New Maryland Plan in the Works

Short-term plan will be introduced at Dec. 21 meeting.

The owners of Laurel Park and Pimlico intend to submit a plan to the Maryland Racing Commission to conduct 77 days of live racing during the first half of the 2011 season.

MI Developments and Penn National Gaming operate the state Thoroughbred tracks in partnership and announced their intention Dec. 10. The tracks reportedly have been losing millions of dollars a year and the owners are seeking a way to make year-round racing viable.

The commission rejected their bid last month to reduce the schedule to 47 days of live racing at the Laurel winter meet and Pimlico spring meet.

Penn National official Eric Schippers said the new plan includes racing through the Preakness (gr. I) on May 21. After that the operators would seek a long-term solution.