The Maryland Jockey Club, which owns both Pimlico and Laurel Park, submitted its plan for capital improvements to the state Friday.
The plan has not yet become public but likely will early next week when it has been reviewed by the Maryland Racing Commission and the state's Department of Budget & Management. The document was due Feb. 1 in order for the track to be eligible for slots revenue set aside for racetrack redevelopment. In recent years, some of the redevelopment money has been diverted to cover track expense. But a new revenue-sharing deal between the tracks, horseman and breeders that begins in 2014 should allow the tracks to begin using the funds to renovate the dilapidated facilities, as was intended in 2007 legislation legalizing slots in Maryland.
In a statement, jockey club president Tom Chuckas acknowledged the part of the plan that has been common knowledge since the 10-year deal was struck: 300 new stalls will be built at Laurel and another 200 will be constructed at Pimlico, which will re-open for year-round training because the Bowie training center is being shuttered. It was widely accepted that Laurel would require expansion, while Chuckas said jockey club parent company The Stronach Group needed to asses the backstretch at Pimlico before deciding how to move forward.
The statement did not otherwise reveal what the jockey club and Stronach planned to do. The jockey club could receive as much as $9 million in funding; the state will match its spending $1 for $1.
“In the weeks ahead, MJC looks forward to engaging with our colleagues in the racing industry, the Maryland Racing Commission, state and local officials, and our community partners to finalize the capital improvement plan and strengthen Maryland’s proud thoroughbred horse racing tradition,” Chuckas said, according to the statement.
A representative of the state's thoroughbred horsemen said he had not seen the plan and could not comment.
Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times