Horse racing: Pimlico racetrack should be demolished and rebuilt, study says

FILE PHOTO – May 19, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Mike Smith aboard Justify (7) wins the 143rd running Preakness race at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) – A new study suggests a $424-million demolition and rebuilding of the deteriorating Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore which annually hosts the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of thoroughbred horse racing’s Triple Crown.

The course, which opened in 1870 and is the second-oldest race track in the United States, was in major need of repair and upgrading, the study by the Maryland Stadium Authority said.

Its condition presents challenges threatening the “continued existence and the success of the Preakness Stakes,” according to a summary of the conclusions.

Along with the demolition of current facilities at Pimlico, the study recommends the realignment of the turf, dirt tracks and infield to accommodate private development, including a supermarket, hotel and shops.

Construction would require approximately three years and the Preakness, held on the third Saturday in May, would need to move temporarily, most likely to nearby Laurel Park race track.

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; editing by Clare Fallon

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