Fasig-Tipton Sales Up Over 2010 By $1.4 Million

Maybe this is a good sign!

The annual Fasig-Tipton Yearling Sales in Saratoga were up, thanks in no small part to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, who bought six horses for $4.1 million, pushing total sales to $16.2 million. Let’s hope that trend continues when Fasig Tipton returns to Timonium for the Eastern Fall Yearling Sales in October; see bizjournals.com for more details.

Laurel Park Redevelopment Plan

Originally filed with Anne Arundel County in 2006 and set to have expired in June of this summer, the Maryland Jockey Club updated its application to redevelop the 100-year-old race track, Laurel Park, into a hotel/dining/retail complex that ostensibly would compliment the racetrack. Changes to the 387-acre site would include a new 8,250-seat clubhouse and grandstand near Route 198 (sort of opposite the current grandstand) and a 350-room hotel, plus 9,200 parking spaces, restaurants and retail stores. The redevelopment plan was backburnered while the Maryland Jockey Club faced its slots battles.For more details, see Scott Daughterty’s article in The Capital’s digital HometownAnnapolis.com.

Laurel: 68 days of racing27 stakes races and back up to five days of racing per week

With $15.5 million, July 2011 is the biggest month for slots so far; for more information, read Rachael Bernstein’s article in The Daily Record.

Rosecroft Raceway

Prince George’s County finally wants to get on the slotsbandwagon.

Penn National Queues Up for Legislative Session

Penn National, in its quest to bring slots to Rosecroft Raceway in P.G. County, will not only have to get the state law changed regarding jurisdictions, it will also have to convince legislators to change the law that prohibits a company from having more than one slots license (Penn National owns the Cecil County slots parlor). If the lawmakers approve, then the issue goes to a state-wide referendum.

Penn National has released the names of the lobbyists they have retained for the upcoming session. Their dream team includes Gerard E.Evans (former aide to Senate President Mike Miller, D-Calvert) and Nicholas G. Manis (who used to coach House Speaker Mike Busch, D-Anne Arundel), Sean Malone (former aide to Gov. O’Malley), and Lisa Harris Jones. For more details, see John Wagner’s article in The Washington Post.

Ocean Downs Dedicates $300,000 to Promote Harness Racing

Maryland’s only active harness racing track, Ocean Downs, is dedicating $300,000 to Delaware’s Pocomoke Fair for the purpose of generating new interest in harness racing. The owner of Ocean Downs, Montgomery County resident Bill Rickman, is quoted in delmarvanow.com:

“All of us at Ocean Downs, like our friends in Pocomoke, are absolutely committed to ensuring that the sport of harness racing continues to thrive here in Maryland. Both of our organizations have enjoyed a long tradition of harness racing, and we are pleased that we can help to ensure the future of harness racing at the fair.”

Is it just this publisher, or does anyone else find it interesting that while all the race tracks (Laurel, Pimilco, Rosecroft) around Ocean Downs seem suffer from a roller-coaster drama, Ocean Downs just keeps doing its thing, running a cute little track, hosting races and putting in slots. No drama. Mr. Rickman seems to embody two quotes:

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs…yours is the earth and everything that’s in it.” (from Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If”)

“The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time.” (Henry Ford)