Updated on 02/01/2013 5:19PM

Maryland Jockey Club submits plan for capital improvements


The Maryland Jockey Club, which operates Laurel Park and Pimlico Racecourse, submitted documents to two government agencies on Friday outlining its plans for capital improvements at the two tracks, the MJC said.

The MJC was required to submit the plan to the Maryland Racing Commission and Maryland Department of Budget and Management by Friday under a provision of a law passed last year giving the company the ability to use subsidies from state casinos for operating funds, rather than capital improvements, as required in an earlier version of the law.

In a statement released Friday, Tom Chuckas, the president of the MJC, called the plans “preliminary” but said that the MJC is committed “to make significant capital improvements at Pimlico and Laurel Park.”

The MJC said on Friday they would not release the plan to the press. Mike Hopkins, the executive director of the Maryland Racing Commission, said late on Friday that the commission may make the plan publicly available next week, after it has been distributed to commissioners.

Under an agreement reached earlier this year with the state’s horsemen, the MJC has already committed to building 300 new stalls at Laurel and 200 new stalls at Pimlico, both of which will remain open year-round for training. Chuckas’s statement said that the MJC would “move quickly” to begin the process of building the barns as “the beginning of a collaborative planning process to reinvest and redevelop these facilities.”

Of the two tracks, Pimlico, a 143-year-old track in Baltimore, is in more pressing need of improvements. The track annually hosts the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown, drawing a crowd that typically exceeds 100,000.