MJC announces plan for end of operations at Pimlico Race Course to facilitate rebuild

Monday, July 1, 2024

Maryland Jockey Club Acting President and General Manager Mike Rogers has sent a notification letter to Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association President Katy Voss and Vice President Tim Keefe that all operations—racing, training and simulcasting—at Pimlico Race Course will cease Sept. 1, 2024, in order to begin work on building a new facility under the Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority.

The letter is as follows:

“We are writing to inform you of the upcoming changes at Pimlico Race Course, marking a significant step in our commitment to the future of Thoroughbred racing in Maryland and to enhancing the economic vitality of the Park Heights community. Following the recent approval by the Board of Public Works, led by Governor Wes Moore, significant developments including the transition of ownership and operational adjustments are set to take place.

“On July 1, 2024, ownership of Pimlico Race Course will officially be transferred from The Stronach Group to the state of Maryland. This crucial arrangement not only secures the Preakness Stakes' continued presence in Baltimore but also establishes Pimlico as the permanent hub for year-round Thoroughbred racing in Maryland. In conjunction with this transfer, a strategic investment of $10 million will be directed through the Department of Housing and Community Development to enhance housing, employment training, and workforce development in the Park Heights area.

“For the Maryland Thoroughbred Racing Operating Authority and the Maryland Stadium Authority to move ahead with these changes, effective Sept. 1, 2024, all racing, training and wagering operations at Pimlico Race Course will cease. This closure includes all customer-facing activities and the backstretch.”

The letter noted the following effective dates:

July 1, 2024: Transfer of ownership of Pimlico Race Course from The Stronach Group to the state of Maryland/MTROA.

July 1, 2024: Notice of closure issued by The Stronach Group.

Sept. 1, 2024: All racing, training and wagering operations at Pimlico Race Course will cease. This closure includes all customer facing activities and the backstretch.

Fall of 2024: Maryland Stadium Authority expected to begin site work and demolition.

Jan. 1, 2025: Day-to-day racing and training operations at Pimlico and Laurel Park transferred from The Stronach Group to the state of Maryland/MTROA.

May 17, 2025: Preakness 150 to be celebrated at Pimlico Race Course.

“We are committed to supporting a smooth and efficient transition process from Pimlico to Laurel Park. To facilitate this, we ask that all matters concerning stall allocations at Laurel Park be coordinated directly with MJC Racing Secretary Jillian Tullock (jillian.tullock@marylandracing.com).

"Additionally, for arrangements regarding dormitory room allocations, please work with MTHA Executive Director David Richardson (david@mdhorsemen.com), who will assist in accommodating impacted personnel.

'During the transition period, we are committed to maintaining the highest standards of operation and horse care and safety at all our facilities. You may reach out to my office directly (mike.rogers@stronachgroup.com) or MTROA Executive Director Marc Broady (marc.broady@maryland.gov) should you have any questions or require further information.

"The benefits of this agreement to the state of Maryland and Maryland Thoroughbred racing industry are significant. The Stronach Group is proud to have worked with Gov. Wes Moore, Greg Cross and the team at the MTROA on this plan. On behalf of The Stronach Group, we look forward to continuing to work with the MTHA and Maryland racing stakeholders for many years to come. Thank you for your continued support."

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