Last year the future of the Preakness Stakes running in Baltimore was grim as legislation pending in the Maryland General Assembly would have consolidated all racing activities including the running of the Preakness Stakes at Laurel Park.
The proposal led to a highly emotional debate that continued up until the last day of the legislative session, but the proposal ultimately failed.
But something good emerged from the raucous debate.
The parties and stakeholders quietly convened, negotiated and found a meeting of the minds.
We often hear that a solution is a “win-win” for all parties — typically, that declaration is an overstatement.
However this negotiated agreement seems to meet that promise.
The plan calls for most horse racing activities to be consolidated at Laurel Park—a top priority of the Stronach Group and the Maryland Jockey Club.
Laurel and Timonium racing facilities will receive more financial support.
The facilities at Pimlico will receive a “face lift” and the Preakness Stakes will continue to be run annually in Baltimore – where it belongs.
The newly constructed clubhouse at Pimlico will serve as a year-round community destination and adjacent land will be open for new investment benefiting the neighboring communities.
It’s not often that a debate of this intensity leads to a resolution that truly reflects a win for all parties.
It’s time for our elected officials to approve this bold plan so that all Marylanders can join together in the winner’s circle and celebrate the state’s horse racing industry and tradition.
I’m Don Fry, President & CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee.
Listen to the commentary here.