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Pimlico Track Owner Says Live Racing Will Continue

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The Maryland Jockey Club in part owns the Pimlico racetrack, which is known for hosting the annual Preakness Stakes.
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The Maryland Jockey Club in part owns the Pimlico racetrack, which is known for hosting the annual Preakness Stakes.

In Maryland, the fight over the future of horse racing is heating up following last week's referendum vote in Anne Arundel County.

Voters in Anne Arundel County approved the construction of the state's largest slots machine casino at Arundel Mills Mall, and in turn defeated a plan to build the casino at the Laurel Park racetrack. The Maryland Jockey Club says the vote means the end of live racing at Laurel Park, and the reduction of race days at Pimlico racecourse in Baltimore.

But the club doesn't own the tracks. Magna Entertainment does, and the company's owner told the Baltimore Sun that live racing will continue at Laurel Park. Magna is currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Despite that, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley remains optimistic the horse racing industry will survive in the state.

"We want to keep a vibrant racing tradition alive in our state. And we hope it will become healthier as time moves on," O'Malley says.

O'Malley says one of the keys to achieving that is to finish the bidding process and award the state's remaining licenses for slots casinos, as a portion of their revenue will go to horse racing in the state.

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