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Free Pie and Dwell Racing: A Laurel Park Thanksgiving Custom

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Courtesy Maryland Jockey Membership

Irrespective of the time of 12 months, or the event, vacation traditions imply various things to totally different folks.

For greater than three a long time, other than internet hosting its annual reside race card, Thanksgiving Day has meant just one factor at Laurel Park–pies.

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Tens of 1000’s of the tasty treats–apple or pumpkin, take your decide–have been handed out because the late Frank J. De Francis Jr.  bought Laurel and historic Pimlico Race Course in late 1986.

“He is the one which began it, as a approach of doing one thing particular for the followers that come out,” Maryland Jockey Membership Vice President of Racing Improvement Georganne Hale stated. Hale first joined the MJC in 1984 as assistant racing secretary and has held numerous roles since, together with racing secretary and Vice President of Racing.

“Folks look ahead to it yearly,” she added.

After spending a number of million {dollars} on revolutionary amenities enhancements at Laurel and Pimlico, reviving the historic Pimlico Particular in 1988 following a 29-year absence, spearheading laws to authorize Sunday racing and phone wagering in Maryland and the landmark tax reform act of 1985 which supplied tax aid to the state’s racing trade, De Francis handed away in August 1989.

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His son, Joe, a profitable lawyer who had labored together with his father for a number of years on Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing points, turned MJC’s President and CEO at age 34. And the pie giveaway went on.

It continued when Magna Leisure bought majority curiosity of Laurel and Pimlico in July 2002 and following the transition to The Stronach Group and now 1/ST Racing. A pandemic canceled the pie giveaway final fall, solely the second time in Hale’s reminiscence the place it did not happen. Already bought, the pies had been as an alternative given away to members of the backstretch and native meals banks.

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Earlier than on-line wagering and off-track betting, the MJC handed out as many as 10,000 pies. This 12 months, it has 2,250 household sized apple and pumpkin pies prepared for distribution, made by Clement’s Pastry Store in Hyattsville, Md.

“Folks find it irresistible. The road stretches out so far as you’ll be able to see,” Hale stated. “If we’ve any pies left over, we be certain that everybody on the bottom will get one and the remainder we donate to the soup kitchens.”

Although Laurel is just not the one jurisdiction racing on Thanksgiving–there are playing cards at six different Thoroughbred tracks in 5 states and Canada together with Golden Gate Fields, Laurel’s sister monitor in Albany, Calif.–the pie giveaway is one which units Maryland aside.

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“I’ve had folks from California e-mail me asking if we’re doing the pies once more this 12 months,” Hale stated. “Everyone is aware of we do it. It is an incredible custom.”

Laurel will open its doorways at 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day with a particular 11:25 a.m. publish for the primary of its 9 reside races.

Followers will be capable to select a household sized pumpkin or apple pie with buy of a racing program, with a most of two pies per individual, whereas provides final. Pies can be distributed till 4:30 p.m. on the grandstand entrance.

Free donuts, espresso, cider and sizzling chocolate can be accessible on the grandstand and clubhouse entrances from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Laurel will even host a Thanksgiving buffet from 11 a.m. to three p.m. within the Terrace Eating Room. To make a buffet reservation, name 301-725-0770.

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Choose: ‘Wiretapping Is Applicable to Examine Conspiracies’

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The choose within the federal doping conspiracy case used phrases like “frivolous” and “weak” to swat away motions made by seven defendants to suppress wiretap and different digital proof in trails which might be anticipated to begin in 2022.

The opinion and order filed Dec. 8 by Choose Mary Kay Vyskocil in United States District Court docket (Southern District of New York) follows a verbal ruling she made Nov. 4 throughout a standing convention that denied the entire associated motions made throughout the late summer season by Jason Servis, Seth Fishman, Lisa Giannelli, Erica Garcia, Michael Tannuzzo, Alexander Chan and Rick Dane, Jr.

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“The Court docket has thought of the entire arguments raised in the entire suppression motions filed on this case and has concluded that none warrants the suppression of proof or a listening to,” Vyskocil wrote. “On the contrary, primarily based on the Court docket’s cautious evaluate of the appliance for every challenged wiretap order and search warrant, there isn’t a query that the issuing judicial officer in every occasion had a considerable foundation for the discovering of possible trigger.”


A few of the challenged proof included conversations recorded off the cellphone of now-barred coach Jorge Navarro, who has since pleaded responsible to 1 depend within the years-long Thoroughbred drugging conspiracy.

Intercepted calls included statements about Navarro acquiring and/or utilizing purported performance-enhancing equine medicine, resembling an unregulated model of clenbuterol, “trays of pink acid,” and “24 bottles” of a substance. Different proof included Navarro discussing the “doping and hiding” of a horse, the usage of a “shock machine,” and even the now-infamous Monmouth Park video recorded by a bar patron during which Navarro celebrated a 2017 win by boasting about “juicing” horses.

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“In difficult the Navarro wiretaps, the defendants unpersuasively try to ‘dissect’ the affidavits and argue that particular person items of proof didn’t set up possible trigger,” Vyskocil wrote. “Garcia, joined by Tannuzzo and Servis, argues that the federal government didn’t set up that the aforementioned ’24 bottles’ had been a prohibited substance. The federal government was not required to show, in an software for a wiretap, that when Navarro mentioned, ‘Seize me…24 bottles,’ he conspired to buy and use a prohibited substance. Slightly, it was required to supply proof that, in a ‘totality-of-circumstances’ evaluation, there was a ‘honest likelihood’ that Navarro was concerned in a horse doping fraud scheme.”

