maryland stadium authority

Maryland Stadium Authority Assess Pimlico

The Maryland Stadium Authority has been brought in by state officials to investigate the structural, economical and long-term health of Pimlico Race Course. This is part of the process for upgrading the facility so that it can maintain its standing as the home of the Preakness Stakes. Pimlico is 146 years old making it the oldest race track on the Triple Crown race track, and only the second oldest in the country behind Saratoga Race Course.

“We want it to be an unbiased assessment of the benefits of keeping it there … and also the negative aspects if it were to move,”said Delegate Sandy Rosenberg of the Maryland Stadium Authority. “We think the case is there in the merits that it should stay there.”

Recent upgrades to Laurel Park generated rumours that the Preakness Stakes could be on the move. The other, major track in the state is currently moving forward with a massive $200 million renovation spearheaded by the Maryland Jockey Club. However, it does look like everyone in the state wishes to keep the Preakness at Pimlico.

For now, any talk of moving the second leg of the Triple Crown are on hold. Attention is instead shifting to a updating the grounds so that they meet or exceed modern standards and provide patrons with a premium experience overall.

The two-phase study conducted by the Maryland Stadium Authority will initially begin with a report on the current conditions of the facility and its grounds. The second phase will assess the feasibility of development options.

“Pimlico and the Preakness are incredibly important to Baltimore,” reiterated William H. Cole, the president of the Baltimore Development Corporation. “We will work with the Jockey Club, the Maryland Racing Commission and the stadium authority to ensure that they both remain for generations,” he said.

It’s been several years since Pimlico received a proper facelift and the state’s combined efforts will point towards the use of public and private funds to make the renovations happen. The Maryland Stadium Authority is composed of seven government officials from within the state that have routinely overseen the conditions and upkeep of places like Camdem Yards, Memorial Stadium, M&T Bank Stadium the XFINITY Center and a number of convention centers around the state.

Pimlico has fallen by the wayside in recent years, but is now in the best possible care that the state can provide.

pimlico grandstands

Preakness Stakes Staying Put At Pimlico

Pimlico Race Course will continue to host the Preakness Stakes despite rumblings that the Maryland Jockey Club has considered alternate locations. Sal Sinatra, the general manager at Pimlico, stated emphatically that his track will be the home for the second leg of the Triple Crown “for the foreseeable future”. Laurel Park stands as the most logical destination if the race truly desires a new home.

The threat of relocation is a savvy way of forcing Pimlico officials to upgrade the facility. Feasibility tests are currently being conducted to see which areas the track can improve from both an operational and superficial standpoint. Even Sinatra suggested last season that Pimlico needed an entire facelift as opposed to a simple touch up.

It goes without saying that Pimlico serves as a major revenue stream for the city of Baltimore so the fact that Sinatra and his colleagues seem convinced that the Preakness Stakes is staying put for the time being is a huge relief.

Laurel Park and the Maryland Jockey Club approved a $200 million renovation which suggested that the Preakness could be on the move. It’s the same type of aggressive stadium renovation which cities use to lure professional sports teams from one place to another. Speculation continues to soar that Laurel Park is building a bid to host the Breeders’ Cup in 2018 instead. The world championships will be held at Santa Anita this year, while moving to Del Mar in 2017.

The financial woes of Pimlico’s various ownership groups has fuelled a steady conversation about the track’s long term viability. Opening in 1870 and hosting the Preakness Stakes since it was conceived in 1873, ownership of the track has changed hands several times. Magna Corporation was one of those owners, but filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

Baltimore’s hosting of the Preakness Stakes is a long standing tradition in the sport of horse racing. But races can not survive on mere sentiment alone. With plans for improvements at Pimlico underway, the track will receive a much needed overall and continue to host the prestigious race for the immediate future.

Champion Big Brown A Big Winner in 2015

Big Brown continues to win big for his handlers. The winner of the 2008 Preakness Stakes has cleared $5.2 million in earnings this season as New York’s most sought after sire. He will continue to stand at Dutchess Views Farms in Pine Plains for a $10,000 fee.

To say that it’s been a busy year for the retired horse is an understatement. He covered 138 mares throughout the season during his first year in the state of New York. This is up from his first year in retirement where he had a book of about 100 mares. In short, Big Brown has been in high demand.

It’s easy to see why. The Florida Derby winner had massive aspirations heading to Churchill Downs in 2008. Big Brown became endeared as a Triple Crown hopeful after winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, before easing up in the Belmont Stakes where injuries and fatigue finally caught up with him. Rebounding well to end the year, Big Brown would go on to win the Haskell Invitational (GR1) and the Monmouth Stakes to finish his racing career.

Big Brown has continued to sire some championship contenders, such as Dortmund who won the Santa Anita Derby and San Felippe while also serving as one of the primary threats to American Pharaoh throughout this year. Despite being overshadowed for much of the season, Dortmund has raked in $1,712,480 in total winnings. There’s no doubt that the emergence of Dortmund, who remains a sight to behold, helped boost the return value of Big Brown’s stud fee.

Big Brown  also sired Apollo Sonic, a horse that competed well in the heavy money of the Japanese circuit in 2013. Apollo Sonic finished third Tokyo Yush, also known as the Japan Derby, and ended his career with $921,469 in earnings.

Coach Inge ($606,177) and Kiss To Remember ($548,071) continued to compete in lower stakes races through 2015 as well, raising the demand for Big Brown.

To put the $10,000 stud fee in to perspective, American Pharaoh has recently been retired with a stud fee at a whopping $200,000. Imagine the money Big Brown be collecting if he wasn’t hurt at the Belmont Stakes.