11/17/2006 12:00AM

Winter stakes get purse boost


Laurel Park will run the same 19 stakes as last year during its winter meet that begins Jan. 1.

As usual, the showcase events will be a pair of Grade 2, seven-furlong sprints on President's Day weekend - the Barbara Fritchie Breeders' Cup Handicap for fillies and mares on Saturday, Feb. 17, and the General George BC Handicap for older males two days later. Both stakes carry the same $300,000 as last year.

The remaining 17 stakes received across-the-board $15,000 purse increases, which includes bonus money from the Maryland Million Ltd. and Maryland-bred fund.

As a result, 10 of those added-money events will now be worth at least $100,000, highlighted by the John B. Campbell at $115,000.

The meet begins a 184-day schedule of live racing for the Maryland Jockey Club in 2007.

Following the 75-day Laurel winter meet, there will be 31 days at Pimlico from April 19 to June 9; a 10-day summer mini-meet at Laurel from Aug. 10-23; and a 68-day fall meet at Laurel from Sept. 5 to Dec. 29.