On April 30, Governor Martin O’Malley, Attorney General Doug Gansler, Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Tom Chuckas, President and CEO of the Maryland Jockey Club, addressed the settlement agreement that ensures the Preakness will remain in Maryland.
“For 134 years (and counting) the Preakness Stakes has been run in the State of Maryland and has belonged to the people of our state,” said Governor O’Malley. “The Preakness Covenant will ensure that people of Maryland continue to enjoy this time-honored tradition, and that the State of Maryland and City of Baltimore will continue to realize the economic benefits of this annual event. I want to thank Attorney General Doug Gansler, and his staff for working quickly and aggressively with us with us to secure the future of the Preakness Stakes right here where it belongs in Maryland.”
“When Magna entered bankruptcy last year, working with the Governor’s Office, the Office of Attorney General immediately drafted emergency legislation granting Maryland condemnation authority over Magna’s Maryland assets, including Preakness,” said Attorney General Gansler. “That law, in conjunction with the State’s existing right of first refusal over any transfer of Pimlico, gave Maryland the hammer we needed to work out an agreement with new owner MID. I’m pleased that we were able to provide the legal support to the Governor to ensure the Preakness forever remains a Maryland tradition.”
“This is wonderful news for the City of Baltimore,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “The Preakness belongs in Baltimore City, and I want to thank Governor O’Malley and Attorney General Gansler for their leadership and partnership in acting quickly and aggressively to ensure that the Preakness remains a Baltimore tradition for years to come.”
“This is great news for the Preakness Stakes, the Maryland Jockey Club, the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland,” said Tom Chuckas, President and COO of the Maryland Jockey Club. “The Preakness has a long tradition at Pimlico, and we were proud to work with Governor O’Malley and Attorney General Gansler to make sure that tradition continues.”
Under the agreement announced today by Governor O’Malley and Attorney General Gansler, Maryland waives its statutory right of first refusal to buy the Preakness Stakes and parent company MI Developments (MID), agrees that it will not move the Preakness from Maryland. The agreement also specifically states:
• MID agrees that the Preakness Covenant will be binding on MID’s successors and assigns;
• The State of Maryland and MID agree that any disputes about the agreement, including a dispute about the Preakness Covenant, will be decided in a Maryland court;
• The parties acknowledge that money damages would not be a sufficient remedy for breach of the Preakness Covenant, and agree that Maryland is entitled to specific performance and injunctive or other equitable relief as a remedy for a breach of the Preakness Covenant; and
• Nothing in the Agreement alters or negates the State’s statutory, police, or regulatory power.