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The luck of the Irish will be strong at Laurel Park on Saturday, March 12, when the park hosts its annual St. Paddy’s Day Pig Roast.

The party, organized by the Maryland Jockey Club, runs from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., with the first post time at 1:10 p.m. Throughout the day, there will be fantastic thoroughbred racing, including the $75,000 Caesar’s Wish Stakes and the $75,000 Private Terms Stakes.

But the races are only part of the fun. The event features live Irish music from a bagpiper and the Kilkenny Trio and drawings for great prizes, including $100 betting vouchers and an Ireland trip for two.

And what’s a St. Paddy’s Day party without a hearty Irish spread? The feast features classic Irish dishes like smoked salmon (two ways), Colcannon potatoes and Dublin potato salad, beer-braised cabbage, potato, mint and lamb stew and Guinness corned beef and cabbage.

The centerpiece of the feast injects a bit of Maryland cooking into the mix, with a traditional pig picking. Brined and slow-roasted, the pig is sure to be a treat.

Dessert-lovers can indulge in rich, gluten-free chocolate cake.

The party will include plenty of beer, too – it is St. Patrick’s Day, after all. The bar will feature a selection of craft beers and Irish brews, so whether Guinness is your favorite or you prefer American beers,  you’ll have a glass to raise and plenty of opportunity to toast the Emerald Isle.

“We have fabulous thoroughbred racing that day, first and foremost,” says Maryland Jockey Club’s Diana Harbaugh. “And the buffet is incredible.”

Founded in Annapolis in 1743, the Maryland Jockey Club is a cornerstone of thoroughbred racing in Maryland. The organization includes two racing properties: Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park.

Tickets for the St. Paddy’s Day Pig Roast are $25 in advance or $30 at the door and include the full buffet plus two drink coupons. Racetrack admission and parking are free. Laurel Park is located on Laurel Race Track Road, Maryland City, MD 20724.

For more information about Laurel Park races, visit For party reservations, call 301-470-5439.

Kit Waskom Pollard is a Baltimore Fishbowl contributing writer. She writes Hot Plate every Friday in the Baltimore Fishbowl.