As tensions escalated between leaders of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and the chairman of the Maryland Racing Commission, executives of the Maryland Jockey Club said Tuesday that the rebuilding of the Laurel Park dirt track was nearly complete.
Racing won't return to Laurel Park until after the new year as workers rebuilding the racing surfaces have encountered weather delays and continue to address foundation problems.
Less than six weeks from the scheduled reopening of Laurel Park on Dec. 26, track officials told the Maryland Racing Commission Tuesday (Nov. 16) that they still cannot guarantee the reconstructed dirt surface will be ready for racing.
Tim Capps, executive vice president of the Maryland Jockey Club, will end his second stint at the Maryland tracks Oct. 31.
Wagering during the Maryland Million at Pimlico totaled $6.5 million Saturday, just off the day's record of $6.6 million, according to figures released by Maryland Jockey Club Sunday.
The Maryland Jockey Club announced Oct. 8 that it intends to extend the current Pimlico meet until mid-December, with the re-opening of Laurel Park scheduled for Dec. 26. The current Pimlico stand was tentatively scheduled to end on Nov. 2.
The Maryland Jockey Club unveiled the 2005 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) logo Thursday and announced that tickets for the 130th running go on sale Friday, Oct. 1, almost two months earlier than in previous years.
Castigating the management of Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course for everything from construction delays to security cutbacks to apathetic customer service, the Maryland Racing Commission delivered a stern message Sept. 14 to the Maryland Jockey Club and its parent company, Magna Entertainment Corp.
Pimlico Race Course will remain open for live racing until at least Nov. 2 while work continues on the racing surfaces at Laurel Park.
The Woodlawn Vase, presented annually to the winner of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), middle jewel of the Visa Triple Crown, will be on permanent display at the Baltimore Museum of Art, beginning later this month.
Mario Verge, who retired from riding during the Pimlico spring meet, has joined the Maryland Jockey Club racing office. The 39-year old won 2,118 races in his 23-year career for purses exceeding $31 million.
Live racing will return to Maryland with the opening of Pimlico's Summer Meet on July 31 and continue through August 27.
Jim Gagliano, who joined Magna Entertainment Corp. more than two years ago, has been appointed executive vice president of Maryland racing operations for MEC, majority owner of Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course under the Maryland Jockey Club banner.
Maryland's Thoroughbred interests have reached agreement with Rosecroft Raceway, a harness track in southern Maryland, on a 90-day resumption of Thoroughbred simulcasting at Rosecroft and the return of night simulcasting at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course.
Buoyed by record-handle on the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) program, all-sources handle for the Pimlico spring meet totaled $266.2 million, which was a slight increase over last year's total handle of $265 million.
A dispute over account wagering in Virginian could lead to a lawsuit against Colonial Downs, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported May 19.
The Todd Pletcher-trained Ocean Drive exploded in the stretch to score a three-quarter-length win in the May 15 Gallorette Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Pimlico Race Course. Film Maker was a fast-closing second.
Maryland racing officials and politicians really didn't make any excuses during the May 13 Alibi Breakfast at Pimlico Race Course. Instead, they called on the racing industry to do everything it can to facilitate a turn of fortunes for horse racing in the state.
Youbet.com is providing shuttle service to and from the May 14 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Race Course. The online wagering company is providing 10 coach buses to shuttle as many as 500 tourists from 16 hotels in and around Baltimore to the Preakness Stakes and back for this year's running of the second leg of the Triple Crown series.
The Maryland Jockey Club issued a list of house rules Tuesday for any jockey wishing to wear advertisements in races at Pimlico. Competitors of current sponsors enlisted by Triple Crown Productions and the MJC will not be allowed, which is similar to the rules in place at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
A trio of graded stakes winners highlight the 10-horse field for Friday's $150,000 Pimlico Breeders' Cup Distaff Handicap (gr. III), going 1 1/16 miles at Pimlico Race Course. The field is highlighted by grade I winner Nonsuch Bay and grade II winners Roar Emotion and Smok'n Frolic.
The Maryland Jockey Club announced safety and security procedures for Preakness weekend, including the May 15 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and the May 14 Pimlico Special (gr. I) /Black-Eyed Susan (gr. II). The track will again implement enhanced security procedures for its marquee events, with procedures being very similar to the enhanced procedures employed in 2002 and 2003. All persons and cars will be inspected upon entering.
