Baltimore vs. Stronach Group

Post Reply
With Anticipation
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:17 pm

Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:12 pm

Mayor Pugh sues Stronach Group to seize Pimlico, block move of Preakness to Laurel

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh sued the owners of Pimlico Race Course in hopes of blocking them from moving the Preakness Stakesor using state bonds to fund improvements at Laurel Park.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Baltimore Circuit Court, Pugh, on behalf of the city, also asks the court to grant ownership of the racetrack and the race to the city through condemnation.

https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryl ... story.html
hadrianmarcus
Posts: 229
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:28 pm

Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:39 pm

It's been a pretty uneventful reign for Belinda Stronach as monarch over family empire thus far. She's gotta be bored.
User avatar
Sparrow Castle
Posts: 5964
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:44 pm

Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:49 pm

LOL. She may not have the biggest stick in this one.

Preakness in Laurel isn't Preakness
In a recent social media conversation about the fate of Pimlico and the Preakness Stakes, one person wrote an owner has "no greater responsibility than the bottom line" in business. That’s not necessarily true because responsibility is conditional.

Across the years, many people and companies have owned the Preakness, but they don't anymore. Most are dead and gone. You don't permanently own the Preakness, you caretake it, and when your time has expired, you need to have it in shape for the next owner.
...

Yet, here’s the reality: The Stronach Group doesn’t actually control the race, the state does. Because of the millions of dollars earmarked for racing from state casino slot machine revenues, The Stronach Group races at the state’s pleasure.

The decision not to participate in a rebuild of Pimlico is a sophisticated bluff, and the state could easily call it. If the company won’t put money toward preserving an event integral to the identity and financial health of Baltimore, take away its subsidy.

People who talk about the Preakness only in terms of the business interests of the owner have no business being entrusted with it. They get that in Boston with Fenway Park, and they get it in Chicago with Wrigley Field. There, they don't shutter their ancient sporting grounds, they exalt them.
John Scheinman (jscheinman@Tribpub.com) is a two-time Eclipse Award-winning racing writer who works in the Baltimore Sun Media Group.
https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opini ... y,amp.html
User avatar
Sparrow Castle
Posts: 5964
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:44 pm

Sun Apr 21, 2019 7:47 pm

Pimlico flooded with calls from Preakness ticket holders looking to change seats located in closed section
...

As Pimlico officials struggled with the influx of calls, their Northwest Baltimore neighbors were planning to revel in their ability to defeat a Stronach-backed bill in the General Assembly that ended last week. The measure would have allowed the state to issue bonds to support building a “super track” complex at Laurel Park and a Bowie facility — indicating the company’s desire to leave Pimlico and take Preakness with it.

The Park Heights Renaissance community group is hosting a lunch Thursday to celebrate “the huge victory,” according to an email invitation from Marcus Pollock, the group’s executive director.

If the bill had passed, Pollock wrote, it would “cause the Preakness to move to Laurel.”

The company has said it needs to move its racing operations to Laurel because it would be too expensive to renovate Pimlico. The jockey club reported $15 million in combined operating losses for Pimlico and Laurel Park last year, a 66.6 percent increase over the nearly $9 million combined loss in the prior year.

Baltimore city housing officials had said they were dispatching inspectors to determine whether the 149-year-old facility would be able to handle the additional spectators who were being given new seats. Inspectors are scheduled to go to Pimlico on Monday.

On the Preakness Stakes’ Facebook page several people were unsure whether their tickets were in the “Northern Grandstand,” as the company’s announcement stated on the page.
More: https://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/hor ... y,amp.html
User avatar
Sparrow Castle
Posts: 5964
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:44 pm

Wed May 08, 2019 5:44 pm

MJC Moves to Dismiss Baltimore’s Preakness Lawsuit
The Maryland Jockey Club filed a Motion to Dismiss Baltimore City’s lawsuit captioned, Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, et al. v. The Stronach Group, et al., Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Case No. 24-C-19-001776. That lawsuit seeks to condemn and confiscate the GI Preakness S., Pimlico Race Course, the Woodlawn Vase, the Maryland Jockey Club and related intangible, personal and intellectual property.

According to Alan Rifkin, attorney for the Maryland Jockey Club, “Under state law, the City has no right to confiscate the privately held assets of the Maryland Jockey Club, including the Preakness Stakes and Pimlico Race Course. State law is very clear that the City is preempted and precluded from taking that action.”
More: http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/mj ... s-lawsuit/
Apollo
Posts: 340
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:05 pm

Wed May 08, 2019 6:48 pm

I would have not been opposed to a move to Laurel, until I actually visited Laurel a couple of years ago.

