It Has Not Been A Bad Year For Thoroughbred Racing

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Deep Sleep Entertainment/ Preakness Live Photo Selects

Public money is “reimagining” two of the three Triple Crown racetracks.

Despite the fact there will not be a Thoroughbred Racing Triple Crown winner this year, it has been a pretty good year for people who are invested in the thoroughbred horse racing industry. The Belmont Stakes is not taking place in its usual setting, instead it will be run in Saratoga, New York, as the Belmont Race Track in Elmont is closed. New York State is sinking about $400 million into “reimagining” the racetrack. In Maryland, the Governor Wes Moore is putting up hundreds of millions of public dollars to rebuild the Pimlico Race Course with the hope that the  Stronach Group will continue running the Preakness at the Baltimore track. But there is a dark side to the thoroughbred horse racing industry. Horses are dying at an alarming high rate.

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association is aware that it has an image problem. The group has started a marketing campaign called Safety Runs First. The group announced on its website that, “thoroughbred racing has significantly increased its investment in the future of equine safety. Thanks to cutting-edge technologies and stricter, uniform medication and testing rules, we’re seeing a seismic shift in how we enhance the ecosystem of care surrounding horses.” That is not the only problem the horse racing industry is facing. Racetracks are closing. In Maryland, Laurel Park will handle racing until Pimlico’s renovation is done. If all goes well, Pimlico will reopen in 2027 and Laurel Park will become a training camp with no racing. Northville Downs in Michigan was shuttered in February. The National Football League’s Chicago Bears’ ownership purchased the Arlington Park property in Arlington Heights, Illinois with the intention of putting a stadium-village on the land. The horse racing industry is not very important anymore. Horse racing is just hanging on and is in survival mode.


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Evan can be reached at evan_weiner@hotmail.com