For the first time in three years, the final two rounds of The Basketball Tournament won’t be held in Baltimore City. But a team of alumni from the now-famous University of Maryland, Baltimore County men’s basketball program will be making a comeback.
City withdraws lawsuit seeking control of Pimlico, says Stronach willing to talk keeping Preakness in Baltimore
Nearly three months after taking the owners of Pimlico Race Course to court over the 149-year-old track’s deterioration, as well as their plans to move the second jewel of the Triple Crown to Laurel Park, the city has withdrawn its lawsuit against the Ontario-based Stronach Group and its subsidiary, the Maryland Jockey Club.
The Preakness is much more than two minutes of tension and energy. It’s stable hands bathing horses in the morning light, fans in big hats and the ritual awarding of a silver vase. By stripping the event of color, I hope the black and white forces viewers to concentrate on the subjects of the most important two minutes in Baltimore sports.
While the lack of a Kentucky Derby winner may have tamped down interest in the Preakness Stakes for casual fans, bettors saw a wide-open race and wagered a record sum.
The Preakness card took in a record betting handle of $99.85 million, the Maryland Jockey Club announced. Per Daily Racing Form reporter Jim Dunleavy, $54,463,335 of that total was bet on the Preakness alone.
The office smells like cigar smoke and horse. It’s not his cigar, though; the quality stogie belongs to a swell outside on a break from placing bets.
Gary Yamin doesn’t smoke. He sits behind a small desk with maps on the wall and maps in front of him and an icon of the Virgin Mary tacked to a bulletin board for prayers and luck. Yamin is Pimlico’s track detective, and he’s getting ready for the biggest, longest two days on the local racing calendar.
He’s a police vet, hitting the beat with the Baltimore Police Department for his 20 years, and a local. Parents are from Park Heights, the area he patrolled as a cop and his base at the track during the racing season.
The Stronach Group today filed a motion in circuit court to dismiss the city’s lawsuit seeking control over Pimlico Race Course and the Preakness Stakes, arguing the state has exclusive jurisdiction over horse racing.
Both thoroughbred and harness racing operations, as well as off-track betting, are overseen by the Maryland Racing Commission, part of the Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation.
Country House, the winner of last week’s controversial Kentucky Derby, will skip the Preakness Stakes and not make a bid for the Triple Crown due to illness, according to a report in the Daily Racing Form.
Trainer Bill Mott told the racing publication that Country House is coming down with a cold.
Bourbon War, who fell short of qualifying for the Kentucky Derby, will enter the Triple Crown series at Old Hilltop, the Maryland Jockey Club announced today.
He’s a familiar foe to some of the Derby contenders, finishing second to Derby runner-up Code of Honor in the Fountain of Youth Stakes and fourth behind Maximum Security, Bodexpress and Code of Honor in the Florida Derby.
The city is rolling out a series of events ahead of the 144th Preakness Stakes, even as the legal battle to keep the second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown in Baltimore continues.
At a press conference this morning to announce the events, Ex Officio Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young was asked about the engineering report that led the Maryland Jockey Club to close the Old Grandstand section of Pimlico Race Course.
He said code enforcement officials met at Pimlico with representatives from the track and received a portion of the report. And while he did not dispute the claims of deterioration of the oldest section of the structure, Young emphasized the conditions arose “because of years of neglect and deferred maintenance.”
The Stronach Group, owner of Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park, has joined a coalition of major American racetracks in phasing out the use of the horse medication Lasix on race days following a series of fatalities at Santa Anita Park in California.
At least 23 horses have died after breaking down during races or training sessions at the track just outside Los Angeles. Operations were suspended by Stronach, which owns the track, on March 5, following a spate of 21 deaths that started on Dec. 26.