Racing commission approves Rosecroft sale

The Maryland Racing Commission on Tuesday approved the sale of Rosecroft Raceway in Prince George's County to the Stronach Group, which said it hopes to grow its brand and standardbred racing in the state.

With the purchase from Penn National Gaming, Stronach will add to a collection of Maryland tracks that includes Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park.


The commission vote, which came at Laurel at its monthly meeting, was unanimous. The purchase price was not disclosed.

The 67-year-old track in Fort Washington has 54 racing dates this year. Penn National bought the track for $10.25 million at a bankruptcy auction in 2011, outbidding Orioles owner Peter Angelos. The track was closed at the time but reopened that year.


Stronach expects to soon begin upgrading the track.

"We are looking forward to working at Rosecroft Raceway and growing the business," Stronach said Tuesday in a written statement. "Not only do we see this as an opportunity to expand the Maryland Jockey Club brand to a new market and make it easier for people to watch and wager on our thoroughbred races, but we're particularly interested in growing standardbred racing, which has a long and storied history in Maryland."

Penn National hoped to bring slot machines and table games to the facility. But that plan never came to fruition, and Stronach is eager to operate the facility as a racing and simulcasting business. Rosecroft also hosts boxing cards.

Stronach particularly wants to expand in the Washington market, and Rosecroft is attractive from that standpoint.