Maryland legislature votes to create Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority
Legislation that will create the Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority, an entity that will participate in the development of racing and training facilities in the state, passed the state Senate by a 47-0 vote April 6 and the House of Representatives by a vote of 132-2 on April 10, the last day of the 2023 General Assembly session.
If signed into law by Gov. Wes Moore—he is expected to do so—the legislation will take effect June 1, one month before the end of an extended negotiating period for a new racing agreement among the Maryland Jockey Club, Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and Maryland Horse Breeders Association. The 10-year racing agreement expired Dec. 31, 2022, and the negotiations were extended through June 30.
The Preakness Stakes post-position draw will be held Monday, May 15, at Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore and will include a public concert by English musician John Waite, who is known for his many popular songs in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
After days of negotiations, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and Maryland Horse Breeders Association reached an agreement with the Maryland Jockey Club on hiring consultant John Passero to examine the Laurel Park dirt surface and make recommendations for its improvement in the wake of a string of equine injuries during training and racing.