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Baltimore City Delegate questions Laurel Park living conditions before voting on bill to fund racetrack

Posted at 7:50 AM, Mar 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-26 17:18:06-04

BALTIMORE — The fight to keep the Preakness at Pimlico is not over.

A state delegate is finding issues with the facility where the Pimlico's owner wants to move the race.

Pimlico needs a multi-million-dollar overhaul to keep the Preakness from leaving Baltimore for Laurel, but Baltimore City Delegate Nick Mosby said Laurel Park also has its own issues.

Mosby states, "Considering the significant investment made by Maryland taxpayers, it is inexcusable that humans are living in the conditions shown and described to me where horses are prioritized over humans. The Stronach Group must be required to do better."

The Stronach Group, which owns both Pimlico and Laurel Park, states on its website that it believes in enhancing the quality of life for racetrack employees and state that it supports quality housing and benefit programs for backside workers.

Those living conditions are why Mosby is asking two state lawmakers to withdraw their bills, which would allow state funds to be invested not at Pimlico, but at Pimlico's owner's other track in Laurel and its Bowie Training Center.
"There are major accountability issues," said Mosby. To provide so much state money to an institution that's subjecting their employees to such harsh conditions is unacceptable."

This would not only take millions of development dollars away from Baltimore to Laurel, but the Preakness as well.

The General Assembly is considering two other bills which would be in favor of saving Old Hilltop.

RELATED: City of Baltimore sues owners of Pimlico and the Preakness

The bills focus on creating a work group to come up with a stable financial plan for the future of Pimlico. Last week, Mayor Catherine Pugh sued the Stronach Group to stop it from using state funds to fix up Laurel Park to take the Preakness away from Baltimore.