No character whatsoever. Probably the worst track I have ever visited in that regard. Miles below Pimlico. You might as well run the Preakness at an old worn out outlet mall. Everything about the place was impossibly dull, other than the tribute to Jim McKay and his push for the Maryland Million.

BTW, I saw Belinda Stronach from feet away leaving the winner's circle of the Florida Derby. She is older than a realized. The television cameras flatter her. But I do appreciate that she understands the sport needs to open up the wager offerings. There should be on-site matchup wagers, among other options. Of course, jockeys might need ear plugs after a race.
User avatar
Cidago
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:07 am
Contact:

Tue May 14, 2019 3:10 am

87 horses died in Pennsylvania's 3 thoroughbred racing venues in 2018
Some major players in the sport say changes must be made or horse racing could face extinction. In Pennsylvania, it could mean a loss of 7,400 direct jobs and thousands of other related jobs.
"We are taking a step forward and saying, quite emphatically, that the current system is broken," said Belinda Stronach of the The Stronach Group, which also owns Pimlico in Baltimore.

https://www.readingeagle.com/news/artic ... es-in-2018
"a horse gallops with his lungs, perseveres with his heart, and wins with his character.” Tesio
Somnambulist
Posts: 7657
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:59 pm

Tue May 14, 2019 12:00 pm

Apollo wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 6:48 pm
I would have not been opposed to a move to Laurel, until I actually visited Laurel a couple of years ago.

No character whatsoever. Probably the worst track I have ever visited in that regard. Miles below Pimlico. You might as well run the Preakness at an old worn out outlet mall. Everything about the place was impossibly dull, other than the tribute to Jim McKay and his push for the Maryland Million.

BTW, I saw Belinda Stronach from feet away leaving the winner's circle of the Florida Derby. She is older than a realized. The television cameras flatter her. But I do appreciate that she understands the sport needs to open up the wager offerings. There should be on-site matchup wagers, among other options. Of course, jockeys might need ear plugs after a race.
What do her looks have to do with it? Men only use a woman's looks to drag them down when they themselves need to bring their egos up a level.
"Life's no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe's my own to fool with."
katmandu
Posts: 1102
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:16 am

Tue May 14, 2019 12:56 pm

Somnambulist wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 12:00 pm
Apollo wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 6:48 pm
I would have not been opposed to a move to Laurel, until I actually visited Laurel a couple of years ago.

No character whatsoever. Probably the worst track I have ever visited in that regard. Miles below Pimlico. You might as well run the Preakness at an old worn out outlet mall. Everything about the place was impossibly dull, other than the tribute to Jim McKay and his push for the Maryland Million.

BTW, I saw Belinda Stronach from feet away leaving the winner's circle of the Florida Derby. She is older than a realized. The television cameras flatter her. But I do appreciate that she understands the sport needs to open up the wager offerings. There should be on-site matchup wagers, among other options. Of course, jockeys might need ear plugs after a race.
What do her looks have to do with it? Men only use a woman's looks to drag them down when they themselves need to bring their egos up a level.
Good thing she understands the sport needs changing, otherwise she might be eligible for culling. Oh, the power. :roll:
Apollo
Posts: 340
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:05 pm

Tue May 14, 2019 2:20 pm

Who cares if I threw in an extra word? I was surprised she looked many years older than my estimate based on television. If it had been a male who looked older I would have said the same thing.

I remember mentioning here after Always Dreaming won the Florida Derby that likewise Todd Pletcher walked within feet of me while heading to the winners circle and I was surprised he was not as tall as my expectation. He's tall but the comparison to jockeys and other racing types makes him appear taller than he really is.

I hate to break it to you but if I see something like that next spring I'm not going to be scared to mention it. And who knows...maybe I'll see a Florida Derby winner who withstands the 22 opponents at Churchill Downs.
User avatar
Sparrow Castle
Posts: 5964
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:44 pm

Mon May 20, 2019 6:01 pm

At Pimlico or Laurel, Core Racing Fans Deserve Better
I went down to Old Hilltop this year because I was worried this might be the last Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course.

