Laurel Park Racecourse in United States - Historical Facts

Laurel Park Racecourse is a well-known racing facility for thoroughbred sporting events that is located the peripheries of Laurel, Maryland – United States. The racing grounds were formally launched in 1911, with remarkable pomp and grandeur that was characteristic of those days. The high-flying racetrack measures 1 and 1/8 miles in terms of circumference. The facility’s name was altered to "Laurel Racecourse" for many decades until it was later renamed "Laurel Park" in 1994. The racetrack is among the most notable equestrian sporting establishments in the whole of North America.

Laurel Park Racecourse unveiled it gaming activities on 2nd October 1911 under the auspices of the Laurel Four County Fair. Around 1914, New York entrepreneurs and well-known horsemen, Philip Dwyer and James Butler bought the racetrack and selected Matt Winn as the all-purpose overseer. In mid-1918, the racing arena was utilized by the Second World War Army Engineers for military trials and ground preparations before they were dispatched to France shortly after. Nevertheless, this brief interruption did not significantly affect the worldwide fame and influence of this ubiquitously well-regarded racetrack.  

In mid-1946, an unfortunate fire broke out and steadily spread throughout the facility with only 60 horses salvaged from the raging flames. About 1947, the highly esteemed Maryland Jockey Club, which operated Timonium and Pimlico, bought Laurel Park from the famous Butler property with the vision of switching the Pimlico sporting events to Laurel. Following the Maryland General Assembly rejection the notion of swapping Pimlico with Laurel, the racecourse was handed over in a fairly publicized sale to Morris Schapiro who had his lastborn son, John Schapiro as the racetrack's new chief executive. Laurel Park Racecourse was sold to the famous Schapiro family in1950.

From about 1950 up to 1984, Laurel Park went through a greatly transformative period of major structural and managerial alterations. Most notably of these wide-sweeping changes, the race track was re-christened Laurel Racecourse and the spectacularly popular Washington, D.C. International was unveiled at the titivated venue. Around 1953, Laurel came up with a new clubhouse and a better turf club. Later in the year, about14 horses were rescued from another mysterious fire outbreak. In mid-1957, the Laurel Park grandstand was given a much-needed facelift to go well with the other wide-ranging improvements that had just been implemented.

In a concentrated attempt to perk up conditions for the International sporting events recently introduced, Laurel increased the length of its turf course from the existing seven furlongs to one mile in early 1959. At the same time, the central track was increased from one mile up to one mile and one-eighth. However, a fire that had been intentionally orchestrated by an unknown arsonist destroyed the freshly renovated stables, destroying over 34 horses in the process.

Nonetheless, the intentional fire did not break the indomitable spirit of Laurel Racecourse. As such, the facility braved not only the malicious schemes of the spiteful arsonist but also surmounted a dozen other debilitating hurdles to carve itself a prestigious niche as among the very best equestrian racing facilities in the United States. Again, the distinguished racetrack is also a foremost catering and hospitality center that continues to attract thousands of clients and guests from all over the map.