According to March 21, 2009 reports in the Baltimore Sun and on WBAL Radio, Magna Entertainment - the bankrupt Canadian company which owns thoroughbred tracks Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course - has asked a Delaware judge for permission to auction the tracks. Pimlico Race Course is home to the Preakness Stakes, Maryland's single largest annual sporting event.
According to the stories, the Maryland state attorney general's office has retained Venable "concerning enforcement of the state's rights ... with respect to the Preakness" and to collect $190,000 in back taxes Magna owes to the state.
A 1992 Maryland law gives the state the first option to buy the Preakness if it is offered for sale. In that case the state, which is struggling with a huge projected budget deficit, would have to match any accepted offer.