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Laurel, MD --- Purses for the Maryland Sire Stakes and Maryland Standardbred Race Fund events this year will total $1.8 million based on a budget approved by the Maryland Racing Commission April 26.

The amount was approved by the Maryland Standardbred Race Fund Advisory Committee March 30. MSRF Administrator Cheri Stambaugh said purses for sire stakes for 2- and 3-year-old trotters and pacers will total $1.5 million, with another $100,000 for 4- and 5-year-old trotters and pacers. The remaining $200,000 will support Maryland Standardbred Race Fund stakes for 2- and 3-year-olds.

The stakes action will kick off at Rosecroft Raceway with the Maryland Sire Stakes for 4- and 5-year-old pacers May 6 and 4- and 5-year-old trotters May 9. There will be two preliminary rounds for 3-year-old trotters and pacers May 13, 16, 20 and 23, followed by four finals May 30, closing night of the meet.

Ocean Downs Casino will offer two preliminary rounds for 3-year-old trotters and pacers followed by the finals July 15-16, as well as a set of Maryland Standardbred Race Fund events for all 3-year-old divisions July 8-9.

A second set of sire stakes for 4- and 5-year-old trotters and pacers will be held July 22-23 before the 2-year-old stakes get underway.

Maryland Standardbred Race Fund events for all 2-year-old divisions will be held July 29-30, followed by two preliminary rounds of Maryland Sire Stakes for 2-year-old trotters and pacers. The finals are scheduled for Aug. 26-27.

The schedule concludes at Rosecroft with two sire stakes preliminary rounds for all 2-year-old divisions and all four finals Oct. 3.

The complete 2018 calendar can be found at this link.

The MRC April 26 also approved the 2018 racing schedule for Ocean Downs. Racing will be held Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights from June 3 through Sept. 3. First post time is 7:05 p.m. (EDT) with the exception of July 4, when it will be 6:25 p.m.

Rosecroft’s fall meet opens Sept. 16 and concludes Dec. 16 with racing Sundays at 4:40 p.m. and Wednesdays at 6:40 p.m. A special card beginning at 6:40 p.m. is scheduled for Breeders’ Cup Saturday (Nov. 3).