When the Maryland Jockey Club and Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association on Thursday announced their intention to race at Laurel this past weekend, a lot of folks scoffed.

John Passero’s involvement had only been agreed to April 25, the thinking went. If the dirt track had been in such bad condition then, what could he possibly have accomplished in a day or two to make it safe to race?

Yet through Sunday, praise for the racing surface was nearly universal.

“Like night and day,” is how one assistant trainer described the difference between the racing strip prior to and since Passero’s arrival.

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“Beautiful … like a carpet,” is how jockey Jevian Toledo described Thursday’s track, when it was fast and dry.

And of course, the weekend’s racing, over wet tracks both days, went off without a hitch, which is the most important metric.

The Baltimore Banner and The Racing Biz have a content-sharing partnership leading up to the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 20. To read the rest of the story, head over to The Racing Biz.

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