The 17-stakes Laurel Park Winter Meeting begins Jan. 1

Laurel Park will welcome the new year with a total of 17 stakes worth $1.7 million in purses, led by the $250,000 General George (G3) and the $250,000 Barbara Fritchie (G3) during its meeting winter of 2023, which starts on January 1.

The 40-day winter meeting will have live racing on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until March 31, with holiday programs for Mondays, January 16 and February 20. Post time will be 12:15pm EST before moving to 12:40pm on March 12th.

Stakes action begins Saturday, Jan. 21, with six stakes worth $550,000 in purses, topped by the $100,000 Spectacular Bid, a seven-furlong sprint that kicks off the Maryland Stakes Series for 3-year-olds, which I’m going to the Preakness, May 20 at Pimlico. Racing races.

Also on the Jan. 21 program will be the $100,000 Xtra Heat for 3-year-old fillies and the $100,000 What a Summer for fillies and mares 4 and older, both sprinting six furlongs; $100,000 fire socket for children 4 years and up to 6 1/2 furlongs; and a pair of one-mile events for Maryland-bred or foaled horses – the $75,000 Jennings for 3-year-olds and older and the $75,000 Geisha for fillies and mares 3-years-old and older, each going a mile.

The 69th Barbara Fritchie for fillies and mares 4 and over and the 48th General George for 4-year-olds and over, both sprinting seven furlongs, headline a six-stakes program in $700,000 worth of purses on February 18th. They are the first qualified. events on the 2023 Maryland Stakes Calendar.

The Feb. 18 card will also feature the $100,000 Miracle Wood for 3-year-olds going a mile and the $100,000 Wide Country for 3-year-old fillies sprinting seven furlongs; and the $100,000 John B. Campbell for 3-year-olds and older and the $100,000 Nellie Morse for fillies and mares 4 years and older, each at 1 1/16 miles.

The sophomores will again be in the spotlight in the $100,000 Private Conditions and $100,000 Beyond the Wire as part of a Saturday, March 18 schedule with five stakes worth $450,000 in purses. The privateers are contested at 1 1/16 miles and the filly’s Beyond the Wire is run at one mile.

Joining them on the March 18 card is the $100,000 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial for 4-year-olds and up, which goes one mile, and two $75,000 stakes for older or Maryland-bred horses, Not For Love of six stages and seven stages. Conniver, the latter for females.

Laurel’s subsequent spring meeting will feature back-to-back stakes on Saturdays beginning April 15, highlighted by the $125,000 Federico Tesio for 3-year-olds and the $125,000 Weber City Miss for 3-year-old fillies. Once again, the 1 1/8-mile Tesio will serve as the “win and you’re in” qualifier for horses nominated for the Triple Crown at the Preakness, and the 1 1/16-mile Weber City Miss gives the winner an automatic slot. berth in Black-Eyed Susan (G2) on Preakness Eve, May 19.

Rounding out the April 15 schedule are the $100,000 Frank Y. Whiteley for 3-year-olds and up, which sprints seven furlongs, and the $100,000 Heavenly Cause for 3-year-olds and mares, which are back on the Maryland Stakes calendar in 2022.

The first turf stakes of 2023 are scheduled for Saturday, April 22 – the $100,000 Henry S. Clark for 3-year-olds and over and the $100,000 Dahlia for fillies and mares 3 and older, each scheduled for one mile, and the King T of $100,000 Leatherbury, a 5 1/2 furlong dash for 3-year-olds and up.

Also on the April 22 schedule are a pair of $100,000 dirt stakes, the 1 1/8-mile Native Dancer for 3-year-olds and older and the six-furlong Primonetta for fillies and 3-year-old mares much more.

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