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Minutes of Public Meeting - March 23, 2017

Commission Members Present:

Mike Algeo
Tammy Lafferty
David Hayden
Dr. Thomas Bowman
Tom Winebrener
Konrad Wayson
Ernie Grecco

Members Absent:


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 March 23, 2017, commencing at 12:30 p.m. at Laurel Park, Laurel, Maryland. Chairman Mike Algeo welcomed everyone and apologized for not attending the last meeting and thanked Commissioner David Hayden for filling-in for him at the February meeting. Chairman Algeo also congratulated Clarissa Coughlin for her appointment to the Commission by Governor Hogan that will be effective at the April meeting.

Minutes – February 23, 2017.

The Commission waived a reading of the minutes of its meeting of February 23, 2017, and unanimously voted to approve them.

Final Regulations.

The Commission was presented with amendments to the multiple medication violation point system that had been published as proposed for the required public comment period. Executive Director J. Michael Hopkins noted that there had not been any public comment received and requested the Commission move the regulations for final adoption. Hearing no objection, the Commission unanimously approved the regulations for final adoption. The Commission also adopted final regulations to repeal obsolete language and clarify existing practices. Hearing no objection, the Commission unanimously approved the regulations for final adoption.

2017 Maryland Bred Fund Stake Schedule and Annual Yearling Show Report.

The Maryland Bred Fund requests approval from the Commission for its Maryland Bred Fund Stake schedule on or before March 31st of each year. The Maryland Horse Breeders Association reports to the Commission on the use of revenues and expenditures from the Maryland Bred Fund for the annual yearling show. Hearing no objection, the Commission unanimously approved the stake schedule and accepted the report.

Ocean Downs 2017 Live Racing Schedule.

Executive Director J. Michael Hopkins informed the Commission that he had received a request from Ocean Downs, LLC for its 2017 live racing schedule. Hearing no objection, the Commission unanimously approved the request.

Legislative Update.

Executive Director J. Michael Hopkins explained to the Commission that to be eligible for the Racing Facility Redevelopment Fund a track would have to expend at least $1,500,000.00 in capital expenses annually. Proposed legislation would reduce that amount to $300,000.00 for Rosecroft and Ocean Downs and allow the Bowie Training Center to be eligible without any annual expenditure.

Maryland Jockey Club.

Sal Sinatra reported that the fencing issues at Bowie were being addressed and that the facility would be maintained in a more efficient manner. Mr. Sinatra also reported that Owner Appreciation Day was successful, the speakers were informative and the number of attendees, approximately 300, exceeded expectations. Mr. Sinatra reported that the barns under construction have been temporarily put on hold due to permitting issues, but he expected to have those issues resolved in short order. Commissioner Tom Winebrener asked Mr. Sinatra if he had been approached in regard to the preference system in place at Rosecroft. Mr. Sinatra replied that he has not been approached, but a meeting has been within the week at which he would make Commissioner Winebrener’s question a topic of discussion.

February VLT Report.

Executive Director J. Michael Hopkins presented the Commission with a VLT report from the month of January.

Public Comments.

Tom Cooke, President of the Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners’ Association (“CSOA”), reported that Rosecroft began racing earlier in the month. He noted that CSOA’s Executive Director Sharon Roberts would be retiring after serving the standardbred horsemen for 20 years and that he wished to thank her publicly for all of her hard work. Chairman Algeo asked and received a motion to publicly thank Ms. Roberts for her dedication and service to the standardbred racing industry.

Robert Lillis of the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Assistance Fund thanked the Maryland Jockey Club, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and the Maryland Horse Breeders Association for all their help and effort in making the Owner Appreciation Day at Laurel a success.

Commissioner Konrad Wayson asked the Executive Director of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (“MTHA”), David Richardson, to explain the recent article printed in the MTHA’s newsletter regarding purse money. Mr. Wayson continued stating that he had been informed by a number of people that most of the purse money being paid was going out of the State. David Richardson explained that he had heard the same thing and as a result compiled a list of all 2016 starters, reviewed stall lists from Laurel, Pimlico and Fair Hill, trainers based in Maryland and owners stabled in Maryland to develop a list of who had Maryland connections. Further, Mr. Richardson commented that as a result of his compilation, he found that 78% of the purse monies paid in Maryland are paid to individuals who have Maryland connections.

Next Commission Meeting.

The next Commission meeting will be held on April 27, 2017, at 12:30 P.M. in the Clubhouse at Laurel Park, Laurel, Maryland.

J. Michael Hopkins
Executive Director