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Maryland Commission Rejects Plan To Cut Horse Racing

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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.

The future of horse racing in Maryland is in limbo as the state's racing commission rejected a plan to cut the number of live races in the state. The commission unanimously rejected a plan to only allow 17 live horse racing days at the Laurel Park track coupled with 30 live days at Baltimore's Pimlico.

Penn National Gaming and the Maryland Jockey Club offered their plan as a stopgap measure so they could work with the parties involved on a long-term solution.

In speaking against the plan, Commissioner David Hayden summed up the mood of the crowd in the clubhouse at Laurel Park: "I think you've had enough time to breathe some life into your plan. I think it's unconscionable of you guys to show up here today and not have a bona fide, year-round racing plan for Maryland racing because you are taking the lifeblood out of our racing."

For now, no live horse races have been scheduled for next year, including Maryland's most famous race, the Preakness.

The chair of the commission told WAMU that a new plan can be submitted next month.

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