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Pugh pleads with citizens to get behind effort to save Preakness

Posted at 11:13 PM, Feb 25, 2019

BALTIMORE (WMAR) — Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh is enlisting the help of citizens to keep the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.

Pugh alleges that the owners of the race track, The Stronach Group, are behind an effort to get the Maryland State Legislature to pass House Bill 990 and Senate Bill 883 which would invest $120 million of state funds into the groups race track in Laurel.

In an email to City residents, Pugh charges that passage of the bill would result in Baltimore losing the Preakness, and cause the Baltimore business community to lose millions of dollars annually.

As part of her plea, Pugh says she's come up with a plan to fund the track, which has long been a sticking point in negotiations to keep the Preakness in Baltimore.

The Mayor says the plan is in partnership with the Maryland Stadium Authority and calls for the track to become a year round venue that would support not only the Preakness, but all forms of entertainment, as well as the development of new housing and retail space. Under the plan, Sinai's campus would be expanded as well.

In an effort to turn the plan into a reality, the Baltimore City Delegation introduced House Bill 1190 and Senate Bill 800, which if passed would create a work group that would be tasked with developing a financial outline for the plan.

The plan was first introduced in late 2018, when the Maryland Stadium Authority released the results of phase two of their Pimlico Race Course study.