BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The fight to keep the second jewel of the triple crown in Baltimore will go to the courts.

From negotiation to litigation, Baltimore has filed a suit to block the Preakness from leaving the city.

Tuesday, the mayor filed a 15-page lawsuit on behalf of the city, asking a judge to condemn Pimlico and Preakness and grant ownership to the city.

“The immediate goal is to continue negotiations with the defendants. Compromise and resolution of disputes is far preferable to full-born litigation,” said Andre Davis, city solicitor.

Negotiations Mayor Pugh committed to last week.

“I say to the State and owners of the track, work with us and we will work with you,” said Mayor Pugh.

While the owners of Pimlico have pledged to keep the race in Baltimore through next spring, the company does support legislation that would open the door for a super track in Laurel.

Those in Park Heights said they see the writing on the wall.

“It’s the people’s race,” said Marcus Polluck

Polluck, of Park Heights Renaissance said the tradition belongs here.

But as the lawsuit alleges, Stronach Group could try to skirt the law keeping the race in Baltimore by strategically disinvesting in Pimlico.

“What you do is, you rob it of the resources that it needs to be productive. And all of a sudden you cry, ‘well, it’s not worth keeping’, so we will walk away with the preakness,” Polluck said.

The Stronach Group said in a statement that allegations of this idea “are premature and unfounded,”

“We hope that they will be as reasonable as we believe they can be,” Davis said.

So now the struggle between public and private interest are headed to a Baltimore courtroom.

A recent Gonzalez Poll revealed only 28 percent of voters want to keep the race in Baltimore City.

A fact Stronach Group pointed out, adding they are in line with most Maryland voters’ interests in keeping the Preakness in Maryland.

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