Maryland Racing: Capital Improvements, Quality Racing Help Fuel Record-Breaking Year

by | 01.09.2017 | 12:26pm
Racing at Laurel Park

The Maryland Jockey Club continued growing its Thoroughbred product and handle in 2016, announcing today that total handle was up 19.7 percent from 2015 and in-state wagering was up 18.4 percent.

Maryland racing continued its year-over-year growth with total wagering of $559 million, up from $466 million in 2015. In-state wagering climbed from $119.7 million to $141.8 million. Total handle in 2015 was up 19.7 percent over the previous year.

Not only was total handle up, but the Maryland Jockey Club continued to grow its signature events.

· The Preakness Stakes, – the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown – set all-time records for its 141st running May 21 as a record crowd of 135,256 wagered $94,127,434.

· Black-Eyed Susan Day drew a record crowd of 47,956 while wagering $19.4 million, a 4.7 percent increase over the previous year.

· Maryland Million Day drew a crowd of 21,722 on Oct. 22 and produced a handle of $4.476 million. That represented a 59-percent increase over the handle from 2014 — the year before The Stronach Group embarked on its revival of Maryland racing.

The Maryland Jockey Club continued its $30 million capital improvements project at its Laurel Park facility with a renovated and redesigned dining room and lounge, new sports bar, events room and new barns. Laurel also expanded its off-track betting network by making it easier for fans to bet on its product throughout the state. Its expansion included the purchase of Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington.

“We're pleased with our progress, but we still believe there's more room for improvement and more room to grow this incredibly exciting sport,” said Sal Sinatra, President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club. “We want to continue our capital improvements on the front side and back and we will continue in our efforts to play host to Maryland's first Breeders' Cup.

“Our racing program is getting stronger with large, competitive fields and more grass racing on our world-class turf course, and our fans have helped with great suggestions on how to improve their experience at our facilities. We're going to keep improving our product and facilities with great events, improved dining options and quality racing.”

  • Bristling

    Again more positive news coming from Maryland Jockey Club.

  • john

    They are doing everything right….Next move is to move the Preakness to Laurel, snag a Breeders Cup and finally close down Pimlico.

    • Bristling

      Love old hilltop. A lot of history there. And Pimlico could probably handle a BREEDERS Cup crowd better than Laurel.

      • john

        Not after all the improvements at Laurel. Laurel Park has improved tremendously with new technology, flat screens, new seating and tons of upgrades.

      • Molly Julia

        Bristling – Neighborhood Is Very Bad – Baltimore Almost Worst Than Chicago?

    • We’re watching

      That’s the worst idea anyone could ever put forward. Absolutely Zero reasons to move Preakness or close down Pimlico. Do you really think Laurel can handle 135,000 people. Unequivocally the answer is NO.

      Next step improve Pimlico

      • Molly Julia

        We’re – Park Your Car In The Parking Lot At Pimlico At Night – See What Happens?

      • idavis

        Pimlico is horrible, in a bad neighborhood and no one goes there except for Preakness weekend. Laurel has lots of space, a great location, and the improvements to date are impressive! Move the historical Cupola and be done with it.

  • Audrey Harvey

    Check out the second floor Bar at Laurel. I love it. Flat screens all around you. Huge bar in the center of the floor. Buffett (reasonable priced). The music makes me think I am in a club. Really nice atmosphere. Tellers, Fantasty Football 🏈 machines. The girls who help you with that are ‘hot’.
    Pretty Cool.

  • wmk3400

    Good news and they deserve it. However doubtful it may be I can only hope other racing jurisdictions follow their lead. I live two states north and whenever I can I make the 150 mile trek to Laurel and I say that as a mere horseplayer. Best of luck in obtaining a Breeders Cup down the road. They’ve earned it. Keep up the good work.

  • Molly Julia

    John Is Right – Move Preakness To Laurel – Improve Laurel To Handle 50,000 People For 2 Days In Order To Get Breeders’ Cup & Close Down Pimlico – Mayor Of Baltimore Cannot Improve Neighborhood – Would Take About 20 Years?

    • Bristling

      50,000 ? First off you need way more than 50,000 and second Laurel can’t fit nowhere near that.

  • Bristling

    And let us not forget one of the most iconic races ever ran was right at Pimlico. Seabiscuit vs. War Admiral.

Twitter Twitter
Paulick Report on Instagram