The Stronach Group has no recourse but to continue negotiating with state and city officials as the company looks to determine the future of the Preakness at either Pimlico Race Course or Laurel Park, chief operating officer Tim Ritvo said at his annual Preakness-day news conference.
“We continue to try to work with the city and the state on options to have an experience that the people deserve with a great race like this,” he said. “If it doesn’t move forward at all, it’s the worst, because that’s the status quo, and I don’t think anybody wants that.”
“It gets tougher every year to give the experience that the customer deserves for an event like this,” he said, explaining that a pipe broke outside the track several days ago, creating lingering problems with water pressure. “It’s just old infrastructure, and we do everything we can to keep it up to the level we can.”
“We’re looking at ourselves all the time to see what we can do to improve and what the sport can do to improve,” he said. “Unfortunately, percentage-wise, the numbers at Santa Anita were really good for the last two months, until yesterday. It’s an unfortunate incident that we look to study to see what we can do better all the time.”
Ritvo said the company could “continue to work with them, make them realize how important an issue it is and how what we faced in California … we were really devastated and close to watching racing go away.”
Crowd surfing, bowties, hats, music and horses at the 144th Preaness infield. (Ulysses Muñoz, Jerry Jackson, Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun video)