10/01/2010 1:52PM

Maryland Million races staying on turf


Despite the 5.1 inches of rain that fell at Laurel Park this week, racing officials have determined that Laurel Park's turf course can be used for the three grass races scheduled on Saturday's Jim McKay Maryland Million card.

The $100,000 Turf Sprint (race 5), the $100,000 Turf (race 7), and the $100,000 Ladies (race 9) will remain on the grass.

The decision was made after racing secretary Georganne Hale and turf superintendent Robbie Mitten walked the course early Friday afternoon. In 2005, the Laurel turf course was widened from 75 feet to 142 feet and accommodates six configurations, which were named in honor of great horses who competed on grass at Laurel during its long history.

“We walked both lanes that will be used,” Hale said. “The All Along is perfect because we have not used it since the summer meet in August. The Exceller is in good shape and with the sun and wind today, it will only improve. The jocks might see a divot here and there but it is nice and solid on the bottom and not dangerous to the horses or the riders.”

The forecast for central Maryland calls for dry conditions and temperatures near 70 degrees on Saturday.