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Vyskocil additionally famous the intensive evaluate course of that was required earlier than quite a few different judges initially signed off on these wiretaps, which occurred over the course of 18 months previous to the March 2020 arrests of a number of dozen alleged conspirators.

“A minimum of 13 judges independently discovered possible trigger to authorize 15 completely different purposes to start or renew wiretaps,” Vyskocil wrote. “A minimum of 10 Justice of the Peace judges discovered possible trigger for search warrants.”

The order continued: “The defendants additionally problem the Navarro wiretaps and different wiretaps that incriminated them on the bottom that the federal government had did not exhaust various investigative methods. Their arguments are wholly unpersuasive…. The legislation on this Circuit is evident that wiretapping is acceptable to research conspiracies the place ‘the clandestine nature of alleged conspiracies makes them comparatively much less inclined to regular investigative methods’…

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“Furthermore, the federal government defined, not one of the confidential sources had gotten near Navarro and approaching him at that time was extra more likely to elevate his suspicions than yield data. Affidavits in help of different wiretap purposes cited this and extra proof that the conspirators had been cognizant of the necessity to preserve secrecy.”

Vyskocil summed up: “Sure defendants insist that the federal government ought to have been required to do extra drug testing or extra extensively examine monetary data. Nevertheless, the federal government shouldn’t be required to exhaust any specific avenue of investigation earlier than searching for a wiretap. Furthermore, as numerous affidavits made clear, the conspirators had been utilizing medicine that had been designed to be undetectable by racing business drug exams and went to nice lengths to keep away from creating monetary or different data.”

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Writers’ Room Tackles Medina Spirit Information, Baffert, Ortiz Suspension

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Bob Baffert and Medina SpiritBenoit

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It was a busy information week, headlined by the unlucky sudden loss of life of GI Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit (Protonico) and the 30-day suspension handed all the way down to main rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. Wednesday morning, Joe Bianca, Invoice Finley and Jon Inexperienced of the TDN Writers’ Room offered by Keeneland mentioned and reacted to all of it, rekindled the talk over whether or not coach Bob Baffert is nice for the game, and welcomed the director of the upcoming movie “Jockey” because the Inexperienced Group Visitor of the Week.

“A few weeks in the past, I wrote a narrative about two state legislators in New York trying to take all of the slot cash away from NYRA, and final yr it was the governor of Pennsylvania,” Finley stated. “Each time one thing like [Medina Spirit’s death] occurs, it makes their case stronger. And you already know what? I wager you there are some politicians in California proper now which are pondering, perhaps it is time to introduce a invoice to ban horse racing within the state. I believe lots of people do not assume it will ever occur. It is not going to occur tomorrow or the following day, and it might not ever occur, however it’s important to be very petrified of this. It’s a life like risk. Fifteen years in the past, if I recommended that the circus would not exist, it will have been laughable to consider one thing like that.”

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Elsewhere on the present, which can be sponsored by Coolmore, West Level Thoroughbreds, XBTV and Legacy Bloodstock, the hosts requested whether or not Ortiz will change into a extra cautious rider after his suspension and the outcry that adopted two incidents he was concerned in over the weekend, and reacted to the information of the police arresting members of the Rossi household in France in an alleged doping and race-fixing conspiracy. Click on right here to look at the podcast; click on right here for the audio-only model or discover it on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.


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Del Mar Ends Season on Excessive

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at 4:34 pm |
Again to: Prime Information

Up to date: December 8, 2021 at 4:34 pm

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Breeders’ Cup Eclipse Sportswire

Del Mar rounded out its 2021 racing calendar Dec. 5 with the conclusion of its eighth Bing Crosby Season following its profitable fall and summer season meets. Between them, the pair totaled a mixed last wagering mark of $943.49 million, a file for the seaside oval. Amongst highlights this season, the oval noticed the return of racing followers, wholesome purses along with internet hosting one other record-setting Breeders’ Cup. Additionally in 2021, a single horse was injured catastrophically within the 426 races and three,552 starters that carried out through the two meets.

Whole deal with for the four-week, 13-day fall session was $171.58 million. The autumn meet common each day deal with was a file $13.19 million, which was 1.0% greater than the file common each day deal with posted final yr.

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The Breeders’ Cup–held at Del Mar Nov. 5 and 6–had a common-pool deal with of $183,260,127, a two-day file for the championship occasion. When Del Mar final hosted the Breeders’ Cup in 2017, it posted a then-record deal with of $166,077,486. The brand new mark is 10.4% greater than that.


Del Mar’s wagering in 2021 totaled $943.49 million, 21.3% greater than the earlier file of $778.97 million set in 2017 the final time Del Mar hosted the Breeders’ Cup.

“I’m exceptionally happy with our workforce and seeing all their laborious work come to such fantastic fruition over the course of the 2 seasons,” stated Del Mar Thoroughbred Membership’s CEO, Joe Harper. “We placed on a helluva Breeders’ Cup present as soon as once more; we have been at our greatest for one of the best. And we’re protected, very protected. That is simply one of the best of all.”

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The monitor’s Ship & Win program featured 67 new runners who got here to city this fall below this system with six of them making a second begin through the Bing Crosby Season. In complete, 1,885 “S&W” runners have come to California for the reason that program was put in place 11 years in the past.

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The monitor’s fall using main rider was Juan Hernandez with 17 firsts from 79 mounts through the 15-day (counting the Breeders’ Cup) session. It’s his first using title at Del Mar. Prime coach honors went to Phil D’Amato, who registered 15 firsts from 52 starters. It’s his first fall using championship, however his third on the monitor total.

Racing will return to Del Mar July 22 for the monitor’s 83rd summer season season.

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