LAUREL, MD. 07-17-12---The Maryland Jockey Club unveiled the 2012 Laurel Park fall schedule today after reaching agreement with both the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and Maryland Horse Breeders Association. The schedule was approved by the Maryland Racing Commission earlier this afternoon at its monthly meeting.

After a 15-week break, which will include seven live days of racing at Timonium during the State Fair in late August and early September, live racing will resume at the major tracks two days after Labor Day. Racing will take place four days a week through the end of the year on a Wednesday through Saturday schedule, holidays excluded.

The 69-day fall meeting, which begins Wednesday, Sept. 5 and concludes Monday, Dec. 31, includes 32 stakes races, five more than a year ago. The average daily purse will be increased from $210,000 to $240,000, thanks to revenue from slot machines in the state.

“It is important to have stakes races bolster our Saturday cards,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. “To build our business from a handle standpoint, races need to be more attractive to simulcast players. We are in the process of finalizing the promotional schedule for the fall, which we expect will bring more fans into the building.”

Headlining the stand will be the 27th running of the Jim McKay Maryland Million Day for the offspring of Maryland-based stallions on Saturday, Oct. 6 and the return of the Fall Festival of Racing three weeks later. That card will feature five stakes races on the turf as well as the $350,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash.

Laurel Park Fall Meeting Dates:

· September 5-6-7-8

· September 12-13-14-15

· September 19-20-21-22

· September 26-27-28-29

· October 3-4-5-6

· October 8-11-12-13

· October 17-18-19-20

· October 24-25-26-27

· October 31-November 1-2-3

· November 7-8-9-10

· November 14-15-16-17

· November 21-22-23-24

· November 28-29-30-December 1

· December 5-6-7-8

· December 12-13-14-15

· December 19-20-21-22

· December 26-27-28-29

· December 31