In an about-face, the Maryland Jockey Club will keep the Pimlico Race Course barn area open all winter. The MJC attributed the move to an "unanticipated increase in demand by trainers for stabling."
In early October, the MJC announced plans to shutter Pimlico and keep all horses at Laurel Park and the Bowie training center. It touched off protests from longtime trainers and was opposed by the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.
The issue was to be discussed at a Maryland Racing Commission meeting Oct. 29, but it was removed from the agenda after the MJC decided to keep open the Pimlico backstretch.
Horsemen are provided with stabling free of charge all year at the three training facilities.
"The Maryland racing product has proven strong this fall," said Lou Raffetto, chief operating officer for the MJC. "We have always maintained, and continue to maintain, our ongoing dedication to provide stabling for all horsemen who support the Maryland racing program. Although the economics of simultaneously operating three racing facilities, particularly during the winter months, remains challenging, we believe it is in the best interests of Maryland racing to continue to do so at this time."