Between what was a dilapidated track and a deteriorating building, some doubted that Rosecroft Raceway would ever open again.
Rosecroft stopped live racing in 2008, then lost it’s ability to simulcast horse races. Soon it filed bankruptcy; leaving hundreds out of work and horse racing in southern Prince George's County out of business. Then this past March, Penn National Gaming, Inc. out of Pennsylvania bought the track and gave it a second chance.
Dan Herbst, Rosecroft’s Facility and Track Manager says while he’s excited about getting back to work, he’s concerned about the very real possibility that this track could close again if they don’t find ways to support the costs of live racing. The track’s new owners are preparing to fight a battle that has been lost time and time again, against the clergy and some council members in Prince George’s - adding slot machines.
Chris McErlean, Vice President of Racing for Penn National Gaming says, "The betting on actual racing in Maryland and Nationwide has been struggling, so the ability to sustain yourself on racing alone is becoming very difficult."
For now, the focus is on getting Rosecroft up and running again, one step at a time. Live racing begins tonight at 6:45 p.m. and will happen every Friday and Saturday through December 17. Next fall the track has 54 live horse races booked.