Preakness Leaving Pimlico After Next Year?

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The future of the Preakness Stakes being raced in Pimlico after next year remains uncertain.

The owners of the 148-year-old Pimlico Race Course say they’re committed to holding the race for another year.

Stronach’s holdings include Laurel Park, a track between Baltimore and Washington that hosts more races annually than Pimlico.  

Stronach’s holdings include Laurel Park, a track between Baltimore and Washington that hosts more races annually than Pimlico.  They acknowledged:  “we can’t continue to operate in a facility that was built in 1870. It doesn’t give the customer experience.”

“At the end of the year we’ll find out what the study says and then we’ll have to be able to see the appetite of the city and state for whether the investment makes sense to keep it at Old Hilltop or move it to the Laurel location,” said Tim Ritvo, chief operating officer of Stronach’s racing division.

“The nice thing right now is all parties interested know that kicking the can down the road doesn’t work anymore, that sooner or later — whether it’s another year or two years or five years — that something has to be done because we should be looking at the stewardship of the Preakness,” he said.

The Preakness Stakes, which attracted a record 140,327 fans to Pimlico last year, has long been considered the third most trafficked annual one-day sporting event for Gambling911.com after the Kentucky Derby and Super Bowl.  This year's Derby was the most trafficked to the site ever. 

Pay Per Head websites have boosted their race book offerings in recent years as a result while online sportsbooks reported to Gambling911.com that there were fewer payout requests the Monday following the Kentucky Derby than in previous years, making this year's race the best in modern memory in terms of customer retention.

- Don Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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