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Minutes of Public Meeting - January 17, 2017

Commission Members Present:

Michael Algeo, Chairman Tammy Lafferty
David Hayden
Ernest Grecco
Tom Winebrener

Members Absent:

Konrad Wayson
Dr. Thomas Bowman
Ronald Thomas

Staff Present Representing the Maryland Racing Commission:

J. Michael Hopkins

Executive Director
Eric B. London
Assistant Attorney General

In accordance with the Notice of Public Meeting, as required by §3-302, General Provisions Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, the Maryland Racing Commission (“Commission”) met in open session on January 17, 2017, commencing at 1:00 p.m. at Laurel Park, Laurel, Maryland.

Minutes – December 20, 2016.

The Commission waived a reading of the minutes of its meeting of December 20, 2016, and voted unanimously to approve them.

Maryland Jockey Club Update.

Sal Sinatra representing the Maryland Jockey Club (“MJC”) reported that Barn #3 was 85% complete and the MJC was continuing to expand their surveillance system in the barn area. Mr. Sinatra noted that new self-service tote machines had been installed and are operating. Mr. Sinatra also commented that the MJC has been working with the horsemen to develop more optional claiming races, which would be incorporated into their open allowance races. In closing, Mr. Sinatra reported that the MJC was planning an owner and breeder appreciation day on March 18, 2017.

Proposed Regulation – Out of Competition testing band Prohibited Substances.

Executive Director J. Michael Hopkins provided the Commission with a proposed regulation that would allow the Commission to perform out of competition testing on all horses stabled at a racetrack and also give the Commission authority to test horses that are stabled at a farm or an out of state location. Mr. Hopkins further commented that the regulation had been given preliminary approval by Secretary Schulz, until such time the final language is drafted. The Commission was also provided a proposed regulation that defined what substances were prohibited to be in a race horse. Mr. Hopkins also reported that these regulations were adopted by the Association of Racing Commissioner’ s International and have been recommended by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium as part of the National Uniform Medication Program. In order to have these proposals effective as quickly as possible, Mr. Hopkins recommended that the Commission adopt the regulation as proposed and on an emergency basis. Hearing no objection, the Commission unanimously approved the recommendation.

Commission Counsel Report.

Assistant Attorney General Eric B. London reported that the Commission’s request for an “Opinion of the Attorney General” regarding the Commission authority to regulate the purse account had been reviewed. As a result, it was discovered that an unpublished Attorney General opinion from 1981 addressed the same issue. Mr. London advised that the unpublished opinion “opined” that the Commission did have the authority to regulate purse money and, therefore, there would not be a need for the Attorney General to opine on the issue again. The Commission thanked Mr. London for his report and agreed that another Attorney General’s Opinion on the same issue would be duplicative.

December VLT Report.

Executive Director J. Michael Hopkins presented the Commission with a VLT report from the month of December and noted that the gaming revenue from the new MGM casino had increased the purse dedication account by approximately $1,000,000.00 in its first three weeks of operation.

Public Comments.

Robert Lillis representing the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Assistance Fund informed the Commission that on January 31, 2017 the horse industry would be in Annapolis from 8:30 A.M through 1:00 P.M. to provide information to the legislators.

Next Commission Meeting.

The next Commission meeting will be held on February 23, 2017, at 12:30 P.M. in the Clubhouse at Laurel Park, Laurel, Maryland.

J. Michael Hopkins
Executive Director