Tag Archive | "Laurel"

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Maryland Jockey Club Announces 146 Day Race Schedule for 2012

Posted on 17 December 2011 by WNST Staff

LAUREL, MD. 12-17-11—The Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) and Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (MTHA) reached an agreement in principal Saturday to apply and race 146 days at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course in 2012.

“I am glad we got this resolved,” said Richard Hoffberger, MTHA president. “This means running the same amount of live days as this year which was important to the horsemen to maintain a year-round program.”

The parties will continue to meet on a regular basis on developing a long-term plan for thoroughbred racing in the state with a goal of a proposal in place by July 1, 2012.

“The Maryland Jockey Club is pleased that the parties have come together for the betterment of the industry,” said MJC president Tom Chuckas. “And our management team looks forward to working with the other industry participants in creating a long-term plan for sustainability in Maryland.”

The agreement reached needs to be ratified by the MTHA board. The parties will then take the agreement to the Maryland Racing Commission on Tuesday, December 20 for final approval.

“What we are looking for is a sustainable business model for the future,” said Maryland Racing Commissioner John McDaniel, who along with commissioner Bruce Quade has been part of the process. “The Maryland Racing Commission will actively spearhead the process and we are looking forward to working with the parties with frequent meetings. We are also working with the Governor’s office, and his emissary Joe Bryce, to make sure we are conforming to the intent from the legislature for the long-term plan of the racing industry.”

The 2012 Laurel Park winter meet is scheduled to begin Wednesday, January 4. Entries will be taken Friday, December 30.

The 2011 racing season ends with this afternoon’s nine-race card at Laurel.


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Posted on 30 June 2011 by WNST Staff

June 30, 2011 – Aurora, ON: The Stronach Group today announced that it has acquired the racing and gaming assets formerly held by MI Developments Inc. (MID) (NYSE: MIM) as part of a previously announced reorganization proposal approved by MID shareholders on March 29, 2011.

The racing and gaming assets acquired by The Stronach Group include: Santa Anita Park; Golden Gate Fields; Portland Meadows; MID’s joint venture interests in Maryland Jockey Club’s real estate and racing assets (Pimlico Race Course, Laurel Park and the Bowie Training Center); Gulfstream Park and MID’s joint venture interest in an associated retail development; horseracing technology assets, including Xpressbet®, AmTote and MID’s joint venture interest in HRTV, a cable and satellite television network dedicated to the sport of horse racing; as well as various development properties previously owned by MID.

Belinda Stronach, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Stronach Group, said: “The acquisition of MID’s racing and gaming assets positions The Stronach Group at the forefront of the Thoroughbred horseracing industry. We are fully committed to ensuring the success and profitability of our strong portfolio of racing and gaming operations. We also look forward to working with the horseracing industry and all of its stakeholders to ensure the long-term success and viability of the industry.”

About The Stronach Group

The Stronach Group is a privately-held consortium that owns, operates and manages a number of leading businesses in a wide range of industries, including: Thoroughbred racing and gaming; Thoroughbred horse breeding; agriculture; electric vehicle technologies; and medical technologies. The Stronach Group also owns a number of premier development properties and real estate assets in North America and Europe.

The Stronach Group is a joint venture partner with Magna International Inc. in Magna E-Car Systems, which designs, develops and manufactures hybrid and electric vehicle systems, modules and components, as well as complete hybrid and electric vehicles.


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Stronach Group Takes Full Control of MJC, Pimlico, Laurel from Penn National

Posted on 16 June 2011 by WNST Staff


Reaffirms Commitment to Maryland Horseracing

June 16, 2011 –The Stronach Group today announced that it has completed a binding agreement for the purchase of Penn National Gaming Inc.’s stake in the Maryland Jockey Club.  Effective July 1, 2011, following completion of the MI Developments reorganization, the transaction will give The Stronach Group full ownership of the assets and operations of Pimlico Race Course, Laurel Park and the Bowie Training Center.

