Pimlico Race Course

Karen Hosler

Oh sure, the second day of Pimlico’s 2016 season was rain-soaked and gloomy. It was so bad the small scrum of spectators for the opening race didn’t even bother to leave the comfort of the freshly scrubbed clubhouse, watching the action on relatively new flat screen TVs instead.

It was a cold and windy April day at Pimlico race course as workmen labored with a forklift to put beams in place for the infield tents that soon will protect thousands of Preakness guests next weekend from what will likely be heat and sun.

But these temporary alterations don’t tell the story of what’s really going on at Maryland’s historic but down-at-the-heel horseracing facilities. Aggressive new management of the Maryland Jockey Club is determined to create a year-round fan base that comes to the track on more than one day a year.

WYPR's Fraser Smith and Adam Bednar of the Daily Record talk about the city's community improvement projects near Pimlico Race Course, funded by a tax on slot machine profits.

Slots Pay Off For Maryland Horse Industry

May 17, 2013
MDGovpics/Flickr

Maryland’s annual celebration of its historic horse racing tradition this weekend comes amid signs that gambling revenue may finally allow the industry to prosper after decades of decline. Horses like 6-year Coater of Davidsonville are symbols of the good news to be celebrated during this annual Preakness Season. While never fast enough to even make it to the starting gate, Coater is being retrained for a new career that cares less about speed than athletic skill--and perhaps attractiveness to horse-mad little girls. 

All eyes may be on Orb, the winner of the Kentucky Derby and the favorite to win Saturday's Preakness Stakes, but behind this feisty bay colt is a quiet, humble man named Shug McGaughey who has one thing on his mind: his job.

Why This Year's Preakness Is Extra Celebratory For Horse Enthusiasts

May 17, 2013

WYPR's Fraser Smith and Karen Hosler talk about the changes to the horse racing industry in Maryland and why many owners and trainers are so optimistic.