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Historic Farm Leading Revival Of Md. Horse Racing Industry

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Schuh Mike 370x278 (2) Mike Schuh
Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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REISTERSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — The drumbeat of negative news from the Maryland horse industry may be over. The influx of casino money is raising the amount a horse can win at Maryland racetracks.

As Mike Schuh reports, one of the places leading the revival is one of racing’s most historic farms.

This is the sound of history.

“It dates back to Alfred Vanderbilt and some of the greatest horses of all time,” said Tom Mullikin, Sagamore Farm manager.

Sagamore’s Native Dancer won two of the three Triple Crown races and is the most successful stud horse in history.

“You’d be hard pressed to find a horse getting on the gate on Saturday that doesn’t have Native Dancer’s blood,” Mullikin said.

When the Vanderbilts pulled out in the mid 1980s, the farm faltered. But since 2007, the Under Armour logo has perched above the flag for Sagamore Farm and the rebuilding hasn’t stopped since.

From miles of new fences to farmhouses for workers, Under Armour founder Kevin Plank is pouring millions into reviving Maryland racing–one horse at a time.

“The idea is to rebuilt it and create some energy in horse racing and really give the folks of Maryland something to be proud of,” said Mullikin. “Because it is a Maryland treasure.”

At a lot of racing operations, the public isn’t welcome because of the expensive horses. But at Sagamore Farm, they’re taking a different approach.

“Well, the Three Diamond Club is our way of getting our fans involved and making them a part of our team,” said Toniann Andries, Three Diamond Club.

More than 1,500 have joined for free. Tours, events and more all happen there.

“It is our job as people in this industry to take those who don’t know that much about it and bring them into it,” Andries said.

They don’t have a Preakness horse this year, but four others will run this weekend.

For info about how to join the Three Diamond Club, click here.

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