So bad is the state of racing in Maryland that the second of the crown jewels of racing was in danger. Scary thought, isn’t it.
Without government subsidies, the number of racing days would have been slashed, and even the running of the Preakness was at legitimate risk.
For better or worse, the slots bill Maryland’s legislature and voters approved included subsidies for horse racing, and if the form those subsidies took — an increase in racing purses and bred funds — wasn’t the right way to keep the tracks running, diverting them to direct operating support made sense.
So that’s the good news.
Now the governor is proposing to extend the bill…and the subsidy for three years.
I am totally for this. BUT, I also think that the Maryland Jockey Club, which owns Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Race Course, needs to put together a viable business model.
After all, taxpayers (who are footing the bill) might not forever want to subsidize racing.
So let’s get it together guys.