Maryland Jockey Club, horsemen reach 10-year agreement
The Maryland Jockey Club (MJC), the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (MTHA) and the Maryland Horse Breeders Association (MHBA) on Friday announced that they have come to a 10-year agreement for sustained racing at Pimlico and Laurel.
"I am confident and pleased via this agreement," said Stronach Group chairman Frank Stronach, who owns Pimlico and Laurel. "We will now have long term stability, year round racing and stabling, an attractive purse structure, promise for the breeding industry and a strong foundation to restore Maryland racing to its pre-eminence in North American racing."
“We created a plan that benefits everyone and develops a sustainable model for the future," Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas said. "I would like to thank Governor Martin O'Malley for his continued support of the industry. We appreciate his involvement two years ago which set-up the framework for this deal. We appreciate Maryland Racing Commissioners John McDaniel and Bruce Quade for their commitment as well as the leadership from the MTHA and MBHA for working with us to make this happen."
The 2013 racing season will feature 146 days of live racing days at the major Maryland tracks, the same number as in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The Maryland Jockey Club will guarantee a minimum of 100 days a year for the balance of the agreement. There are provisions in the contract for the horsemen to race additional days through a revenue-sharing program.
The deal also calls for Pimlico and Laurel to remain open for year-round racing, training and stabling for the balance of the contract. Chuckas indicated Pimlico and Laurel would maintain a minimum of 1,900 stalls.
Chuckas said the deal "allows the Maryland Jockey Club to invest in capital improvements at both facilities and we plan on submitting a plan to the Maryland Racing Commission and Maryland Department of Budget and Management in February."
The parties will ask the Maryland Racing Commission to approve 2013 racing dates at their monthly meeting on Tuesday. The meeting begins at 12:30 p.m. (EST) in Laurel's Ruffian Room.
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