Stalled on the cusp of a 10-year deal that could be the foundation for revitalizing the Maryland Thoroughbred racing program, the state racing commission has issued a Nov. 30 deadline for track ownership and horsemen to reach a consensus.
The date is one day before the state must determine, by statutory law, whether to approve requested racing dates for Laurel Park and Pimlico for 2013. While those dates, likely Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, encompass the entire year to account for simulcasting, commission member Mary Louise Preis said she would hesitate to grant live racing days without a deal in place.
Maryland voters passed Question 7, legalizing table games 24 hours a day at state casinos while creating a license for a potentially lucrative new casino in heavily populated Prince George's County, which is centrally located between Washington and Baltimore. Additionally, while an August special session of the state legislature lowered the percentage of slots revenue directed to racing from 7% to 6%, the eventual addition of the Prince George's casino site could have racing enjoy a large increase in total dollars.
"It seems like the General Assembly and governor have given us the opportunity for the perpetuation of growth; the opportunity is there not to limp along but flourish," Quade said at the monthly commission meeting at Laurel Park. "The money is there. If you look at the slot projections, we could be at $350,000 to $400,000 a day in purses. This 10-year deal is just too good to turn down."
Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/ ... z2CqHE7Ywz