It appears another Maryland Racing Commission meeting will come and go Tuesday without an agreement between Magna Entertainment Corp, horsemen and breeders on a plan for the 2006 racing season in the state.
The Maryland Jockey Club will offer 19 stakes races worth just under $2 million at Laurel Park this winter under the stakes schedule approved by the Maryland Racing Commission.
Maryland racing commissioner Terry Saxon said Nov. 8 he would make a proposal for the commission to decide Maryland's racing dates, stabling, and expense-sharing issues at the panel's Dec. 13 meeting if a unified plan hasn't been developed by then.
The Maryland Racing Commission upheld the live racing contract between the state horsemen's organization and the Maryland Jockey Club Oct. 6 after Magna Entertainment Corp., which owns the MJC, proposed slashing the number of live racing dates at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course in 2006.
Maryland Jockey Club president and chief executive officer Joe De Francis created the picture of a locomotive bearing down on Maryland in the form of Pennsylvania slot machines as he encouraged the Maryland Racing Commission to accept a plan from Magna Entertainment Corp to cut live racing dates from 220 to 112 in 2006.
Live racing shifts to Laurel Park Wednesday for a 78-day fall meeting that is highlighted by the Maryland Million (Oct. 8) and the Fall Festival Of Racing (November 19), headlined by the grade I Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash. The meet will feature 39 stakes races with purses exceeding $4 million.
The Maryland Racing Commission, which seldom delves openly into politics, has expressed its disappointment with the state legislature for failing to help the racing industry in the recently concluded legislative session.
The Maryland Jockey Club announced April 7 that it has begun the final preparations for the new turf course at Laurel Park.
The Maryland Racing Commission approved the Pimlico spring stakes schedule at its monthly meeting Feb. 22 at Laurel Park. The headline event of the eight-week meeting beginning April 20 is the 130th running of the May 21 $1 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the middle jewel of the Visa Triple Crown.
The Maryland Racing Commission has unanimously approved the sale of Rosecroft Raceway to Georgia K. Angelos, wife of Peter Angelos, majority owner of the Baltimore Orioles and a Thoroughbred owner and breeder.
The family of Baltimore Orioles majority owner Peter Angelos signed an agreement Nov. 20 to buy Rosecroft Raceway, a struggling harness track in southern Maryland just outside of Washington, D.C. The deal, if approved by the Maryland Racing Commission, would likely enhance the chances of slot machines being authorized in the state.
The Maryland Racing Commission has become the fourth regulatory agency to rejoin the Association of Racing Commissioners International in the past year.
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.
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.
The Maryland Racing Commission June 8 narrowly gave the go-ahead to Magna Entertainment Corp., parent company of the Maryland Jockey Club, to begin rebuilding the turf and dirt tracks at Laurel Park despite strong objections by horsemen.
The Maryland Racing Commission rejected the proposed sale of the struggling Rosecroft Raceway, saying the terms of the deal could harm the state's Thoroughbred industry.
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.
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.
Erwin Mendelson has resigned as a member of Maryland Racing Commission, saying he was fed up with the rancor and disgusted by the continuing fighting between racing's factions.
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.
The Maryland Racing Commission voted Tuesday not to intervene in the Maryland Jockey Club's decision to close the Pimlico stables for the winter. The 6-2 vote set off a flurry of angry responses from horsemen aimed primarily at Tom McDonough, commission chairman.
The Maryland Racing Commission Sept. 9 commended Magna Entertainment Corp. for progress in meeting its commitment to upgrade the barn areas at Pimlico Race Course, Laurel Park, and the Bowie Training Center.
Magna Entertainment Corp. and the Maryland Racing Commission are working on a document that would satisfy Magna's agreement to spend $5 million on upgrades at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course by Aug. 31, said Mike Hopkins, executive director of the commission.
It appears unlikely Magna Entertainment Corp., majority owners of the Maryland Jockey Club, will fulfill its promise of spending $5 million on improvements at Laurel Park prior to an Aug. 31 deadline.
Magna Entertainment Corp., majority owner of the Maryland Jockey Club, has unveiled what it says is the first phase of an overall plan to rebuild Pimlico and Laurel Park from the ground up - grandstands, racing surfaces and stable areas. The $46-million first phase of the plan will include new stables and training track at Laurel Park.
New majority owner of Pimlico, Laurel Park fails to offer details on a promised $15-million renovation project.
With the 90-day session of the General Assembly at its midpoint, the effort to legalize slot machines at Maryland racetracks has bogged down. Gov. Robert Ehrlich Jr. has gone back to the drawing board with his proposal which had, incredibly, angered nearly everyone.
Bettors on May 16-17 will be able to play the new "head-to-head wager" that debuted at the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. The wager will be offered on the Preakness Stakes, Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, Pimlico Special, and other stakes at Pimlico Race Course those two days.
