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By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun | January 18, 2011
With Maryland's racing industry still on shaky ground, longtime racing commission member John Franzone is spearheading efforts to bring various stakeholders together and craft legislative proposals that would help revitalize the sport's future in the state. Franzone, who proposed his plan at a Maryland Racing Commission meeting Tuesday, said it would involve representatives from thoroughbred and harness racing — two groups that have not always gotten along — as well as track management.
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SPORTS
By Aaron Dodson, The Baltimore Sun | May 17, 2014
Abby Fuller dreamed of being a jockey as a little girl in 1968, but at the time there were no women yet in horse racing. Then came Barbara Jo Rubin, who became the first female jockey to win a race in 1969, giving Fuller hope for a future in the sport. Fuller, now a retired jockey, was among eight retired female jockeys to participate in the fifth and final running of the Lady for Legends for the Cure race on Friday. The race began in 2010 for breast cancer awareness and female empowerment in horse racing.
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BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun | December 1, 2011
The thoroughbred industry missed Thursday's deadline to submit a long-term business plan to sustain the sport to the Maryland General Assembly. A state law enacted earlier this year to provide slot subsidies to the state's struggling racetracks called for the sport's stakeholders — including track operators, horse owners and breeders — to craft a plan that would maintain year-round racing without slots at a racetrack. Joseph Bryce, Gov. Martin O'Malley's top legislative aide, who has been keeping track of the discussions, said a plan would be provided when talks on the industry's future and a deal for next year's racing dates are completed.
SPORTS
By Childs Walker, The Baltimore Sun | May 10, 2014
It's hard to overstate how bleak an outlook Maryland thoroughbred racing faced as recently as four years ago. Magna Entertainment Corp., which owned Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park, had declared bankruptcy and squandered a chance to bring lucrative slot machines to its facilities. The General Assembly had in turn asserted its right to seize the tracks to protect the future of the Preakness Stakes, Maryland's largest sporting event. The state's breeding stock was in freefall.
SPORTS
By Ross Peddicord and Ross Peddicord,Sun Staff Writer | January 15, 1995
The battle lines are being drawn in Annapolis between the horse racing and gaming industries in response to the casino operators' first full-blown effort to invade Maryland.No bills to allow riverboat or land-based casinos have been introduced in the General Assembly, "but rest assured they're coming," said Alan Rifkin, lobbyist for Laurel/Pimlico.Basically, Rifkin said, it comes down to a fight for survival of the $1 billion, 250-year-old Maryland horse racing industry -- which provides 20,000 jobs and keeps more than 900 horse farms in operation -- against a threatened influx of out-of-state casino operators from New Jersey and Nevada, Rifkin said.
SPORTS
By John Eisenberg | May 16, 1996
Is D. Wayne Lukas good for racing?Absolutely.That doesn't mean everything about him is good for racing, but since when is any issue that simplistic?There are positives and negatives to Lukas, the winning trainer in six straight Triple Crown races going into Saturday's Preakness, but the positives are far more bountiful.Many in his industry criticize him for being a businessman more than a horseman, for having a big ego, for promoting himself. They should step back and check out the big picture.
SPORTS
By Sandra McKee | March 10, 2007
Representatives of Maryland's horse racing industry came away from hearings on five bills in the House Ways and Means Committee with positive feelings Thursday and yesterday. Del. Frank S. Turner, chairman of the subcommittee that will now hold discussions on what legislation to recommend to the full committee, said he believes the House is "committed to helping" the horse-racing industry this year. "I think we want to help the horse racing industry," Turner said. "It's important to the state.
SPORTS
By John Eisenberg | August 23, 1996
Gov. Parris N. Glendening waved a dismissive hand at the state's racing industry when he slammed the door on slots last week.Offering a vague, halfhearted promise to work to keep racing "healthy," he all but said, "Good luck, and keep in touch."Sorry, not good enough.Maybe the racing industry isn't in the dire straits that Laurel and Pimlico owner Joe De Francis claimed last week, and De Francis certainly hasn't done all he could to help the tracks, but the state government still owes racing a lot more than a vague promise from the governor.
SPORTS
By Ross Peddicord and Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer | September 22, 1992
Maryland racetrack owners and horsemen are asking Governor William Donald Schaefer to scrap his plans for a quick-draw "keno" lottery game.The Maryland Horse Coalition, comprising thoroughbred and harness track owners and horsemen, issued a statement yesterday that said the state's racing industry will be "rocked" by the governor's new lottery proposal.Pimlico and Laurel track owner Joe De Francis said "at the minimum, keno will impact our betting at the tracks at least 10 percent, and a more realistic figure would be 15 to 20 percent.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF | March 22, 1997
The Senate Finance Committee approved a bill yesterday that calls for spending $10 million in state money to increase the prizes paid by Maryland's horse racing industry next year.The plan would give the industry a welcome boost at a time when Gov. Parris N. Glendening has said he wants to wait for the report of a study commission before giving state aid.But Sen. Thomas L. Bromwell, chairman of the committee and the principal architect of the plan, said the industry can't wait for help while its business is being siphoned off by tracks in Delaware, where revenue from slot machines has let racetracks increase their purses.