The Maryland Racing Commission adjourned April 21 after two days of hearings without resolving the ownership issue at Rosecroft Raceway or the simulcasting dispute between the Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries.
Maryland racetracks have laid off or are poised to lay off employees in the wake of a simulcast disagreement between the Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries.
Profits at Pimlico Race Course fell almost 58% in 2003, according to a financial report filed with the Maryland Racing Commission.
Although racing in Maryland faces an uncertain future, one thing is clear, according to Frank Stronach, head of the company that controls the Maryland Jockey Club: The Preakness will remain at Pimlico.
Rosecroft Raceway will not be permitted to offer simulcast wagering of Thoroughbred races effective April 19, according to a statement released Friday evening jointly by the Maryland Jockey Club, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Assoc. and the Maryland Horse Breeders' Assoc.
Winners of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) media awards for coverage of last year's race includes Sean Clancy for his recap that appeared in Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred and photographer Jeff Snyder for a photo that ran in The Blood-Horse's Preakness results issue.
The Maryland Jockey Club and its majority owner, Magna Entertainment, issued a statement Wednesday reiterating their support for Pimlico Race Course at its present location.
Laurel Park closed out its winter meet on March 28 with a 2% gain in all-source handle. All-sources handle totaled $245 million for the 2004 winter meet, compared to $240 million in 2003.
Pimlico Race Course opens Wednesday for its 10-week spring meet, which is headlined by the $1 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the middle jewel of th Triple Crown, on May 15.
The Maryland Jockey Club will hold a job fair for the 129th running of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The Maryland Jockey Club March 12 will begin broadcasting television advertisements designed to promote horse racing and the importance of racing and breeding to the Maryland economy.
Magna Entertainment Corp. Tuesday reported a net loss of $103.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2003, or 96 cents a share, which includes a previously announced non-cash write-down of $81.7 million on its assets.
Despite financial results that show a net loss of $105.1 million in 2003, Magna Entertainment Corp. president Jim McAlpine said the company "made significant strides" in creating a global company built around horse racing.
Evening Attire rarely ventures away from New York, so when he does it's safe to say that he is ready to run and is expected to be the overwhelming favorite in Saturday's $150,000 John B. Campbell Breeders' Cup Handicap at Laurel Park.
The Baltimore Planning Commission Wednesday granted its approval to the proposed expansion of Pimlico Race Course into an "entertainment destination" facility, though plans for a hotel on the site were turned down.
Despite financial woes, the Pimlico Special (gr. I) has been scheduled for May 14, the day before the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), a Maryland Jockey Club executive told the Maryland Racing Commission Feb. 10.
Fasig-Tipton Midlantic's July sale of 2-year-olds in training and older horses of racing age will not be held this year.
Magna Entertainment Corp. will record an $82-million non-cash write-down for the fourth quarter of 2003, but the company said there would be no operating impact on any of its racetracks.
After Funny Cide delighted racing fans with his sizzling victory at Gulfstream Park, the schedule for the popular New York-bred gelding included the Pimlico Special (gr. I), which could be canceled this year due to a purse shortfall.
Joe DeFrancis, president of the Maryland Jockey Club, and Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. did not violate campaign finance laws by arranging more than $200,000 in donations to a national organization headed by Miller, Maryland's state prosecutor said Monday.
The decision by Laurel Park jockeys not to ride yesterday [Jan. 10], forcing cancellation of the nine-race card, incensed track managers who denounced the move and said racing should have taken place.
Magna Entertainment Corp. chairman Frank Stronach formally announced Wednesday plans for a new job-training center to be located near Pimlico Race Course in Maryland.
Racing nine fewer days than a year ago because of inclement weather, the Maryland Jockey Club announced its total handle declined less than 3% in 2003.
Tough times and uncertainty mark the passing of one year and the beginning of another in Maryland racing. Joe De Francis, president and CEO of the Maryland Jockey Club, calls 2003 "the toughest year we've had in the last decade." And the battle for relief in the form of slot machines has taken more unexpected twists and turns.
Because of the snow in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas, the Maryland Jockey Club has cancelled live racing at Laurel Park.
Live racing at Laurel Park was halted after the third race Saturday due to extreme wind gusts.
- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman -- The future of Maryland racing may not depend on the number of starts per stall, but perhaps the number of slot machines per grandstand.
The owners of Pimlico and Laurel Park averted a showdown with horsemen over the possible shutdown of simulcasting by agreeing Wednesday to keep the Pimlico stables open for the winter.
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