Fort Washington, MD --- A continued increase in purses, a new bonus system for Maryland horses and a new post time will be on tap for Rosecroft’s 27-night Winter-Spring meet which opens Saturday (March 8).
“We expect a minimum 10 percent increase in purses when we start back this meet and could be looking at additional increases during the meet,” said Peter Hanley, returning to his second meet as Racing Secretary at Rosecroft. Average daily purses at Rosecroft were approximately $67,000 at the conclusion of the 2013 Fall-Winter meet.
In addition, a new bonus program will be in effect for horses and horsemen meeting the Maryland preferred criteria. All Maryland owned horses, horses bred or sired in Maryland or Maryland resident trainers will earn an additional 15 percent bonus on top of any purse earnings.
“We ended up last meet with over 80 percent of our horses meeting the Maryland preference,” said Hanley, “and this change should give even more inventive for Maryland horses and horsemen to compete at Rosecroft.”
“The Maryland horsemen are very excited about the upcoming Spring meet at Rosecroft, said Thomas Cooke, President of the Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Association. “We are grateful for Penn National’s commitment to the Maryland Standardbred industry and the new Maryland preferred bonus system added with the 100 percent Maryland preferred entry preference is of significant benefit as we rebuild the Maryland Standardbred industry.”
Dan Myer, President of the Maryland Standardbred Breeders Association, added, “The key to building a strong breeding industry in Maryland is the continued operation of Rosecroft Raceway. This year we have seen a tremendous growth in breeders and owners wishing to participate in our Maryland Sires Stakes program. We appreciate our partner, Penn National, helping us add value to breeding in Maryland.”
Racing applications for the new meet are now posted online at www.rosecroft.com.
Draws will be held Wednesdays (for Saturdays) and Thursdays (for Tuesdays) with the box opening at 8 a.m. each day. Two qualifying dates have been set: Saturday (Feb. 22) and Saturday (March 1) at 11 a.m. each day.
“Given the tough winter these two qualifying dates should help get our available horse population ready for the upcoming meet,” said Hanley.
A new 6:40 p.m. post time will be in place for the new meet. Live racing will be conducted every Tuesday and Saturday night through June 7. Harness and Thoroughbred simulcasts are available day and night, seven days a week. Admission and parking are always free.