SPORTS
Sports Digest | February 8, 2014
Baseball Ex-Orioles pitcher Ayala returns to Nationals The Washington Nationals reunited with veteran right-handed reliever Luis Ayala , a former Montreal Expo and original 2005 National, by signing him Friday to a minor league deal with an invitation to major league camp, according to a person familiar with the situation. The incentives of Ayala's deal are still being worked out, but he will have a base salary of at least $1 million, the person said. Ayala, 36, signed with the Orioles last spring and was traded to the Atlanta Braves in April after allowing two runs in only two appearances.
NEWS
October 14, 2013
When I was chairman of the Maryland Racing Commission, I predicted that all sorts of interests would in the future try and nibble away at any monies directed to try and equalize the position of Maryland's horse racing and breeding industries vis-à-vis surrounding states. So Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler's pandering to more insistent political forces by suggesting that the state divert some of the money to pre-K hardly comes as a shock ("Gansler expands pre-K idea," Oct. 11). What fascinates me is that House Speaker Michael E. Busch, who during the administration of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. did everything in his power to prevent the implementation of slots legislation and contemptuously dismissed those who raised concerns about the decline of those once great industries ("the average age of the typical horseplayer is dead")
SPORTS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | May 16, 2013
In a pair of low-slung green stables manned by security guards and watched by 24-hour surveillance cameras, a pack of brawny young horses will be monitored, poked and assessed down to the blood in their veins. The horses set to race in the 138th Preakness are to be kept under a microscope from their arrival at Pimlico Race Course until they burst from their starting gates Saturday — not only to avoid injury but also scandal. "It's become more sophisticated," said David Zipf, 72, the Maryland Racing Commission's longtime chief veterinarian for thoroughbred racing.
NEWS
May 16, 2013
The Kentucky Derby winner and oddsmakers' favorite for the Preakness Stakes isn't exactly a Maryland horse, but he's close - Orb is partially owned by a Baltimore County businessman, and his sire spent some time in Harford County. Attendance at Saturday's races might or might not set an all-time record, but it's bound to be close - top-flight music acts, it seems, are a bigger draw than BYOB debauchery. The weather may not be perfect, but it will be close - the latest forecast is for a high of 72 but with a slight chance of showers.
SPORTS
By Childs Walker, The Baltimore Sun | May 11, 2013
As Orb charged to the wire at Churchill Downs last weekend, he established his clear superiority to the other 18 thoroughbreds on horse racing's biggest stage, the Kentucky Derby. But compared to Derby champions of the past, Orb's time is less impressive - his 2:02.89 run doesn't rank among the top 10 in the race's history. It is slower than the times of many winners from the 1950s and 1960s, and well behind Secretariat's 1973 record. Blame the muddy track? Fair enough, but none of the past decade's Derby winners recorded a top 10 time either.
BUSINESS
By Chris Korman, The Baltimore Sun | February 8, 2013
Richard Golden became a savior of the Maryland thoroughbred horse breeding industry in 1988 when he teamed with Allaire du Pont and later Tom Bowman to open Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City, eventually revitalizing farmland that had been home to one of the most influential sires of all time, Northern Dancer. As Maryland's racing program crumbled and surrounding states boosted purses and the racetrack experience with slot machines, Golden became one of the state's most vocal critics.
NEWS
By Frank Langfitt and Frank Langfitt,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Thomas W. Waldron contributed to this article | November 28, 1995
In a blow to Maryland's racing industry, a state task force on gambling yesterday took a firm stand against putting slot machines at the horse tracks.The task force's chairman, Joseph D. Tydings, said panel members felt that slot machines -- which generate 70 percent or more of casino revenues -- would simply make the tracks casinos by another name.Two weeks ago, the advisory panel voted to recommend against legalizing casinos in Maryland, but did not specifically address the issue of slot machines.
NEWS
By Thomas W. Waldron and Michael Dresser and Thomas W. Waldron and Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF | November 24, 1999
Looking to run for governor in three years, Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend has received early financial support from Maryland's racing industry -- a group that worked hard to unseat her and Gov. Parris N. Glendening in last year's election.At least nine people, companies or political groups affiliated with the racing industry have given Townsend a total of at least $13,000, according to her campaign finance report released yesterday.Upset with Glendening's stand against the legalization of slot machines in Maryland, the racing industry raised significant money for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ellen R. Sauerbrey last year.
NEWS
May 17, 2012
The Preakness Stakes arrives at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday absent one of the event's hallowed traditions. Sure, there will be sundresses and hats, black-eyed Susans, drunken infield revelry and, in a recent addition to the bill, faux-mythological mascots. But what's missing this year is the hand-wringing about whether this Preakness will be Maryland's last. For once, there are some signs of optimism in Maryland's horse racing industry, and not just about the marquee event on Saturday.
BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun | May 14, 2012
Over the past year, slots money has injected energy into Maryland horse racing. Revenue from the state's two casinos has bolstered purses, helping attract better horses and create more competitive races. The Preakness also is benefiting. Some of the weekend's undercard stakes races offer larger prizes, while the long-respected Pimlico Special returns with a $300,000 purse after disappearing for three years due to a lack of prize money. It's shaping up to be a good running for the Preakness this year.
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