Maryland Will Invest $400 Million To Keep The Preakness In Baltimore


Laurel Park will eventually close down.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore has pretty much assured the Preakness, the middle race of the Thoroughbred Horse Racing’s Triple Crown, will stay in Baltimore by signing a bill that will rebuild the Pimlico race track. Maryland can use $400 million in state bonds to pay for the renovation. The old racetrack will be taken over by the Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority. The horse racing industry in Maryland is going to change in an effort to keep the industry in the state and the Preakness in Baltimore. Maryland does not own the Preakness name. The Preakness will be held at Laurel Park in 2025 and 2026 and will return to Baltimore in 2027. The 2026 Preakness will be the last hurrah for the Laurel Park track.

The Preakness Stakes, Thoroughbred Racing’s second oldest Triple Crown race, started at Pimlico in 1873. The race moved to the Bronx, New York in 1890 and returned to Baltimore in 1909. It is not unusual to see 100,000 people attend the race at Pimlico which is 154 years old. The racetrack’s clubhouse and grandstand will be demolished. A new clubhouse and event center will be built. Horse training and stable operations will be consolidated at Laurel Park. Laurel Park will close after the 2026 calendar year. The Maryland Stadium Authority, which among other entities has the Baltimore Orioles’ baseball stadium and the Baltimore Ravens’ football facility and funds the venues upkeep and pays off the facilities debt, is involved. The thoroughbred industry is also getting New York State money to upgrade Belmont Park which hosts the third leg of the triple crown series. Horse racing has seen an incredible drop in popularity for a variety of reasons over the past five decades including other forms of available betting. Thoroughbred racing does attract people for one-time events like the Preakness.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore

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