Baltimore, Maryland - May 07, 2019:
Outrider Tim Marchant, riding Peaceoutofaction, a retired racehorse thoroughbred, working as an outrider pony, watches over the horses at Pimlico Race Track in Baltimore, Maryland Tuesday May 7th, 2019.
As Baltimore prepares to host the 144th running of the Preakness Stakes on May 18, there is growing concern locally that the second jewel of horse racings Triple Crown will leave town after next years contest at dilapidated Pimlico. The tracks Canadian owner, the Stronach Group, wants to move the famous race to a different Maryland track it owns in Laurel, near D.C. In March the city sued Stronach, seeking power to gain control of the 149-year-old Pimlico through condemnation, though officials havent said where theyd find the estimated $425 million needed to rebuild Pimlico. This month Stronach said 6,670 grandstand seats at Pimlico would be closed for Preakness due to structural concerns -- a move city officials claimed was meant to create a bogus emergency that would justify moving the race, which typically draws more than 130,000 people. A decades-old state law says the Preakness can be moved to another track in the state only as a result of a disaster or emergency. Stronach has committed to keep Preakness at Pimlico only through 2020.
CREDIT: Matt Roth for The Wall Street Journal