12/17/2011 1:32PM

Maryland Jockey Club, horsemen agree on 146 days for 2012

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Horsemen and the Maryland Jockey Club reached a tentative agreement Saturday for a 146-day live racing season for 2012.

The proposal needs to be ratified by the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association’s board and presented for final approval at Tuesday’s meeting of the Maryland Racing Commission.

Last month, the Stronach Group which owns Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, maintained it wanted to limit live racing to a 40-day meet at Pimlico. Horsemen supported retaining the 146-day schedule that was in place in 2011.

“I am glad we got this resolved,” said Richard Hoffberger, MTHA president. “This means running the same amount of live days as this year, which was important to the horsemen to maintain a year-round program.”

The parties will continue to meet on a regular basis to develop a long-term plan for Thoroughbred racing in the state with a goal of a proposal in place by July 1, 2012.

The 2012 Laurel Park winter meet is now scheduled to begin Wednesday, Jan. 4.

“The Maryland Jockey Club is pleased that the parties have come together for the betterment of the industry,” said president Tom Chuckas. “And our management team looks forward to working with the other industry participants in creating a long-term plan for sustainability in Maryland.”