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Dec 14, 2012

Maryland gains 10-year racing agreement


Laurel, MD (Sports Network) - A 10-year racing agreement has been reached among Maryland"s thoroughbred racing groups. The announcement of such a deal was made Friday.

The organizations involved are the Maryland Jockey Club, which operates Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen"s Association and Maryland Horse Breeders Association.

"We created a plan that benefits everyone and develops a sustainable model for the future," said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. "I would like to thank Governor Martin O"Malley for his continued support of the industry. We appreciate his involvement two years ago which set-up the framework for this deal. We appreciate Maryland Racing Commissioners John McDaniel and Bruce Quade for their commitment as well as the leadership from the MTHA and MBHA for working with us to make this happen."

Year-round racing at the two tracks is an important part of the agreement along with continued training and stabling with a minimum of 1,900 stalls at Pimlico and Laurel Park.

The upcoming 2013 racing year will have 146 days of live racing which is consistent with the last three years in Maryland. A minimum of 100 days a year for the balance of the agreement has been guaranteed by the MJC.

"I am confident and pleased via this agreement," said Stronach Group chairman Frank Stronach, who owns Pimlico and Laurel. "We will now have long term stability, year round racing and stabling, an attractive purse structure, promise for the breeding industry and a strong foundation to restore Maryland racing to its pre-eminence in North American racing."

The Maryland Racing Commission will vote to approve the 2013 racing dates at its next monthly meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 18 beginning at 12:30 p.m. (ET) at Laurel Park.

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