Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley announced a 10-year horse racing agreement to stabilize an industry that's been brought to its knees.
In 2010, live racing was on the verge of collapse before the O'Malley administration intervened to work out a short-term arrangement. Since then, the industry, that employs 15,000 people in the state has lobbied for a long-term plan to bring stability to horse racing.
"There's the racetrack, there's the ownership of the horses, there's the training of the horses, there's all the people who work within the industry," says Tom Chukas, president of the Maryland Jockey Club. "And then you move out into the breeding and all the farms and the green space, this gives them a window of 10 years to breed horses, protect their farms and make some money."
Next year's racing season will include 146 days of live racing days. That's the same number as in 2010 and 2011. It also calls for Pimlico, home of the Preakness Stakes, and Laurel to remain open for year-round racing, training and stabling for the balance of the contract.
The parties will ask the Maryland Racing Commission to approve the 2013 racing dates on Tuesday.