As the investigation into "unusual circumstances" surrounding winning Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick Six wagers continued Oct. 30, there was some speculation as to whether those bets, and perhaps others made through unlicensed account-wagering providers, are legal in Maryland.
The Maryland Racing Commission approved the 2003 racing schedule at its monthly meeting. Live racing will be conducted on 220 days at Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park next year. The 128th Preakness Stakes (gr. I) is May 17 at Pimlico.
The Maryland Racing Commission has reduced the penalties of two trainers who had been dealt lengthy suspensions after their horses raced at Pimlico Race Course with an illegal drug in their systems.
The embattled racing industry in Maryland will receive $4.5 million--not $3 million as expected--from the state for Thoroughbred and Standardbred purses and breeders' funds. The money will become available July 1.
The symbol (L) is widely used in racing programs to inform the betting public that a horse has been treated with the bleeder medication Salix (formerly known as Lasix). But visitors to Maryland for the Preakness might notice something different.
The expected $4.5-million purse supplement for Maryland racing has apparently shrunk to $3 million, according to Mike Hopkins, acting executive director of the Maryland Racing Commission.
Churchill Downs Inc. recently tried to buy Maryland's major thoroughbred tracks but failed because Joe De Francis, president and CEO of the Maryland Jockey Club, insisted on retaining management control, The Baltimore Sun reported Friday.
The Maryland Racing Commission deferred action Wednesday, Jan. 23, on two crucial issues after representatives of the Maryland horsemen's organization and Maryland Jockey Club clashed, often heatedly, on nearly every point.
When the Maryland Racing Commission meets in late January, its executive director, Ken Schertle, won't be sitting at the head table -- for the first time in 16 years.
The Maryland Racing Commission on Nov. 27 granted the first new license to operate a racetrack in the state in more than 50 years. The commission gave the go-ahead to William Rickman Jr. and his father, William Rickman Sr., to build a small track in mountainous western Maryland. The last new licenses issued were in 1949 for the Rosecroft Raceway and Ocean Downs harness tracks.
At the risk of losing even more credibility with state lawmakers and despite a deadline imposed by the Maryland Racing Commission, the state's racing industry acknowledged Monday it has not made peace among the ranks. If anything, the disparate factions demonstrated that resolving their disputes is a longshot.
The Television Games Network can legally handle account wagers in Maryland, according to the state racing commission.
- By Tom Keyser
Exasperated by the state racing industry's continued bickering and failure to work together, the Maryland Racing Commission Oct. 29 ordered Thoroughbred and Standardbred factions to resolve conflicts in two weeks or face punitive action that could lead to the denial of racing dates.
Exasperated by the state racing industry's continued bickering and failure to work together, the Maryland Racing Commission on Monday ordered the Thoroughbred and harness factions to resolve conflicts in two weeks or face punitive action that could lead to the denial of racing dates.
At the Aug. 30 Maryland Racing Commission meeting at Ocean Downs, commissioner Terry Saxon erupted in anger over a letter from Colonial Downs president Ian Stewart in regard to the Virginia track's plan to apply for another summer meet next year.
The Maryland Racing Commission on Thursday abruptly cut off testimony concerning construction of a racetrack in the western part of the state so opposing sides could work on an agreement to expedite the tedious process. William Rickman Jr., who wants to build the track in remote Allegany County, offered to write a letter of credit to guarantee its financial viability and stability. Rickman, who owns and Delaware Park and Ocean Downs, a Maryland harness track, is the only applicant for the license to construct the track.
In a tense meeting that exposed deep divisions within Maryland's racing community, the state racing commission on Wednesday rejected a plan for ceasing Thoroughbred racing for five weeks this summer so that horses can compete in Virginia. The commission voted 6-2 against the proposal advanced by the Maryland Jockey Club and a task force representing segments of the racing industry in Maryland and Virginia. The plan called for Pimlico and Laurel Park to close for racing from June 10 to July 14 while Colonial Downs, the struggling track near Richmond, conducted a 25-day summer Thoroughbred meet.
On Wednesday, representatives of the Maryland Jockey Club will ask the state's racing commission for permission to cease racing at Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park for parts of June and July so that Thoroughbreds can race at Colonial Downs. The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association doesn't support the plan.
On the eve of its annual convention, the Association of Racing Commissioners International is again faced with a mass exodus that could threaten its viability. As of Thursday, up to 10 jurisdictions had informed the Lexington-based organization they had defected or would withhold dues pending changes at RCI. At issue is president Tony Chamblin's handling of the organization and its finances, in particular a $50,000 check he is said to have written himself last year. In December, Chamblin's salary and benefits package for the remaining two years of his contract was reduced.
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