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Roughly Speaking: Newsroom Edition, episode 5:
The battle over the future of the Preakness escalated this spring, but has been building, mostly out of public view, for years.
The second jewel of the Triple Crown has hosted names like Man o’ War, Secretariat and dozens of two-legged celebrities over the past 144 years, including models, athletes, and actors. The race attracts hundreds of thousands of fans on Preakness weekend.
But despite its storied history, the millions of dollars it generates, and a state requirement that Baltimore must host the Preakness barring an extreme disaster or emergency, its owner has expressed more interest in investing in its Laurel Park facility, some 30 miles away.
Baltimore Sun reporting revealed that the Canadian-based Stronach Group, the owner of the track and the race, has spent the majority of the state aid it receives for track improvements on Laurel Park since 2013. Though the track in Laurel hosts significantly more horse racing events than its Baltimore counterpart and is in better condition, city residents, neighborhood leaders and others maintain that moving the Preakness away from Baltimore would wreak further havoc on the long-struggling communities that surround Pimlico.
In this episode: Community leaders, residents, policy experts and Baltimore Sun reporters address the question: Is the Baltimore Preakness worth saving?
Correction: A previous version of this episode misstated when the Baltimore Colts left Baltimore. The Colts left Baltimore in March 1984. We regret the error.
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