Maryland horse racing sets 10-year deal

Dec. 18, 2012 at 3:22 PM

LAUREL, Md., Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The Maryland Racing Commission on Tuesday approved a 10-year agreement to keep thoroughbred racing in the state.

The Maryland Jockey Club is working on a 146-day racing schedule for 2013.

Among the local groups that pulled together the 10-year agreement was Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, the site of the Preakness Stakes, the second race in the Triple Crown.

The agreement calls for Pimlico and Laurel Park, in Laurel, Md., to be open year-round for trainings and stabling.

"The long-term agreement will provide stability after years of uncertainty," Maryland Jockey Club President Tom Chuckas said. "Next year is a year of transition with most of the changes beginning in 2014."

Under the schedule announced Tuesday, Laurel Park would open Jan. 1 for a 51-day winter session. The season at Pimlico would begin April 4 and run 36 days, including the 138th Preakness Stakes on May 18. Laurel would also have a 59-day autumn meet beginning Sept. 19.

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