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[photo, Horse racing, Marlborough Hunt Races, Roedown Farm, Davidsonville, Maryland] Thoroughbred Racing. Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore hosts the Preakness Stakes, one of three thoroughbred horse races in the world famous Triple Crown. The first running of the Preakness Stakes took place in 1873.

Horse racing, Marlborough Hunt Races, Roedown Farm, Davidsonville, Maryland, April 2009. Photo by Elizabeth W. Newell.

[photo, Horse farm, Davidsonville, Maryland] Each year, the Preakness is held on the third Saturday in May (next scheduled for May 16, 2009). In addition, throughout the year, thoroughbred races are held at Laurel Park in Prince George's County, and Timonium Race Course in Baltimore County.

Harness Racing. Harness racing takes place at Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington, Prince George's County; and at Ocean Downs in Berlin, Worcester County.

Horse farm, Davidsonville, Maryland, August 2004. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

[photo, Horse farm, Davidsonville, Maryland] Steeplechase Racing. The steeplechase racing season in Maryland runs from March through May, with the concluding race in September. Eleven of the races make up the Maryland Governor's Cup Series. Races are run on courses in large, wooded and hilly fields, ranging in length from two to four miles. Depending on the race, riders and horses, jump over man-made hedges or timber fences of varying heights.

The Maryland Hunt Cup (one of the oldest steeplechase races in the United States) was first held in 1894. It is raced over post and rail fences up to five feet tall.

Horse farm, Davidsonville, Maryland, August 2004. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

Based at Fair Hill near Elkton in Cecil County, the National Steeplechase Association is the official regulatory body for the sport in the United States.

The many horse farms, particularly in the central part of the State, combined with these events, contribute to Maryland's reputation as "horse country."

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 Maryland Manual On-Line, 2009

July 1, 2009   
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