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SBD/Issue 166/Events & Attractions
Preakness Tradition In Turmoil As Pimlico Faces Uncertain Future
Published May 15, 2009
|Baffert Feels Moving Preakness From
Pimlico Would Be Bad For Racing
GETTING ON TRACK: In Baltimore, Hanah Cho notes Saturday's Preakness "could be the last one" under MEC's ownership, and the state has "had discussions with at least a dozen potential buyers, including local, national and international parties, who know of Maryland's interest in keeping" the race in the state. Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development Secretary Christian Johansson, whose agency has been charged with maintaining the race, said, "When all of this shakes out, there will be interested parties in (the Maryland) assets. Our objective is that the Preakness stays right here in Baltimore." CNET Founder Halsey Minor, who has expressed interest in buying the track, Thursday said that he has had discussions with MEC's creditors "to craft a proposal that would maintain the integrity and value of Magna's racetracks as opposed to a 'fire sale.'" Maryland Racing Commission Chair John Franzone said that MEC Chair Frank Stronach "could be interested in the Maryland tracks, particularly since slot machine parlors are on their way here." Franzone: "We're going to have a very qualified owner when the smoke clears whether it's Stronach or another. ... The Preakness will stay in Maryland" (Baltimore SUN, 5/15). Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association lobbyist Gerry Evans said, "I sincerely doubt we'll see the Preakness leave Maryland. It's a Super Bowl in Baltimore. It's a phenomenal experience, and we can't allow that to slip through our fingers" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 5/15).
Fans No Longer Allowed To
Bring Beverages Into Infield
SADDLE UP: SI.com's Tim Layden wrote Saturday's Preakness is "one of the most compelling horse races in many years." While five horses in the past ten years have won the first two legs of the Triple Crown, "seldom in recent history has there been a race that brings together multiple angles like Saturday's Preakness." The Kentucky Derby earlier this month on NBC earned its best TV rating in 17 years, and the Preakness "could be better" (SI.com, 5/14).