Day-to-day racing could be consolidated at a modernized Pimlico Racecourse in 2027. (Conceptual rendering from the 2018 Maryland Stadium Authority Phase 2 Pimlico study)

A new bill before the Maryland House of Delegates would implement all aspects of the Pimlico Plus Plan unveiled on Jan. 5, allowing a complete renovation of Pimlico Racecourse and consolidating all thoroughbred horse racing there by 2027.

Greg Cross, chair of the Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority, said the bill authorizes transfer of Pimlico’s ownership from The Stronach Group to the State on Jan. 1, 2025. The Stronach Group would continue to operate the Preakness Stakes through 2026, when a newly formed nonprofit group would take over operations.

“The Maryland Racing Authority is proud to support this plan that will help secure the future of horse racing here in Maryland,” Cross said. “We are thankful to Belinda Stronach and the Stronach Group for their longtime stewardship of horse racing in Maryland and the professionalism and good faith they brought to this process with the Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority.”

According to House Bill 1524, the Preakness would continue to run at Pimlico through 2025 before temporarily moving to Laurel Park in 2026 during renovations. In 2027 it would return to a new Pimlico facility designed and built by the Maryland Stadium Authority.

While the state has already earmarked $375 million for the renovation of Pimlico and construction of a new training facility still to be selected, the bill provides a 6% increase bringing the amount of bonds for the project to $400 million, to be paid back at a rate of at least $17 million a year from the State Lottery Fund.

The Stronach Group would retain ownership of Laurel Park after racing operations terminate there.

“We know the state is eager to see the long overdue improvements to Pimlico and investments in the Park Heights community come to fruition, and the governor looks forward to working with the General Assembly to finalize this deal and pass the authorizing legislation to make it a reality,” Cross said.