Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority Issues Reports

Friday, January 5, 2024

The Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority (MTROA) released two reports today on the redevelopment of thoroughbred racing and training facilities in the state.

The MTROA reports—one on the reconstruction of Pimlico Race Course and identification of a location for new training center, and the other on potential operating models for racing going forward in Maryland—were presented to the Maryland General Assembly. Lawmakers are expected to consider the reports during the legislative session that begins Jan. 10.

The MTROA facilities report discusses the redevelopment of Pimlico and three potential sites for a training center: the old Bowie Training Center, Shamrock Farm west of Sykesville, and a property called Mitchell Farm near Aberdeen. The report lists the pros and cons of each location but makes no recommendation.

The reports are available at the following links:

https://www.dllr.state.md.us/racing/mtroa-racing-training-populous-report.pdf

https://www.dllr.state.md.us/racing/mtroa-operating-models-crossroads-report.pdf

"The Maryland racing industry is one of the most storied in the nation and today’s announcement is an important step forward for a sustainable and bright future. We want to thank Governor Wes Moore and the Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority for their hundreds of hours of diligent work this year to get us to this point,” said Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association President Timothy L. Keefe.

“We look forward to joining the MTROA during this transition period to lay the foundation to rebuild a strong and vibrant racing industry that supports thousands of jobs, preserves hundreds of thousands of acres of open space and contributes billions in economic impact to the State of Maryland. The men and women that get up every morning to work in this industry want to see a bright and thriving industry for years to come."

The MTROA and 1/ST RACING (The Stronach Group), which owns and operates the Maryland Jockey Club, have reached the basics of an agreement in principle "to preserve and enhance the Thoroughbred racing industry in Maryland,” according to the MTROA. The recommendations, if implemented, would "enable MTROA to design and build an iconic racing venue at Pimlico and take over day-to-day racing and training in Maryland."

According to reports from the  Jan. 5 press conference, the demolition and rebuilding of Pimlico could be completed by 2027, which would require the Preakness Stakes to be held at Laurel for two years during construction.

The MTHA plans to schedule a Town Hall community webinar for members to discuss the MTROA reports and take questions. Details will be released soon.

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