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[photo, Horse, Glen Burnie, Maryland]
  • Harness Racing
  • Steeplechase Racing
  • Thoroghbred Racing

  • Horse, Glen Burnie, Maryland, March 2011. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

    [photo, Horse farm, Davidsonville, Maryland] The many horse-racing events, combined with many horse farms, particularly in the central part of the State, contribute to Maryland's reputation as "horse country."

    Maryland offers thoroughbred racing, harness racing, and steeplechase racing.

    Horse farm, Davidsonville, Maryland, August 2004. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

    [photo, Horse racing, Marlborough Hunt Races, Roedown Farm, Davidsonville, Maryland] Thoroughbred Racing. Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore hosts the Preakness Stakes, one of three thoroughbred horse races in the world famous Triple Crown. The first running of the Preakness Stakes took place in 1873.

    Each year, the Preakness is held on the third Saturday in May (next scheduled for May 21, 2016), two weeks after the Kentucky Derby. In addition, throughout the year, thoroughbred races are held at Laurel Park in Prince George's County, and Timonium Race Course in Baltimore County.

    Horse racing, Marlborough Hunt Races, Roedown Farm, Davidsonville, Maryland, April 2009. Photo by Elizabeth W. Newell.

    [photo, Horse farm, Davidsonville, Maryland] Harness Racing. Harness racing takes place at Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington, Prince George's County; and at Ocean Downs in Berlin, Worcester County.

    Horse farm, Davidsonville, Maryland, August 2004. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

    Steeplechase Racing. The steeplechase racing season in Maryland runs from March through May, with the concluding race in September. Eleven of the races make up the Maryland Governor's Cup Series. Races are run on courses in large, wooded and hilly fields, ranging in length from two to four miles. Depending on the race, riders and horses, jump over man-made hedges or timber fences of varying heights.

    My Lady's Manor Steeplechase in Monkton was held on the second Saturday in April (next scheduled for April 9, 2016).

    The Maryland Grand National Steeplechase in Baltimore County is held on the second to last Saturday in April (next scheduled for April 23, 2016).

    The Maryland Hunt Cup (one of the oldest steeplechase races in the United States) was first held in 1894. On the last Saturday each April (next scheduled for April 2016), it is raced over post and rail fences up to five feet tall.

    The Maryland Junior Hunt Cup next will be held in April 2016.

    The Howard County Cup Races are held at Pleasant Prospect Farm in Brookeville, and are next scheduled for May 2016.

    The Potomac Hunt Races offer steeplechase just west of Potomac, and are next scheduled for May 2016.

    In Cockeysville at Shawan Downs, the Legacy Chase will be held Sept. 26, 2015.

    Based at Fair Hill near Elkton in Cecil County, the National Steeplechase Association is the official regulatory body for the sport in the United States.

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     Maryland Manual On-Line, 2015

    July 1, 2015

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