order, Gov. Larry Hogan said racetracks could join stadiums in re-opening to limited crowds.

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Laurel Park opened its fall meet last week and Thursday’s eight-race program will begin at 12:40 p.m. The crowd of up to 250 will be in addition to owners and other licensed personnel who’ve been permitted at the track since live racing resumed in late May.

“Owners, patrons and employees will be granted entry through Laurel’s grandstand entrance after having their temperature screened with a thermal camera,” the Jockey Club said in a news release. “Facial coverings and proper social distancing are required for all persons and will be strictly enforced. Physical barriers have been installed where personal interaction is necessary, and increased disinfection and sanitization of common areas will be in place. Laurel’s simulcast room will be at 50-percent capacity.”

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