Maryland Horsemen Reap Benefits From Rosecroft Raceway



 (Fort Washington, MD – June 25, 2013)   Since reemerging from bankruptcy in 2011 under the direction of one of the country’s largest and most respected racing and gaming companies, Rosecroft Raceway has provided an economic kick start to Prince George’s County and the Maryland Standardbred industry.


The focus has been on directing racing opportunities and increasing purses towards Maryland horses and horsemen, with the recently concluded winter/spring meet highlighting impressive results in those areas.   Track owner Penn National Gaming has established a preference system benefitting Maryland horsemen racing at Rosecroft that provides for maximum opportunity for Maryland connected horses.


“The preferences for Maryland horsemen put in place by Penn National Gaming at Rosecroft shows their commitment to give Maryland horsemen and breeders every chance to benefit from increased purses and racing opportunities,” said Thomas Cooke, President of the Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Association.


A recap of the impact of the preference system implemented at Rosecroft:


·        A total $1,288,190 in total purses (prize money) was distributed during the 25-night meet which ended June 1, an increase of over 30% from the 2012 fall meet.   

·        An entry preference system giving first priority in all races to Maryland owned, sired/bred, trained, and foaled horses was put in effect for the spring meet, along with a policy of making any race exclusively “Maryland Preferred” if seven (7) or more Maryland owned, trained, sired or bred horses entered.  

·        Maryland Preferred races with eight (8) or more horses carried a purse premium of 10%, increased to 20% midway through the meet.

·        A total of 71% of all the horses competing at Rosecroft in the winter-spring meet met one or more of the Maryland Preferred conditions.  

·        Over 75% of the total purses earned were captured by Maryland Preferred horses.  

·        Thirty-four (34%) percent of all the races conducted at Rosecroft were exclusively for Maryland Preferred horses.


“The racing industry derives significant financial benefits from the expanded gaming program in Maryland and the commitment towards significant racing opportunities for Maryland based horses and horsemen at Rosecroft fulfill the goals that the legislature envisioned when putting the program in place.  We are pleased Penn National has recognized and placed a premium on the needs of Maryland horsemen.  It is critical that track owners support their horsemen and Penn National has shown their commitment with these preferences” continued Cooke.


Maryland Standardbred Breeders Association President Dan Myer commented, “Successful overnight racing is the key to establishing a revitalized breeding industry in Maryland.  Our horsemen need a place to race their horses and we appreciate Penn National’s commitment to Maryland Standardbred racing as a whole.  Their clear preference for Maryland horsemen is appreciated and greatly needed at this critical time.”


The 29-date fall Rosecroft meet commences September 14.   Average daily purses were a tick over $50,000 per day in the spring meet with an anticipated increase likely for the fall meet.     


“We understand the importance of rebuilding the Standardbred racing industry in Maryland and felt the establishment of these highly supportive preferences would benefit the entire racing industry in Maryland.  We look forward to working with our horsemen and breeders to make our Maryland preference numbers even stronger in the fall meet.  We share the Governor’s and the state legislature’s goal of rebuilding the Maryland Standardbred racing and breeding industries,” said Christopher McErlean, Vice President of Racing for Penn National Gaming.


Rosecroft’s owner has submitted a proposal for the Prince George’s gaming license.  The proposal includes a $700 million total investment that includes a hotel and first class integrated gaming and racing facility.  Maryland’s Video Lottery Facility Location Commission is expected to make a decision on the award of the license sometime in late 2013.

Penn National Gaming owns, operates or has ownership interests in gaming and racing facilities with a focus on slot machine entertainment.   The company is currently the largest operator of pari-mutuel racing facilities in North America with 11 owned or joint venture operations that conduct over 1,200 live racing dates and process $1 billion in pari-mutuel handle annually.


The company presently operates twenty-nine facilities gaming/racing facilities in nineteen jurisdictions, including Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, and Ontario.   In aggregate, Penn National’s operated facilities currently feature approximately 36,800 gaming machines, approximately 850 table games, 2,900 hotel rooms and approximately 1.6 million square feet of gaming floor space.









For further information:


Christopher   McErlean


Vice President –  Racing


Penn National   Gaming, Inc.