Photo: MD State Fair
It seems that since the 2012-2013 school year ended, there have
been various county fairs throughout the state of California. Any horse racing
fan whose cable/satellite television channel provider makes HRTV available, can
attest to that. The southern California-based HRTV has proudly broadcasted
horse (and mule) races from the Sacramento, Santa Rosa and most recently
Ferndale County fairs this summer.
If CA County Fair horse racing is good enough for broadcast, then
why isn’t State Fair horse racing attractive to HRTV or TVG? It’s a rhetorical
question in that, with everything in this world, it all comes down to money.
The Maryland State Fair, the only remaining state fair east of the
Mississippi to continue to present thoroughbred horse racing, kicks off its ten
(10) day meeting on Friday at the Timonium Fairgrounds. Yet, bettors outside of
the “Free State” (bet you didn’t know that was Maryland’s nickname?!) miss the
opportunity to see state fair racing at its finest. Neither HRTV nor TVG will
broadcast any of the races from Timonium. Do you wager on a race just because
it is being shown live on your favorite horse racing network?
Of course, if you have an online wagering account, you can treat yourself to
the Timonium races via live streaming. There’s no other sight like it than
seeing thoroughbreds negotiate the “bull ring” turns and heading into the short
stretch with the Ferris Wheel and other carnival rides in the background.
Timonium is where my Dad introduced me to this great sport. Nearly
50 years later, I’m still a fan. It’s where I introduced my son and daughter to
their fathers “hobby” (today they might refer to it as “addiction”).
Friday marks the first day of live racing in Maryland since the
end of the Pimlico spring meet on June 8th. Anyone who lives in the
Mid-Atlantic region should consider a trip to Timonium.
This year’s meeting grew from seven to ten days after the Maryland
Horsemen’s Association contributed monies to subsidize added programs. Purses
in Maryland are also on the increase thanks to Maryland casino revenue that is
earmarked for horse racing. The daily purse distribution exceeds $150,000. By comparison, Ferndale's 6-race Wednesday card totals a measly $36,900. Even at Ellis Park, Kentucky's feature track this time of year, whose races can be seen on HRTV... their Friday 8-race card purses total $123,500.
Racing will be conducted Friday August 23rd through Monday September
2nd; except for Tuesday, August 27th will be a dark day.
First race Post Time during the entire meet will be 1:05pm EDT. Admission to
the track is included in admission to the fair.
If you need an extra incentive to talk your family into making the
trip, the fair also features a series of concerts. Grammy nominated pop star Carly Rae Jepsen, will perform live on
the race track infield on Sunday, August 25th. The “Call Me Maybe” girl
will be joined by UK's new boy band sensation The Wanted whose song “Glad You Came” brought them international
On Sunday, September 1st the multi-platinum-selling and
award-winning recording artist Three
Days Grace will perform live on the race track infield. The band has been
touring non-stop since the release of their #1 chart-debuting album
"Transit of Venus."
The races at Timonium are a great escape from the beating you’ve
been taking at Saratoga and Del Mar this summer. Unfortunately for you
multi-race wager fans, Timonium is “old school” in that they only offer Early
and Late Doubles, but do offer 50 cent
Trifectas and 10 cent Superfectas.
Throughout the 10 day meet my “opinions” can be found right here at Maryland’s
Own GQ on HRN.
For more information if you plan to visit the “Free State” for the
state fair, click here.