The Maryland Racing Commission on Tuesday rejected a proposal by the
owners of Laurel Park and Pimlico Racecourse to run 146 live race dates
at the tracks in 2011 after horsemen expressed opposition to several
provisions in the proposal, according to reports.
The rejection of the proposal leaves the Maryland racing circuit in
limbo heading into 2011. Without a dates agreement in place, Maryland
tracks, offtrack betting locations, and account-wagering platforms will
be unable to offer betting on any Thoroughbred races, including
simulcasts, beginning Jan. 1. In addition, the lack of an agreement
threatens the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown,
which is scheduled every year for the third Saturday in May at Pimlico.
The tracks' owners, MI Developments and Penn National Gaming, had
asked the commission to approve 146 race dates, but the deal would have
required the state’s horsemen to contribute $1.7 million toward
operating the tracks and to relinquish their simulcasting rights.
Horsemen said during the meeting that they could not accept the
provisions, despite supporting the number of race dates that the two
companies proposed, according to the reports.