No Derby Winner, No Problem For Pimlico

The race is staying in Baltimore.

The 2022 Kentucky Derby winner, Rich Strike, is not running in the Preakness which means there will not be a Triple Crown winner this year but at least for Baltimore and Maryland residents the threat of the Preakness moving to Florida has vanished. There will be a renovation of the old racetrack but when that happens is a question. The “Racing and Community Development Act of 2020” was passed in May of that year shortly after the beginning of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The project was delayed because of that and it appears that the old racetrack won’t get the start for its update for at least another year. Maryland is investing $375 million to modernize two racetracks, Pimlico and Laurel Park. Pimlico’s renovation should be done by 2026.

The Preakness Stakes, Thoroughbred Racing’s second oldest Triple Crown race, started at Pimlico in 1873. The race moved to the Bronx, New York in 1890 and returned to Baltimore in 1909. It is not unusual to see 100,000 people attend the race at Pimlico which is 152 years old. The racetrack’s clubhouse and grandstand will be demolished. A new clubhouse and event center will be built. Horse training and stable operations will be consolidated at Laurel Park. Virtually all racing will move to Laurel Park. There will be a very short spring meet in Pimlico which will include the Preakness, The Maryland Stadium Authority, which among other entities has the Baltimore Orioles baseball stadium and the Baltimore Ravens football facility and funds the venues upkeep and pays off the facilities debt, is involved. Horse racing has seen an incredible drop in popularity for a variety of reasons over the past five decades including other forms of available betting. Thoroughbred racing does attract people for one-time events like the Preakness.

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