Maryland Racing Commission

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Maryland Marketing Task Force to be Formed

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Several departments of Maryland state government including the racing commission will be part of a marketing task force to be announced Monday (Oct. 23) at the commission's monthly meeting.

Trainers Worry Pimlico Quarantine is Too Late

Though the Maryland Jockey Club has stepped up its fight against the equine herpes virus 1 that has frightened horsemen throughout the state with a quarantine of the entire Pimlico Race Course stable area, some trainers continued to worry the move may have come too late.

Maryland Regulators Demand Unified Racing Plan

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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.

Maryland Panel Upholds Live Racing Contract

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 in Turmoil Over Plan to Slash Dates

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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.

Laurel Meet Kicks Off Wednesday

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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.

Maryland Regulators Call for Legislative Help

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.

Maryland Racing Commission Approves Pimlico Stakes Schedule

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.

Will Maryland Track Sale Facilitate Slots?

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.

MEC Takes Heat for State of Maryland Racing

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.

Deal Allows for Temporary Simulcasts in Maryland

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.

Laurel Park Project to Force Relocation of Horses

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.

Maryland Issues Unresolved as Panel Adjourns

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 Commission's Decision on Stable Closing Unpopular

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.

Magna Plans to Satisfy Agreement with Maryland Commission

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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.

Magna's Improvements to Laurel Behind Schedule

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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 Unveils Construction Plans for Laurel, Pimlico

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.

Push for Maryland Racetrack Slots Has Obstacles

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.

Maryland Panel OKs 'Head-to-Head' Wagering

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.

Legality of Pick 6 Wagers Called Into Question

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.

Maryland Racing Dates Approved

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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.

Maryland Racing to Get $4.5M for Purses

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.

Mountain Track Gets OK From Maryland Panel

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.

Maryland Factions Still Can't Agree on Plan

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.

Maryland Industry Told to Get Act Together

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.

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