05/16/2016 12:21PM

Stronach Group buys Rosecroft Raceway


The Stronach Group, the owner of a handful of racetracks nationwide, including the two Thoroughbred tracks in Maryland, has reached an agreement to purchase Rosecroft Raceway, one of Maryland’s two harness tracks, from Penn National Gaming Inc.

The sale is expected to close this summer, according to The Stronach Group. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Penn National, a large casino company, purchased Rosecroft out of bankruptcy in 2011, hoping to capitalize on Maryland’s legalization of casinos. The track is scheduled to conduct 28 live racing dates this year, spread out from March to December.

Horse-racing interests in Maryland currently receive subsidies from casinos in the state even though Rosecroft and the two Thoroughbred tracks in Maryland owned by The Stronach Group, Laurel Park and Pimlico, were passed over for casino licenses when the state awarded the grants several years ago.

“The purchase of Rosecroft is a logical step to strengthen the simulcasting and racing of both breeds in the state,” The Stronach Group said in a statement. “We look forward to getting to work with the Standardbred horsemen on growing the business locally and nationally.”

Sal Sinatra, the director of racing for the Maryland Jockey Club, said The Stronach Group plans to operate Rosecroft Raceway for the “long term” and said the track will give the company a simulcasting outlet close to the Washington market. Rosecroft is located just south of the I-495 Beltway surrounding Washington in Fort Washington, Md.

“We’ll keep live racing there, but it’s more of an [offtrack betting] and simulcasting play,” Sinatra said.