The Racing and Community Development Act of 2020, a capital plan aimed to protect horse racing in Maryland through the development of Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park, was allowed to pass, without signature, by Gov. Larry Hogan May 7.
Passed by the Maryland General Assembly Mar. 18, the legislation clears the way for the Maryland Stadium Authority to provide up to $375 million in bonds, stemming from a combination of funds from the Racetrack Facility Renewal, Purse Dedication Accounts and Baltimore City' video lottery terminal payments and funds from the Maryland Lottery. The Act will take effect June 1.
Outlined in the plan are a series of improvements to Maryland racetracks, including a revamped stable area, training facility and synthetic racing surface at Laurel, in addition to the development of Pimlico into a year-round event and community center, and securing the GI Preakness' future at Pimlico.
Also outlined under the Racing and Community Development Act; the creation of an equine health, welfare and safety committee headed by the Maryland Racing Commission and the potential for an equine research and medical facility at the redeveloped Laurel.
Key members involved in developing the plan which led to the legislation include Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association's legal counsel Alan Foreman; Maryland Jockey Club legal counsel Alan Rifkin; and consultant Bill Cole, who formerly served as President of the Baltimore Development Corp.