This content material was republished with permission from WTOP’s information partners at Maryland Matters. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ unfastened electronic mail subscription today. In a circulate that changed into immediately hailed as a “seminal second” for Maryland’s horse enterprise, the organization that owns the Preakness Stakes and the kingdom’s most high-profile tracks introduced on Thursday that it has entered a new segment of negotiations to hold the race, the middle leg of racing’s Triple Crown, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.
The commitment to try to hold a hundred and forty four-12 months-antique race in the metropolis represents a sizable shift for the Stronach Group, the Toronto-primarily based company that owns Pimlico, Laurel Park, and the Preakness. Of past due, the enterprise has been devoting most of its assets to Laurel, having informed kingdom officials that its lengthy-term plan turned into making the Anne Arundel County facility an “awesome-track” and to transport the Preakness there. The declaration that Stronach, the metropolis, and others concerned in Maryland racing would try to maintain Pimlico afloat become made through Alan M. Rifkin, a distinguished Baltimore-based legal professional representing the company monthly assembly of the Maryland Racing Commission.
“We’ve been requested to explore methods and methods to maintain and decorate the Preakness in Baltimore City, to keep and decorate sustainable racing within the nation, and to hold and decorate the facilities that permit for that racing,” Rifkin instructed the fee. “It’s an undertaking. However a mission I think we’re up to fulfill. We’re positive that we can meet it.” The organization’s selection to attempt to reinvigorate the getting old West Baltimore track, which now has live racing just 12 days 12 months, follows Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young’s selection to withdraw a lawsuit towards Stronach that become filed by using his predecessor, Catherine E. Pugh.
As Rifkin spoke, he became flanked by William H. Cole IV, former chairman of the Baltimore Development Corp., and Alan Foreman, counsel for the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and a national expert on racing. Those guys and a fourth, new BDC President Colin Tarbert, who wasn’t present, were described as the “precise negotiators” at the thicket of troubles that have caused the decline of racing in Baltimore and the frenzy to transport the Preakness to Laurel. Commission Chairman Michael Algeo, known as the new dedication to negotiating energetically and in properly religion, “a seminal moment in Maryland racing.
Maryland Racing Commission Chairman Michael J. Algeo. Photo by way of Bruce DePuyt. “We have a crisis within the enterprise. I don’t think absolutely everyone’s going for walks far from that,” he said. “I think the future of the Maryland horse industry relies upon us working together.” Pimlico, which became constructed in 1870, is in want of high maintenance. Because of the sport’s decline, there has been a reluctance to pump cash into the ability. But without it, deterioration has endured taking its toll.
Algeo informed Tim Ritvo, Stronach’s leader working officer, that he got an earful of proceedings from enthusiasts who observed this year’s Preakness to be disappointing due to problems with the venue, like toilets that weren’t functioning. Ritvo is known as the structure “historic” and apologized to fans who left unhappy, pledging to make improvements in time for subsequent years ’ race. While he’s constructive that the new negotiations might be fruitful, Algeo stated that there might be tons of work to do in an interview.
“Stronach’s not going to pay for it. The nation doesn’t need to pay for it. The metropolis doesn’t need to pay for it,” he stated. “But collectively — together with the Maryland Stadium Authority, bonds, and different private entities — I assume we will get it executed.” A retired Montgomery County Circuit Court choose, Algeo known as Pugh’s lawsuit against Stronach, “a problem” because “with litigation is going vitriol and bad comments and accusations.” April Smith, who’s energetic with the institution Friends of Pimlico, welcomed the renewed negotiations, calling them “first-rate information.”