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Top riders started out in Maryland

In another time, Maryland was a hotbed for horse racing, its history rich and its purses comparable with those in other states. It was a place where jockeys could make a career and not have to contemplate leaving for New York or California.

Since the late 1980s, and maybe longer, being an up-and-coming rider at Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park has been akin to being a burgeoning major league star at Camden Yards. Bigger markets - with longer racing seasons and more lucrative purses - beckon.


Think of a miniature Mike Mussina - with a whip.


Just as Mussina left the Orioles for the Yankees, scores of talented jockeys have left Maryland, including four likely Hall of Famers. Chris McCarron and Kent Desormeaux sought the riches and sunshine of year-round riding found at California's Santa Anita, Hollywood Park and Del Mar. Edgar Prado and Ramon Dominguez went after the bright lights and big-name trainers at New York's Belmont Park, Aqueduct and Saratoga.

Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/05/15/2523192/maryland-has-trouble-holding-its.html#storylink=cpy
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