Maryland racing could be on last legs

May 13, 2007|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Sun Reporter

When Affirmed won the Preakness in 1978 on his way to horse racing's most recent Triple Crown, the Maryland racing industry was thriving. Richard Hoffberger, president of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, looks back with a mix of envy and appreciation.

"Maryland was one of the leading racing and breeding states at that time," he said. "And certainly we ran more days, had more breeding farms. There was more everything. It was one of the top places in the industry nationally."

This year's race Teuflesberg out; Flying First Class in. PG 4D

Fewer foals

Maryland horse racing's decline against the slots-enriched states of Pennsylvania and West Virginia is reflected in the drop in the number of thoroughbred foals born here:

1978 2005 Pct.

Maryland 1,428 832 -42 Pennsylvania 712 1,203 +69 West Virginia 177 597 +237

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