We know now that it is not. It has been given a one-year reprieve. But it is a near certainty that the race will be moved 25 miles to Laurel Park as early as 2021. The only obstacle standing in the way of The Stronach Group, owner of both racetracks, is a lawsuit on behalf of the city of Baltimore looking to turn the Pimlico facility over to the city through condemnation, so that the city might be able to find a solution to rehabilitate America's second-oldest racetrack and keep it in the neighborhood it has stood in since 1870.

That legal battle is an uphill one, and in the meantime The Stronach Group has invested little to no money in upkeep at Pimlico, heightening calls for the race to be moved somewhere more suitable for crowds of more than 130,000 people.

I've been to several editions of the Preakness, and I've written about it many times. I've sometimes been hard on the event, especially when describing the bedlam that takes place each year in the racetrack's infield, where college students throw wild parties in the mud and electronic dance music pulsates from concert stages, and drunkeness leads to fistfights and debauchery by day's end.

However, despite my faint-of-heart reaction each year to the insanity of the infield (which, we must not forget, is the sole reason why a large number of those tens of thousands of attendees show up), I have also been a staunch defender of the track itself. I've written about how Pimlico's shabbiness is its own kind of charm, how I love being in old racetracks the same way I love bowling alleys and dive bars. I've written about how peeling paint and creaking wood just adds to the uniqueness of the experience for me, a reminder that I am partaking in a tradition far older than nearly any other American sport, and one that is a part of the American culture in ways most of us don't even realize.
More: https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing ... rve-better
User avatar
Starine
Posts: 4376
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:39 am
Location: South Carolina

Mon May 20, 2019 9:45 pm

I came here to post that very article, Sparrow. It's a sad read.

For those familiar with Pimlico, is it true that the track was already in poor/neglected condition when acquired by Stronach?
Somnambulist
Posts: 7657
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:59 pm

Mon May 20, 2019 10:07 pm

An interesting article, because American society does not want $2 fans. The event will of course be priced out. It is the Sport of Kings after all. Not the Sport of Blue Collar and Middle Class. They don't make money off us peons.

Apparently it has always been very bad, from what I hear. I think I'll try to go next year.
"Life's no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe's my own to fool with."
User avatar
Sparrow Castle
Posts: 5964
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:44 pm

Mon May 20, 2019 11:18 pm

When I think of all the owners, breeders, serious handicappers, etc., I know who's interest in the sport began as one of these $2 fans at local tracks, I feel total despair about the future of our sport as I know it. Many of us got older, have/had successful careers, and now invest our discretionary funds in what excites us most. Seems like the sport is crying out for more participants yet at the same time cutting off the things that "grew" it.

Yeah, I agree it's more and more moving back to being the Sport of Kings. They might not realize it but, if there's any truth to their words about growing the sport (which suggests more over time), they do need us and they do make money off us in the long run. I guess the sport is either too fractured, or that's not the direction they really want to go.
BaroqueAgain1
Posts: 10111
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:16 pm

Tue May 21, 2019 12:21 am

IMHO, any hope that the Preakness might stay at Pimlico was broken when most of the bathrooms broke. Turning your grandstand restrooms into stinking, spurting cesspools will not win any fans. :oops: :(
hadrianmarcus
Posts: 229
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:28 pm

Tue May 21, 2019 1:27 pm

BaroqueAgain1 wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 12:21 am
IMHO, any hope that the Preakness might stay at Pimlico was broken when most of the bathrooms broke. Turning your grandstand restrooms into stinking, spurting cesspools will not win any fans. :oops: :(
And that's why Stronach let things deteriorate to that point last weekend....to make a point...and to quicken the 'we must leave' process. They aren't putting another dollar in Pimlico. Ever. Other people's dollars...maybe.

If the Preakness ends up in Laurel (and it will)….I wish Stronach good luck getting any funds or assistance from the State of Maryland, the Baltimore politicians will block any legislative funding assistance for decades.

I live within easy driving distance of Charles Town, Pimlico and Laurel Park. Laurel has a really nice turf course...but I just don't see all the millions of dollars of improvements Stronach has claimed to made at Laurel. Maybe its infrastructural. Honestly, if there is a more bland venue for racing than Laurel, I haven't visited it yet.
BaroqueAgain1
Posts: 10111
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:16 pm

Tue May 21, 2019 2:55 pm

Maybe Stronach will finally pay for & import the other Pegasus statue to put up at Laurel. It's damn ugly...but it would un-bland the facility a little. :P :lol:
(retch)
Post Reply