Best Long Slow Death: The Preakness at Pimlico

In recent years, the future of the Preakness at Pimlico has been as hotly discussed as the field in the second jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown. Aside from a new paint job here, or some plumbing work there, little has been done to put an end to it. The facility remains out of date and the racing calendar continues to shrink, with more and more dates scheduled for Laurel Park. The Stronach Group has done wonders in rejuvenating a sport with deep roots here in Maryland, but they say it doesn’t make economic sense for them to own and maintain two tracks. So they’ve sunk their money into Laurel, with incremental renovations and the addition of more stakes races, drawing better fields and more fans. The Maryland Stadium Authority looked into the matter, and government officials say they are committed to keeping the race in the city. But there’s a lingering, almost inevitable feeling that the die has been cast, even though it still remains to be seen when Stronach will finally go ahead and pull out of Baltimore. It’s like watching the plug get pulled with the slow-motion speed needed to judge a photo finish at the wire.

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