Owner of Baltimore Orioles Discusses Preakness Stakes With Governor

By John Wagner
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 20, 2009

A late-afternoon meeting yesterday between Baltimore Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos and Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) added to growing intrigue in Maryland about the future of the fabled Preakness Stakes horse race, whose owner has filed for bankruptcy protection.

"I'd like to see the Preakness remain in Maryland," Angelos said after the meeting in the State House in Annapolis. "It's part of Maryland history. . . . Whatever I could do to help, I'm prepared to do."

Angelos declined to discuss specifics of the meeting, which also included Maryland Racing Commission Chairman John B. Franzone and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert).

Miller in recent days has suggested the possibility of the state taking over the race if it is abandoned by Magna Entertainment, which filed for bankruptcy protection this month. Miller said that the best option would be a "white knight" buying Magna's tracks and keeping the Preakness at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

Angelos, whose family nearly bought Rosecroft Raceway in Prince George's County a few years ago, emerged from the governor's office accompanied by Franzone and Gerard Evans, a lobbyist who represents both Angelos and the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association. Angelos has had a frosty relationship with O'Malley in recent years.

"It was about the Preakness and the assets of Magna," Miller said after the meeting. "What Mr. Angelos indicated to the governor is his chief concern is keeping the Preakness in Maryland."

Franzone and Evans declined to comment. O'Malley spokesman Rick Abbruzzese declined to comment on the meeting but said: "The governor is very interested in keeping the Preakness in Maryland as well."

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