Following a tense battle in the Maryland General Assembly and a lawsuit by the city, there’s newfound hope for keeping the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore. Over the weekend, The Sun reported the city and the track’s owners, The Stronach Group, had reached a deal to overhaul the state’s two primary thoroughbred racing tracks, Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park.
Tag: Pimlico Race Course
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.
In response to a critical letter and photos of deteriorating conditions released by Baltimore Del. Nick Mosby, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman ordered an “immediate inspection” of the dormitories at Laurel Park where backstretch workers live.
Baltimore Del. Nick Mosby released photos today that he said show the “slum-like” conditions for backstretch workers at Laurel Park and illustrate the track’s owners, The Stronach Group, prioritize “horses over humans.”
He called for the withdrawal of paired bills that would authorize $120 million in state bonds to turn Laurel Park into a “super track,” a project that would ultimately move the Preakness Stakes from Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course, and said the state should withhold any subsidies until Stronach improves the conditions for the grooms, exercise riders, hotwalkers and workers who live along the backstretch.
The dirt oval where Seabiscuit and War Admiral faced off head-to-head would be gone, torn up and relegated to history, as would the creaky grandstands and clubhouse where fans cheered on greats like Secretariat, American Pharoah and Justify, all eventual Triple Crown winners.
Under a new $424 million plan put forth in a report by the Maryland Stadium Authority, Pimlico Race Course would remain up on Old Hilltop, but everything would be razed and a new multi-use complex would be built on the 110-acre parcel. The new track, 15/16 miles in length on the dirt, would be rotated 35 degrees clockwise, and there are plans for an all new state-of-the-art clubhouse for the massive crowds that turn out for the Preakness Stakes.
Q&A: Stronach Group’s Tiffani Steer talks changes at this year’s Preakness, the future of Pimlico and more
Calling earlier this week from the middle of the Pimlico Race Course, Tiffani Steer says the infield still looks like a bit of a construction site. There’s obviously a considerable amount of work that goes into putting on an event the size of the Preakness, happening Saturday, but this year the Stronach Group, owners of Pimlico and Laurel Park, among other tracks, is reconfiguring both the corporate village and the music festival area.
Just as a second phase to study Pimlico Race Course’s future moves forward, Baltimore County Del. Pat McDonough is hoping the General Assembly will help him replace the track and bring the Preakness Stakes out of the city and into the county.
A new form of entertainment is coming to Pimlico Race Course this summer, and it doesn’t have anything to do with horse racing.
November Happenings at Mt. Washington Tavern: Free Pint on Election Day (if you vote!), Thanksgiving Dinner & A 35th Year Special Brew
November means a lot to the Mt. Washington Tavern. Not only is the month a time to relish in our great nation’s democracy with Election Day, but also it is a time to show our thanks for family and friends with a special Thanksgiving meal. Additionally, this month the Tavern will officially celebrate its 35th birthday.