Horseracing at Laurel Park

Old Apr 13th, 2003, 01:25 AM
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Horseracing at Laurel Park

I am visitng from England in August and plan a day At the races. Do I need to get Tickets in advance?
We are staying in Baltimore and will drive down to the track. I go racing regularly in England so I have some idea how things work, but any hints to make our day more enjoyable would be welcome.
Finally does any poster know of an American equivalent to "Timeform" (very high quality UK form analysis publication)?
Thanks for any help, Greybeard
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Old Apr 13th, 2003, 04:19 AM
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No, you don't need tickets in advance. Just pay the $3 admission. The programs ($3.50) show past performances for the races at Laurel and for 10 (more or less) other thoroughbred tracks across the country. There would be a second program for the trotters. Later in the day, they will bring out the evening programs.

Laurel's live racing is during the day, but the simulcasting runs from noon to midnight. I go to a Maryland trotter track (Rosecroft) to play simulcasts from around the country and rarely play the races at Laurel.

In addition to the past performances in the program, you can get the Daily Racing Form. I prefer the program which has info from Equibase. Both publications have rating stats, which are helpful, but you might find it easier to handicap here than in U.K. All of the U.S. tracks are flat ovals and are run around at least one turn. No hills like Epsom. No mile straight races with 10 horses on each side of the track like Ascot. More sprints here and mostly on dirt.

There is an Amtrak stop at the race course, so you could take the train down from Baltimore (I would drive). In August, it will be hot and humid (not so bad at the end of the month).

At Laurel, there is an area inside that has nice comfy seating, big screens, shorter lines, and waitresses. I can't think of the name. It costs extra, but is worthwhile. You can stay cool while you are handicapping and can get outside to see the races or to visit the paddock.

Take a look at laurelpark.com
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Old Apr 13th, 2003, 11:47 PM
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Thanks for your help mrwunrfl. The main trouble with handicapping in a new venue is assesing the relative class of runners, but I guess that a system where the meeting lasts for weeks at a time means that most of them have run against each other before.
greybeard
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Old Apr 14th, 2003, 05:42 AM
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True. They've run against each other or run under the same conditions at the same track. In Maryland, you'll see a few shippers from other tracks. A $10K claimer from Charles Town is not generally considered the equal of a horse who ran in that class at Belmont. That belief will be reflected in the odds.

The main race meets in August will be Del Mar (in San Diego area) and Saratoga (upstate NY). You ought to catch some of that racing on the simulcast. Watch the turf races, in particular, for shippers from France and England. When you see a French miler coming from the main French tracks, or a 10 furlong runner from Goodwood and Newmarket, and they're going their preferred distance today, then multiply their money-won stat by 10 to compare against the U.S. horses. This applies if it is their first race in the U.S.

From Baltimore, it would be easy for you to go to Delaware Park. I drove by there once, and it looked like it was tucked back in the woods. Might be a bit more scenic than Laurel. There are slot machines there and they use slot profits to subsidize the racing. Some guys strike a bargain where the wife feeds the slots while hubby feeds the horses.

Do you have a link where I can find an example of Timeform? The racing publications that I saw over there were not very useful (granted a 10 horse field might have runners whose last races were at 10 different tracks and 6 different distances).


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Old Apr 14th, 2003, 01:11 PM
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Hi Mrwunrfl,

Timeform are at www.timeform.com

Or EMail me at [email protected] and I will be glad to send you an example as an attachment. They are quite big files.

Thanks again for your help,
Greybeard
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