Friday, December 29, 2023

BALTIMORE, MD – Today, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen Association, Maryland Horse Breeders Association, and 1/ST RACING announced a one-year deal to continue live horse racing in Maryland until December 31, 2024. The deal ensures that the Preakness Stakes will be run at Pimlico in May and provides for ongoing racing operations throughout 2024.

“We are pleased to come to terms on a one-year extension to the 2012 agreement with The Stronach Group, 1/ST RACING and Maryland Jockey Club and appreciate the work by all that went into finalizing this deal,” said David Richardson, Executive Director of MTHA. “This agreement provides our horsemen, the State’s breeders, and backstretch workers stability while the Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority continues their important work on a long-term plan for our industry. We look forward to the final Authority report and a bright and sustainable future for thoroughbred horse racing in Maryland.”

During the 2023 legislative session, Governor Wes Moore, Senate President Bill Ferguson, House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones, and members of the Maryland General Assembly created the Maryland Thoroughbred Racing Operating Authority by law to outline a plan for the future of Maryland racing. Over the past decade, Maryland leaders have dedicated funding to stabilize this historic industry but needed more legal authority to implement a plan.

“The Stronach Group, 1/ST RACING and the Maryland Jockey Club are committed to a successful 2024 racing season as we work in good faith with other stakeholders to develop a long-term, sustainable racing model for Maryland,” said Craig Fravel, Executive Vice Chairman, 1/ST RACING. “We are pleased to have worked constructively with Maryland stakeholders on this agreement and look forward to continuing to work with the Maryland Racetrack Operating Authority in the best interests of racing in Maryland.”

The Maryland racing industry, one of the oldest in the United States, has an economic impact of more than $2 billion in addition to preserving thousands of acres of open space statewide.

The Authority, chaired by veteran attorney at Venable LLP Gregory A. Cross, is expected to issue its interim recommendations next month.

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