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Laurel Park Celebrates 100th Anniversary

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Laurel Park celebrates 100 years of horse racing.
Matt Laslo
Laurel Park celebrates 100 years of horse racing.

Laurel Park racetrack celebrates its 100th anniversary this month, as the Maryland horse racing industry continues to undergo a turbulent period.

That signature bugle has inaugurated races here at Laurel Park for a century. At this weekend's races, officials celebrated the anniversary with festivities for people of all ages and plenty of betting for adults. But next year the horse industry will face steeper competition for those dollars, as a set of slot machines are scheduled to open at Arundel Mills Mall.

Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chukas says the industry needs to evolve with the times. "It's a tough environment," he says. "We're just trying to reschedule and reformat what we do here." The race track hopes to become more financially viable, he adds, so that racing can continue at the site for another 100 years. 

The racing industry has done better this year than in past years, but the next few years will be the key test for the survival of Maryland horse racing, Chukas says.

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