Senators Eye Removing Tracks From Funding Bill

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Senate budget leaders are considering cutting two race tracks out of a bill crafted by Gov. Martin O’Malley to subsidize horse racing in Maryland.

Senate Budget and Taxation Committee Chairman Ed Kasemeyer said Thursday he was looking at removing Rosecroft Raceway and Ocean Downs from a bill that would allow race track owners use state slot machine earnings to cover their operating costs.

The bill is a product of a compromise O’Malley worked out with the owners of Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park to help them race horses 146 days this year. The Maryland Jockey Club, which owns both tracks, lost $20 million last year.

Penn National Gaming — which had sought a license to put slots at Laurel — recently bought Rosecroft.

The House approved the measure last month, but Kasemeyer’s panel has yet to take it up.

The House version would allow the Jockey Club — which is owned jointly by Penn National and MI Developments — to take up to $6 million of slots proceeds slated for capital improvements and use it to pay for day-to-day operations. It would also allow Rosecroft and Ocean Downs borrow $3 million each to cover costs.

“We want to use our money wisely and put it where has the best results” Kasemeyer said.

Sen. Doug Peters, D-Prince George’s, met with Kasemeyer and Sen. Ed DeGrange, D-Anne Arundel, earlier this week to discuss removing the two tracks from the bill.

“I’m supporting the bill in its original form, which includes Rosecroft, it was a commitment made by the governor to Prince George’s County,” Peters said.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)



  • fred

    Lets see….. A company loses 20 million in a year. Buys another race track the next year. Then gets millions from the proceeds from other sources to help with day to day spending. If it isnt a profitable business then it shouldnt stay around. Sounds like government, ( Omalley), is bailing something out for his personal benefit

    • Eric

      The Maryland Jockey Club, which owns both tracks, lost $20 million last year.
      Penn National Gaming — which had sought a license to put slots at Laurel — recently bought Rosecroft.

      Two different companies

  • George Mouring

    If what Fred said is true, I couldn’t agree more

  • Debbie

    When is O’Malley going to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on LOSING interests?
    If they were a viable industry they wouldn’t need a bailout. Wake up Maryland and vote these leaders who are squandering our taxesd out of office.

  • Cathy

    There is a lot that can turn the race tracks into solid venues.If done right the tracks of Laurel and Pimlico could be used almost year round.

    From movies on the infield to bonefires in the winter to coach rides to the theater and Show us your foals in the spring to Equine events of all kinds. The tracks are for horses but not just the fast horses. All horse compatitions would be great.There are other things that could be done to turn the tracks into money makers.But no ones to give up the infield except for Preakness day.

  • Cathy

    There too, there is TOOO Many fingers in the small pie.Big Bizzness may know how to run companies but the racing industry is mostly people with small bizz in mind. The horse racing industry is bigger then most think.I’m thinking the owners of the tracks are out for the slots money.And not the interest of the land and communities around.No one involved sees the bigger picture of the indusrty itself.Just the short time money grab. Leaving the horses and stable crews in the dust the horses just kicked up from the race. The tracks rarely get any money for up keep.The moneys aren’t being distributed properly it looks like.Jockeys need health coverage and the crews too.There is no reason after all these years for the lack on the track.

  • Cathy

    If the money is used right the tracks in time will cover their own-The tracks where running independently for many many years-Until? Big money choked the income.And the eyes of the money derailed from the orig bizzness line of the tracks.It is not just a problem for Maryland.Purse money hasn’t increased in a good many years.Starting with the purses and cleaning up the tracks. Taxes have been going out but here again nothing coming back to the tracks.The tracks themselves where cut from the picture in the money mill

  • WHY

    it worked great for over a hundred years the differnce is the Leaders



  • Cathy

    In a bigger view of horse racing venues in Maryland.? Taxes are owed back to the tracks. And big bizzness owes back too. Pay up is where the money lays for the tracks of Maryland.And while their at the table-HEALTH CARE FOR JOCKEY AND STAFF

    Does anyone know how many horses fall into neglect from the BIG BIZZNESS MAN? Alot/good many. The tracks became big bizz dumping ground



  • Cathy

    For Big bizzness owners with horses on the track-PUT YOUR MONEY$$$$$WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS!

  • shut it down

    they talk about billions like change in my kids sister pocket “HOW DID IT COME TO THIS”

  • Cathy

    NOW THAT’S ROCKING THE GATE. Nice to meet you who ever you where

  • never enough called GREED

    take care of the debt before the debt takes care of you


    Defund the Goverment Oil at $111.00 we are being taken right into debt, the goverment is broke more then one knows

  • $

    get rid of the griesl and fat maryland

  • Cathy

    The tracks are a public money maker -from taxes to the economy. The industry let the big bizzness guy ride for free- Lets be honest are the tents that corp. and inc. and companies paid for from last years Preakness? I would be surprised if they are.

    The big bizzness man has been riding on the public buck and backs all the way around the race track

  • about time

    state and ferderal wokers time to get real jobs

  • fraught

    The racing fans will just have to pitch in a little extra money for track and ticket costs to make up for the lost state dollars. Those who do not utilize the tracks or work closely in an associated industry should not have to foot any bills for another’s pleasure.

    If there enough supporters to justify it’s existence, no additional funds would be required, would they? If the industry leaves town because of it, the workers will have to just follow it, like earlier times in America. No big deal.

    When the budget skyrockets, invite them back, for now just try to keep the roads passable and water flowing up and down Maryland hills.

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