Laurel Park first appeared on the racing scene on October 2, 1911. Its first meeting was held under the direction of the Laurel Four County Fair. Three years later, in 1914, New York City grocery entrepreneur James Butler purchased the track, installing renowned promotions king Col. Matt Winn as the track's general manager. Winn is recognized as the man who put the Kentucky Derby on the racing map.
The Stronach Group bought out Penn National's minority ownership of the Maryland Jockey Club in June 2011. In May 2011, Frank Stronach gave up leadership of MI Development in exchange for Magna's former gaming assets, giving him control over Laurel Park.
In 2013, following a failed attempt to introduce slot machine gambling, Laurel Park owners Stronach Group announced plans to use the Maryland Racetrack Facility Redevelopment Account to fund year-round racing. In October 2019, as part of an agreement between The Stronach Group and the city of Baltimore to keep the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course, plans were announced for Laurel Park to undergo facility upgrades.