Laurel Park, the sister track of Pimlico Race Course, first appeared on the racing scene in 1911. In July 2002, Magna Entertainment Corp. (MEC) purchased Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park, which operated under the trade name Maryland Jockey Club, from the De Francis family. Both tracks are now part of The Stronach Group, formed in 2012.
Laurel Park provides action for fans in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas with live racing 28 weeks a year and year-round simulcasting.
Laurel enjoyed several decades of fame with the Washington, D.C. International, which burst onto the scene in 1952 and almost immediately became a world-wide news event. Until then the idea of bringing horses from Europe to the United States was unprecedented. The success of the Breeders’ Cup forced Laurel to suspend the International in 1995.
The marquee event at Laurel is Maryland Million Day. The idea was conceived by Jim McKay, the late Hall of Fame broadcaster, to showcase the best products of the state’s breeding farms and the horses sired by Maryland stallions. After 28 years, more than 20 other states have imitated the Maryland Million concept.