Finally, after months of anticipation, Frank Stronach and his new “The Stronach Group” has acquired Penn National Gaming’s ownership percentage of the Maryland Jockey Club. According to a June 16, 2011 MJC press release, effective July 1, 2011, following completion of the MI Developments reorganization, the transaction will give The Stronach Group full ownership of the assets and operations of Pimlico Race Course, Laurel Park and the Bowie Training Center.
Speaking on behalf of The Stronach Group, Belinda Stronach stated, “Today’s announcement is part of our ongoing commitment to the horseracing industry and to the State of Maryland. We are determined to work with industry and government officials across the state to further develop Maryland’s reputation as a premiere location for racing.”
Greg Avioli, President and CEO of The Stronach Group’s Gaming and Racing Division, added, “The tremendous support for last month’s Preakness, with more than 107,000 in attendance, demonstrates what a fantastic racing market Maryland can be when given a quality product. As we turn the page and begin a new chapter in Maryland racing, we are more committed than ever to do what it takes to return Maryland to its rightful place as one of the top racing and breeding states in the country.”
Pimlico Race Course, opened in 1870, is the country’s second oldest racetrack and serves as the annual host of the Preakness Stakes, the second leg in thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown and one of the premiere sporting events in the United States. Pimlico Race Course features a one-mile oval track, a 7/8-mile turf course and fixed seating for approximately 15,000 spectators. The 2011 Preakness drew more than 107,000 spectators to Pimlico, the largest annual sporting event audience in Maryland, and recorded the sixth-highest attendance in the history of the race. Laurel Park, the sister track to Pimlico, opened in 1911 and features a 1 1/8 mile oval track and a one mile turf course with fixed seating for approximately 5,000 spectators.
Stronach plans to meet with Maryland horsemen in July (Baltimore Sun, June 20, 2011)
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