Will Angelos be the savior of the Preakness?
It's not so surprising that Peter Angelos would be the first person to step up and pledge his fortune to keep the Preakness in Maryland. He's got the money, he's got the interest in horse racing and he's got the attitude of a civic leading man -- the sort of sort you saw a lot of back in the Schaefer days. It takes some chutzpah, after all, to anoint yourself the savior.
Angelos has toyed with the idea of buying a track before. (Or, rather, his family has toyed with the idea, since Major League Baseball is not keen on its team owners also running gambling establishments.) But previously, his interest had seemed to wax and wane with the possiblity of getting a piece of the (presumably much more lucrative) slots action. Based on the way the bidding for Maryland's video lottery terminal licenses has unfolded, it's hard to imagine someone even so influential as Angelos pulling off a Preakness-slots combination somewhere.
But the Preakness might be glory (and profit) enough to hold his interest, even without slots. Before, he was talking about buying Rosecroft, a dusty harness track in Prince George's that would only be a surefire moneymaker with one-armed bandits attached. But the Preakness is profitable enough to support an entire year of racing by itself.
The question is, does Maryland want Angelos to save the Preakness? If his ownership of the Orioles were up to a popular vote, I shudder to think how that would go. But what are the alternatives? Magna keeps running the thing? The totally broke state of Maryland takes it over? How far should the state go to keep the second race of the Triple Crown?