All Eyes On Laurel Park Ahead Of 2021 Thanksgiving Weekend Stakes

Written By Chelsea T. Johnson on November 18, 2021

After stuffing your face with turkey this upcoming Thanksgiving, what better way to end the holiday than the 2021 Thanksgiving Weekend Stakes?

Laurel Park again plays host to the two-day horse racing event.

Next Friday and Saturday, Nov. 26-27, is the Thanksgiving Weekend Stakes. As part of the event in the city of Laurel, five stakes races worth $450,000 in purses are scheduled for the weekend.

This jam-packed weekend has attracted 114 nominations to the holiday event at the historic American thoroughbred racetrack.

Here’s a rundown of all of the action.

Friday, Nov. 26: Thanksgiving Weekend Stakes, Day 1

The 2021 Thanksgiving Weekend Stakes kicks off on Friday, Nov. 26.

The day features a pair of $75,000 events for Maryland-bred/sire horses:

  • Howard and Sondra Bender Memorial for 3-year olds sprinting seven furlongs (7/8 mile)
  • Politely for fillies and mares 3+ sprinting six furlongs (3/4 mile)

Saturday, Nov. 26: Thanksgiving Weekend Stakes, Day 2

The second day of action at Laurel Park will feature three $100,000 stakes races:

  • City of Laurel for 3-year-olds (7/8 mile)
  • Safely Kept for 3-year-old fillies both sprinting seven furlongs (7/8 mile)
  • Richard W. Small for 3-year-olds and up sprinting nine furlongs (1 1/8 miles)

Horse Betting 101

So, if you’re new to horse betting, there are a few things you should know before heading to Laurel Park next weekend.

Below you’ll find a full breakdown of the various bet types, how to place a bet and where you can place a wager.

Picking a bet type

There are many types of bets in horse racing. For the novice bettor, those options range from easy to difficult – both to understand and to win.

The Laurel Park website actually has a pretty nifty guide to horse betting. That’s a good place to start to learn about your wagering options. Sure, they have the usual win/place/show options, but you can also try a superfecta, double, Pick 6 or other type of bet.

Also, when placing a bet, remember that the track and betting windows always refer to a horse by its number, not its name.

How to place a bet

For next weekend’s events, you can place your bet with a teller at Laurel Park. If you can’t make it to the race, though, you can also place a bet at an OTB or racebook.

When placing your bet, it should be in this format:

  1. Race track name and race number
  2. The dollar amount of your wager
  3. The type of bet (win, place, show, etc.)
  4. The official number(s) of your horse(s)

For example, this would be how to phrase a very typical bet:

“Laurel Park, Race 2, $5 to win on #12.”

How to attend Thanksgiving Weekend Stakes in Laurel

Laurel Park is offering free general admission and on-site parking for the 2021 Thanksgiving Weekend Stakes.

While admission is first-come, first-served, officials said they don’t expect this event to reach max capacity.

Post time is 12:25 p.m. for the first race of each day.

Photo by AP / Terrance Williams
Chelsea T. Johnson Avatar
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Chelsea T. Johnson

Chelsea Johnson is a seasoned journalist with experience working as a reporter for WJAC-TV, 105.7 The Fan WJZ-FM, and FOX Sports Radio in Washington, DC. Her work also includes making an impact in the top newsrooms in the country at WBAL-TV in Baltimore and ESPN in Bristol, CT.

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