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HRN Original Blog:
Maryland's Own GQ

County Fair v. State Fair Racing: No Contest?!

MD State Fair
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 acclaim. 

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


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Older Comments about County Fair v. State Fair Racing: No Contest?!...

I agree with you that they should be broadcast. Have you asked the Timonium Fair administrators if they have approached either TVG or HRTV for showcasing their races on the air? Other issues could be that these channels have booked time with other tracks during this MD meet and do not have room in their schedules for the additional races. The CA circuit I know was part of the racing around Bay Meadows for years.
  • marylandgq · Prior to writing this article I did ask, and the initial response was neither HRTV nor TVG would carry Timonium. The reason is simple... demand. When HRTV has Saratoga and TVG has Del Mar, and both have plenty other "major tracks" running THU-SUN, not many fans are complaining about why Timonium races aren't on air. BUT, since Maryland Jockey Club and HRTV are "sister companies" via Stronach Group, HRTVinsider replied to a Tweet of mine saying, "Timonium will be shown AS SPACE ALLOWS", except on Saturdays. Translated, look for plenty of Timonium races on Monday and Wednesday. · 1347 days ago

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                Meet Gary Quill

  I am the most passionate person on the planet when it comes to thoroughbred horse racing! One sunny summer day in 1964 at Timonium Race Track is where my Dad and mentor introduced me to “The Sport of Kings”. Since that day, I have had the pleasure to visit over 40 different tracks across North America. Though an IT professional by trade, I’ve had a part-time gig with the Maryland Jockey Club since 1988.

here are thousands of rail-birds who claim to be great handicappers. Well, I don’t claim to be the best… just the most passionate and one that won’t tout “chalk”. Like a savvy stock broker, I look for value and often find it. Unlike the talking heads on horse racing television networks and the dozens of websites featuring handicapper’s opinions, I’m ACCOUNTABLE. That is, good or bad, you’ll always know how my previously posted picks performed along with a running record of my BEST BET and LONGSHOT Play of the Day selections for Maryland tracks (Laurel and Pimlico) at TheRacingBiz, see "The GQ Approach".

   In addition to focusing on the Maryland thoroughbred racing circuit, each year I follow the Derby Trail and post “GQ’s Derby Double Dozen” in early February. 

   My personal mission is to rejuvenate interest in thoroughbred horse racing. Being able to share my energy, thoughts and opinions on this sport via HRN will certainly help the cause.


"I lost $2 at Santa Anita and I've spent $3 million trying to get it back." - Mickey Rooney

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