On The Future of Maryland Racing, A Q & A With Corey Johnsen

With the 2024 GI Preakness S. now in the past, Maryland racing is ready to move toward a future that will include a new Pimlico and a new administration operating the track. Legislation was passed earlier this year that will allow the track's current owners, 1/ST Racing, to turn over Pimlico to the state of Maryland on July 1 and Laurel on Jan. 1. Five months after the Pimlico transfer, on Jan. 1, 2025, a new non-profit operating company, the Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority (MTROA), will take over the...

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Maryland Governor Signs Bill To Rebuild Pimlico

As expected, Maryland Governor Wes Moore signed a bill Thursday that calls for Pimlico to be rebuilt and for the track to be donated to the state. Under the law, $400 million in state bonds will be used to tear down and rebuild the dilapidated grandstand. While Pimlico is being rebuilt, racing will move to Laurel. Once the new Pimlico is up and running, Laurel will be closed for racing. Because of the eventual closing of Laurel, there will be a need to open a training center since Pimlico alone...

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Maryland Legislature Approves Plan to Reform State Racing Industry

A bill to radically reform Maryland's racing industry has passed both chambers of the state legislature, with the House voting 105-32 Monday night to approve a project that will see among other things ownership of Pimlico Race Course transferred from 1/ST Racing and Gaming to the state and the establishment of a year-round training facility for Maryland's horsemen and women. After the Maryland House of Delegates initially passed the legislation unanimously, the bill was subsequently amended by the Senate. This amended bill was then sent back to the House for...

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Report: The Stronach Group Agrees To Donate Pimlico To State of Maryland

The Stronach Group has entered into a 'binding commitment' to donate Pimlico Race Course to the state of Maryland, a move that will allow the state to take over operations at the track, the Baltimore Banner reported Thursday afternoon. According to the report, the transfer could occur as early as this summer, per state officials, with the state taking over racing operations in 2025. The report says that the transfer will enable the state of Maryland to earmark hundreds of millions of dollars towards modernizing the track as well as...

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Public Voting Open For Preakness-Inspired Art Contest

A collection of Preakness-inspired artworks are now on display for public voting at The Art of Racing, an online gallery which showcases art by those inspired by racing both on and off the track. Public voting will last two weeks with the winning piece featured on specially-created Preakness merchandise. Proceeds from the sales of the art will support Park Heights Renaissance, a non-profit dedicated to creating employment and housing in the Park Heights community. View the entire collection of The Art of Racing and vote here.

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Intrepid Daydream Tops 2023 Maryland-Bred Awards

The Maryland Horse Breeders Association named the winners of the Renaissance Champion Awards Thursday with Intrepid Daydream (Jess's Dream) topping the list as Maryland-bred Horse of the Year. The Miller Racing LLC-owned filly also added honors as Champion Older Female and Champion Sprinter. Other winners include: Champion 2-year-old Male--Catahoula Moon (Golden Lad) Champion 2-year-old Filly--Kissedbyanangel (Golden Lad) Champion 3-year-old Male--Seven's Eleven (Bandbox) Champion 3-year-old Filly--Bosserati (Holy Boss) Champion Older Male--Double Crown (Bourbon Courage) Champion Turf Runner--Wet My Beak (Union Rags) Breeders of the Year--Dr. And Mrs. Thomas Bowman Trainer of...

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Maryland Thoroughbred Industry Renaissance Award Finalists Announced

The winners of the seventh annual Renaissance Awards, hosted by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association and the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, will be announced each morning at 10:00 a.m. on Maryland Thoroughbred social media platforms beginning Feb. 26 and continuing through Saturday, Mar. 2. Awards will be given for the top Maryland owner, trainer, jockey, dirt horses, turf horses, claimer, Maryland stallion, broodmare and breeder and champion Maryland-breds of 2023. Special awards will be presented to Pimlico and Laurel Park Backstretch Employees of the Year.   The announcement schedule is...

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Economic Impact of Maryland Horse Industry Grows to $2.9 Billion

Maryland was one of the breakout states in the American Horse Council's report on the economic impact of the national horse industry, released on Jan. 31. The total economic impact of the industry grew 38% between 2017 and 2022, from $2.1 billion to $2.9 billion. In addition, the industry's direct contribution to Maryland's GDP grew by 40.5% between 2017 and 2022. The industry is responsible for 28,434 jobs, and horse industry wages total more than $1.24 billion. The survey, conducted in 2023 by the American Horse Council, determined that Maryland...

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2024 Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program Dates Announced

The 2024 Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program (MTCP) has been scheduled for June 3-7, according to the Maryland Horse Foundation. The online application can be completed by Apr. 19. Interviews will take place in the two weeks after the application deadline and selected participants will be notified in early May. "The Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program offers a great opportunity to see behind the scenes in the various components of the industry from reproduction to racetrack operations," said Cricket Goodall, Executive Director. "We hope to show these young people that love horses...

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Longtime Maryland Trainer Ronald Cartwright Dies At 93

Ronald "Ronnie" C. Cartwright, a Maryland-based trainer who conditioned multiple graded-stakes winners throughout his career, passed away Nov. 11 at the age of 93. A steeplechase jockey who then trained from the late 1960's through 2005, Cartwright won almost 700 races and his horses earned more than $13 million. His graded-stakes winners included Mz. Zill Bear (Salutely), Castelets (King's Bishop), Miss Slewpy (Slewpy), Palliser Bay (Frosty the Snowman) and Mymet (Mehmet). "I've been in this for 60 years and will miss it," Cartwright said soon after he retired in 2005....

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Apprentice Suspended 30 Days For 2nd Time In Week After Another Spill-Marred Delaware Race

Eighteen-year-old jockey Axel Concepcion, who is currently Maryland's top apprentice and is on the cusp of a planned move to Kentucky that could launch him into contention for a rookie rider Eclipse Award, has again been suspended 30 days by the Delaware Park stewards for "careless riding" that caused a rival horse to crash to the track. "This is Apprentice Jockey Axel Concepcion's second incident within a week of causing interference that resulted in a horse falling and a rider to be unseated," stated the Oct. 6  stewards' ruling. Delaware...

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Cupid Relocating to Atlanta Hall in Maryland

Grade I winner Cupid (Tapit) will stand the 2024 breeding season at Atlanta Hall in Monkton, Maryland, the farm announced on Monday. The 10-year-old, who previously stood at Ashford Stud in Versailles, KY, since 2018, will be Atlanta Hall's first stallion. "This transfer from Coolmore's Ashford Stud in Kentucky to our prestigious and historic facility marks an exciting new chapter for both Cupid and Atlanta Hall Farm," Garrett Murray, stallion manager and owner of Atlanta Hall, said. "We are honored to welcome Cupid to our esteemed stallion roster, and we...

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