02/17/2015 12:41PM

Holiday weekend a success at Laurel

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Misconnect wins the General George Handicap on Monday at Laurel Park.

Despite cold weather and snow that forced the cancellation of the Sunday card, Laurel Park had a good weekend from a business perspective.

Monday’s card included three stakes, topped by the Grade 3, $250,000 General George. All-sources handle was more than $2.5 million, up from $1.5 million on Presidents Day last year, according to figures provided by the Stronach Group. The temperature was in the teens for the races Monday, with a wind chill in the single digits. In 2014, the weather was partly sunny and near 60 degrees.

The Monday handle was helped by cancellations at Aqueduct and Oaklawn Park due to weather. The jockeys at Laurel deserve credit for riding Monday, and the Laurel track-maintenance crew did a good job keeping the track in racing condition.

Although the inner paths of the track may have been a little deeper than the outside, the weather was fierce over the weekend and included snow Saturday evening followed by near-zero temperatures and high winds. Although most horsemen elected to shed row their horses Monday morning, the track was open for training. The temperature at 7 a.m. was 5 degrees.

A good crowd was on hand for the Saturday card, which included three stakes topped by the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie.

“We had a lot of people here Saturday and did over $2 million, which is good during the winter on days when Aqueduct and Gulfstream are running,” Sinatra said. “There wasn’t an empty table in either Tips or Tycoons [the track-level restaurants at Laurel].”

◗ Laurel Park was not scheduled to race this Friday but has added the date to make up for last Sunday’s weather-related cancellation. The Sunday card will be brought back as originally drawn.