Another Twist In Maryland

Published: October 31, 2011 11:32 am EDT

Earlier this year, the Maryland Jockey Club agreed to a legislative plan to allow Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course to pay operating expenses from slot machine proceeds which had been earmarked for building upgrades

and capital expenses. As part of the deal, the MJC had to host a total of 146 live race dates in 2012. The MJC apparently doesn't want to hold up its end of the bargain.

According to a report by The Baltimore Sun, the Frank Stronach-owned company has proposed hosting just 40 live race dates at Pimlico in 2012. It has also offered to lease Laurel to the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association for the cost of $1 a year in order for the MTHA to take operational control of the raceway.

Stronach is quoted in the article describing a recent phone conversation he had with the MTHA regarding his proposal. The racetrack owner explained that during the conversation he said, "I'll lease you Laurel for $1 a year so you can race as much as you want to."

Stronach explained that the MTHA declined his offer based on the fact that the horsemen's association would lose money in such a venture. Stronach then apparently retorted by saying, "So it's OK if I lose money?'"

(With files from The Baltimore Sun)

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