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Laurel Park’s got spunk

It may not look like it (OK, it doesn’t look like it), but Laurel Park has got some character. Or at least the marketing folks are having fun with the place.

On the thoroughbred track’s Facebook page, an album called “The Rody’s are Coming to Laurel Park on August 22” highlights the new addition to the track’s “Picnic at the Park” day on Saturday. (A rody is that inflatable orange horse you see in the photo to the left. To view the rest of the album, click here.)

Laurel’s family event features rides, games, a petting zoo, face painting, a barn area, an Anne Arundel County Fire Department exhibit, crafts and picnic fare.

I highly encourage you to click through the photo album — at least half of the images had me giggling. And this kind of fun-loving spirit is one that many have been saying would be attractive to bring back to Maryland’s tracks, which for the most part are cacophonous reminders of days gone by.

At the Maryland Horse Forum earlier this month people talked about how to improve horse racing’s exposure. Cute stunts like this are an example of how that can be done.

The only problem is, I haven’t heard or seen ads for Laurel’s Picnic at the Park at all over the last few weeks. In fact, the only reason I know about it is because I read all the way to the bottom of a press release — the last two sentences mentioned the event.

If word isn’t spreading — beyond the close-knit horse racing community — about the nice things tracks are doing, it seems we need to  find a better way to advertise, before more money is spent on fun events that nobody knows about.