Speaking on behalf of The Stronach Group, Belinda Stronach stated, “Today’s announcement is part of our ongoing commitment to the horseracing industry and to the State of Maryland. We are determined to work with industry and government officials across the state to further develop Maryland’s reputation as a premiere location for racing.”

Greg Avioli, President and CEO of The Stronach Group’s Gaming and Racing Division, added, “The tremendous support for last month’s Preakness, with more than 107,000 in attendance, demonstrates what a fantastic racing market Maryland can be when given a quality product.  As we turn the page and begin a new chapter in Maryland racing, we are more committed than ever to do what it takes to return Maryland to its rightful place as one of the top racing and breeding states in the country.”

Pimlico Race Course, opened in 1870, is the country’s second oldest racetrack and serves as the annual host of the Preakness Stakes, the second leg in thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown and one of the premiere sporting events in the United States.  Pimlico Race Course features a one-mile oval track, a 7/8-mile turf course and fixed seating for approximately 15,000 spectators.  The 2011 Preakness drew more than 107,000 spectators to Pimlico, the largest annual sporting event audience in Maryland, and recorded the sixth-highest attendance in the history of the race.  Laurel Park, the sister track to Pimlico, opened in 1911 and features a 1 1/8 mile oval track and a one mile turf course with fixed seating for approximately 5,000 spectators.

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Angelos wants to “save” horse racing and Preakness for Maryland

Posted on 20 March 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

“The Preakness is going to stay in Maryland. Period. It’s not leaving. Guaranteed!” Those are the words that Maryland State Senate president Mike Miller told the local media earlier this week. I hope that he’s right.

I’ve long been a proponent of finding ways to salvage what’s left of the dying local industry of horse racing but most importantly adding some future luster and pageantry back into what was once an annual “Super Bowl” for Baltimore and Maryland. But it’s not just about the Preakness or the long-tailed reach of the economics of having horse racing go extinct in our state. It’s not about jockeys and horses and vets and farms and people. It’s about whether anyone in the public truly cares enough to support horse racing with their wallets in a world where bets are available online, just a click away around the clock.

If a “supertrack” is ever created, will anyone come back to horse racing or try it for the first time? Will it ever be a true money maker worthy of spending several hundred million dollars to resurrect a sport that hasn’t really mattered in our community in a quarter of a century?

This morning, The Sun reported that Orioles owner Peter Angelos has now thrown his ample pocketbook into the ring to step forward to be a “hero” and potentially buy the residue of what made Magna file for bankruptcy.

Angelos purchased the most successful sports entity the state has ever known in the Orioles 16 years ago when he outbid two groups of investors at a New York auction and has successfully managed to destroy 50 years of history in less than a decade.

He took a fan base of more than 3.6 million people and has systematically destroyed it. I don’t think that’s even debatable at this point. Just come to Opening Day on April 6th and count the pinstripes.

So here’s the question of the day: Does Angelos — or anyone he knows — have the ability to take the deadest of dead local entities and breathe life back into it with the stroke of a check? It will undoubtedly take a LOT more than “money” to revive horse racing as a whole in our region.

It will take vision. Immense vision.

There’s no doubt that Angelos relishes the role of “hero” when it comes to these situations — his anger toward Art Modell’s arrival when he couldn’t buy the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and move them here is well-documented — but I’m having trouble believing that Angelos would know the first thing about “re-marketing” horse racing here two generations after its heyday.

Sure, he could buy it…

But for anyone “buying” the Maryland Jockey Club — Laurel and Pimlico — I’m not sure really what the “asset” is anymore? There are very few horse racing fans left. The facilities are in decay. And young people don’t identify or understand the sport.

But Angelos, who has always loved the ponies and who had involvement with Rosecroft when it became available for sale several years ago, is no doubt very sincere when he said: “Whatever I could do to help, I’m prepared to do.”

I hope Angelos does buy Magna’s remaning assets. I hope the Preakness stays here. I hope a supertrack is built and it’s packed night after night and I have a good time.

But somehow, I have a feeling that the “vision” for the future of Maryland’s horse racing is something that Angelos will sorely lack. Only time will tell…

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