Letter writer Kevin O’Keeffe needs to explain how it makes economic sense for Baltimore to lose its marquee sporting event, which generates $100 million in economic impact a year for the city (“Move Preakness to Laurel, close Pimlico,” May 21). Has he ever been to Laurel on Maryland Million day? They can barely fit 25,000 people. How will they fit 125,000? Has he walked in the front door? There is one entrance for the entire grandstand.

I spend every weekend at Laurel. There is no charisma or history as with Churchill Downs or Belmont Park. To think that people will pay to attend races at Laurel like they do at these tracks is absurd. Preakness is called the people’s race for a reason. Aside from the simple logistics, which Mr. O’Keeffe fails to recognize, moving an event that has been part of Triple Crown for 143 years will mark the end of the Triple Crown. There’s no historic value in Laurel.

I write this as someone who grew up in the dirt in Barn A at Pimlico, whose family has been racing, breeding and raising thoroughbreds in Maryland for 100 years. I will now get three hours of sleep and head to Pimlico to train horses while Mr. O’Keeffe lays in bed.

Mike Merryman

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