Saturday afternoon will also include an early birthday celebration for legendary trainer King Leatherbury, who turns 80 on Tuesday, March 26. The tribute will include a presentation in the winners' circle after the third race. Birthday cake will be available for fans after the winner's circle ceremony in the Grandstand (in front of Longshots) and in the Clubhouse (in front of the Horse Wizard). All fans will receive a complimentary button.
Leatherbury has 52 training titles at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course on his resume, winning 24 of 28 meets at Laurel from 1981 to 1996 and winning or sharing 26 of 35 meets at Pimlico from 1974 to 1997. He had four consecutive 300-win campaigns in the mid-1970's and was the nation's leading conditioner in 1977 and 1978. He currently ranks fourth on the all-time win list with 6,373 career winners, yet is not a member of the Racing Hall of Fame.
“I think the individuals involved in placing the names on the Hall of Fame nomination ballot need to wake up and exam his record,” said Hall of Fame rider Chris McCarron, who rode for Leatherbury in the mid- 1970's. “They don't even have to dig deep on how incredibly successful this man has been and what an influence on Maryland racing he has been all these years. I know emotion doesn't get you in the Hall of Fame but success does and he has done it.”
The Maryland native ranks second in the current Laurel Park winter meet standings, with 15 victories from 56 starters, after Manito won for the third time this year in Thursday afternoon's 8th race.
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