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Maryland Horse Racing Officials Meet To Ensure Preakness Stays

State Politician Says Future Of Preakness
Stakes In Maryland Is "Safe"

Various parties involved with Maryland's thoroughbred racing industry met yesterday and "agreed on one thing: keeping the Preakness Stakes in Maryland," according to Hanah Cho of the Baltimore SUN. Maryland Chief Legislative Officer Joseph Bryce and Labor Secretary Alexander Sanchez hosted the meeting to "try and broker an agreement that would salvage live racing next year and ensure the future of the Preakness." They met with reps from MI Developments and Penn National Gaming, which own the Maryland Jockey Club, as well as "groups representing horsemen and breeders." Bryce said the Preakness is "safe," following a "closed-door, three-hour meeting at the State House." Details are "still being worked out for a deal regarding a 2011 schedule for thoroughbred racing," and Bryce said that "several options were discussed, but he declined to say what they would be." He noted that the "parties are expected to meet again within the next week with a goal of having a viable plan before the Maryland Racing Commission's meeting later this month." Bryce: "The Preakness and the need to sustain Maryland racing, everyone agrees on that." Penn National Senior VP/Corporate Development Steven Snyder called yesterday's meeting "productive." While some have suggested "redirecting some of the state's slot-machine revenue" to the MJC, a spokesperson for Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said that "eminent domain is not an option the state would consider at this time." When asked whether the state would consider "redirecting slots revenue to help track operators," Bryce said that the state "would not want to make 'wholesale' changes to that pot of money" (Baltimore SUN, 12/7).

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