“What’s the difference if we’re dead, shot by 100 bullets, or one to the head? We’re still dead.” Richard Hoffberger to the Maryland Racing Commission, November 29, 2010

On November, 29, 2010, before 300 horsemen and women, the State of Maryland, via the Maryland Racing Commission, unanimously rejected the Laurel/Pimlico proposal presented by owners MI Developments & the Maryland Jockey Club for a drastically truncated racing schedule. Appalled commissioner David Hayden told MI Development, Inc. and proposed investor and business partner Penn National Gaming, Inc. said, “You guys just flat out don’t give a damn!”

Testifying against MI Development’s plan were representative from the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, the Maryland Horse Breeders Association and the Maryland Horse Council. Summing up the position for all was MTHA’s president Richard Hoffberger who said, “These two short meets are tantamount to no meets at all.”

In rejecting the 2011 racing plan, the Commission also rejected Penn National as a part owner of and an investor in the Maryland Jockey Club.

As of today, there is no live Thoroughbred racing scheduled for 2011 in Maryland. It is expected that the Maryland Jockey Club/MI Developments will present a new proposal before the Christmas holidays. It is unclear whether or not Penn National will be part of that plan.

To read more:

The Daily Record

The Blood-Horse

The Maryland Horse Council

The Baltimore Sun

The Washington Post

The Daily Racing Form