Unlimited access >

Pimlico UPDATE- Stronach Group donates Pimlico to MD

Not surprised in the least, after my visit there, but I do feel a twinge for all of the nostalgia and history that is about to be bulldozed. I would love to have a small piece of the wood that makes up the entire stands. A remembrance of days gone by…

i cant believe they are going to cut the track down for the sake of junk townhomes and apartments in the ghetto and more junky shopping plazas. They spend much less money just keeping the track, resurfacing it and repairing the rails and re-doing the grandstands instead of creating a new track, building townhomes, apartment housing and shopping plazas AND building a whole new grandstand

the entire report summary just made my head hurt. What a complete bunch of bologna


AND making the track smaller/shorter. Sure, that makes sense. The narrow turns at Pimlico are a challenge now, and they’re going to make it shorter?


They are suggesting that it will cost close to 1/2 a billion dollars. Who will pay for that, since the Stronach organization has definitely said “no dice”? The next economic downturn seems to be just around the corner, given business cycles, and I seriously doubt the State of Maryland will ever pony up the bucks.

in addition to that… there will be no permanent stabling on the grounds and the track will only be open for 12 days a year. TWELVE DAYS. So they are going to propose to spend half a billion dollars to “revitalize” the track for the sake of 12 days of racing. How about they nix the shopping plazas and apartments and put in some nice stabling and race for 5-6 months of the year??? Build it and they will come. No one wants to race at Pimlico right now because its so run down, its not friendly to trainers.

Stronachs have already said they are not putting a single dime towards revitalizing Pimlico, fixing any of it. The new plan does not even include a grandstand. it includes a clubhouse. this is the type of crap they did with Gulfstream. All part of Stronachs little plan to bulldoze Pimlico for the sake of real estate value on the land and move everything to Laurel … BTW Stronachs have already invested in Laurel by adding grandstands and re-doing most of the facilities. All part of the plan.

Baltimore doesn’t want to see Pimlico bulldozed. Stronachs do. Baltimore needs to stop listening to Stronachs little plan on what they “want” to do with the revitalization and just keep the track, rebuild the grandstand, and make nice stabling. This doesn’t have to be a 1/2 billion dollar project. Stronachs have made it that in an effort to curb the desire to get approval on the site.


This is a ludicrous plan. They need to keep Pimlico open year round for training.

The only part of this plan that makes sense is tearing down Pimilico. It’s in a bad location and will never be successful. You’ve got a track crammed into a crappy residential area. When you look at the plan there is no parking. There is no good access.

Tax payers in MD should just say no to this idea. If there was room over by Camden Yards and MB&T Stadium I would say build over there but there is no room.


For starters, this is just a proposal, nothing is going down. I was pleasantly surprised they are recommending a complete rebuild but don’t like a single thing about the plan. If you don’t save the track itself there is no point in any of the other stuff. Building a totally new track somewhere else is a dumb idea as well.

1 Like

I have a personal conspiracy theory that the Maryland Stadium Authority deliberately came forth with an undesirable and expensive plan in order to streamline the process of just razing Pimlico and moving the Preakness to Laurel.

Isn’t that truly what anyone with any stake in the process wants to happen? The only roadblocks are all of us clinging to nostalgia and wanting to preserve history.


Just a question - why wouldn’t they move the Preakness to Laurel and then use Pimlico as a training facility? Is the real estate it sits on that valuable? I haven’t been to Pimlico in years, but the last time I went my first reaction wasn’t “Wow, prime real estate.” I’m also amused that during coverage of the Preakness, they keep the camera focused pretty narrowly, 'cause there ain’t anything pretty in the background, particularly on the far side of the track.

1 Like

Because that defeats the purpose if you ask me. The city of Baltimore isn’t going to just let them waltz it to Laurel without a fight.

I have popcorn on the stove right now and a bottle of wine ready as this plays out with what will happen where and paid for by whom.


@Laurierace , so you’re saying keeping the Preakness at Pimlico brings revenue to the City of Baltimore that they’d lose if the race went to Laurel?

So this whole thing is just a game of liar’s poker?

I am on the outside of this. So, that gives me a fresh pair of eyes to see it, for what it is worth.

My opinion is that The Stronach Group has planned to level Pimlico from the get. BUT, because this is a horrible, awful thing to do to a historical institution, like Pimlico, they need to have someone be the fall guy. Enter the commission.

To see Pimlico in it’s current state is just shocking, but I didn’t see it when it was new, or looked like it was new, or even better. Now, it is a nasty s^&*hole, and it has been allowed to become one by it’s owners. Look at it this way, if you own it, you can do whatever- like just enough to get the race in there- for the moment, but not enough to sustain the plant, of God Forbid- improve it.

If you want to make Laurel your centerpiece, you buy the competition and tank it, if you are in a position to do that. Stronach is. And, instead of improving Pimlico, which was never on the agenda IMHO, you simply say that you cannot justify the expense involved in rebuilding. Ta-da!

It is going to take someone with very, very deep pockets and an equally deep love of Baltimore and Pimlico to fix this. Or, a local government move to try and fund it.

Either way, Stronach is playing this very, very well to accomplish their goal.

One more point- the Devon Horse Show grounds was completely falling apart when they decided to turn things around, and make it a safe, state of the art (footing) show grounds. It is probably around the same vintage as Pimlico, and I can remember the days when it was REALLY old. I think that the light blue and white paint held up the barns and fencing. In any event, there is only one Devon. And it is currently safe and sound.

Maybe there can be angels for Pimlico, too.

1 Like

Well I don’t know about liars poker but of course the city will lose millions annually if the Preakness moves out of it.

I would like to see the city of Baltimore retain something great and unique, like the Preakness. The city needs it badly.

But I don’t think investing nearly $500M in anything horse racing-related is wise.

I also have less than zero faith in any of the players involved, which probably causes me to be overly skeptical of this process. Maryland racing has been plagued by a lack of innovation for most of my lifetime. They tend to be very good at doing what they know how to do, but slooooow to embrace new trends. They always remind me of the overused Wayne Gretzky quote; they need to learn to skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been. This proposal seems like another example of such behavior, because while it includes some interesting ideas, like emulating Piazza del Campo, it is focusing too much on creating an experience that appeals to today. Just the fact that they open up by saying racing needs “instagrammable experiences” shows a lack of long-term vision; Instagram will be a dinosaur by the time this project is complete. What will people want in the future? I was clamoring for Pimlico to embrace similar ideas included in this proposal in the 00s; they didn’t. While I love the concept of increased connectivity, I don’t like the changes to the actual racing surface. Overall, the move is too little too late, which I swear is the unofficial motto of horse racing.

The Stronach Group has brought better vision to MD overall, but has no interest in maintaining Pimlico.

It’s a tough situation. I don’t want to see Pimlico go. Laurel Park is the most vanilla racetrack in America, even if the infrastructure is stable. Moving the Preakness there is most likely a palliative step in the ultimate death of the Triple Crown. But this proposal isn’t a more desirable alternative.

1 Like

The mayor of Baltimore supports the redesign.


Why wouldn’t she? She doesn’t know anything about racing, all she cares about is money.

You just said the city would lose millions, so is the city going to lose money or make money? The mayor needs to do what is good for the city, not for racing.

Stay with me. The city would lose money if the Preakness moves out of the city. The mayor of the city that would make money if the Preakness stayed likes any plan that keeps the Preakness in her city no matter how stupid it is. Got it?