Minutes of Public Meeting - August 6, 2019
Commission Members Present:
Staff Present Representing the Maryland Racing Commission:
J. Michael Hopkins
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 August 16, 2019 at 12:30 p.m. at Ocean Downs in Berlin, Maryland. Chairman Mike Algeo welcomed the public and opened the meeting.
Minutes – June 27, 2019
The Commission waived a reading of the minutes of its June 27, 2019 meeting and voted to approve them. Commissioner Konrad Wayson abstained from the vote, explaining that he was not in attendance at the June meeting.
Maryland Standardbred Race Fund Advisory Committee.
J. Michael Hopkins, Executive Director of the Commission, informed the Commission that he had received a recommendation from Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners’ Association nominating Frank Milby to the Advisory Committee. Hearing no objection, the Commission voted unanimously to approve Mr. Milby to the Advisory Committee.
Maryland Jockey Club Fall Race Meet.
Mr. Hopkins reported that he had received a request from the Maryland Jockey Club for its Fall Race Meeting at Laurel Park, with dates from September 3, 2019 through December 31, 2019. The request included, but was not limited to, racing days, requests for simulcasting and permission to export their signal. Mr. Hopkins further explained that the request was similar to requests made in the past. Hearing no objection, the Commission unanimously approved the request.
Prince Georges Racing Ventures (Rosecroft) Fall Race Meet.
Mr. Hopkins reported that he had received a request from Rosecroft for its Fall Race Meeting, with dates from September 8, 2019 through December 31, 2019. The request included, but was not limited to, racing days, requests for simulcasting and permission to export their signal. Mr. Hopkins further explained that the request was similar to requests made in the past. Hearing no objection, the Commission unanimously approved the request.
Maryland Jockey Club – Update
Representing the Maryland Jockey Club (“MJC”), Sal Sinatra reported that there will be some maintenance performed on the dirt and grass course at Laurel during the Timonium Race Meeting. Mr. Sinatra reported that permitting was moving forward and the MJC was looking forward to the Fall Race Meeting.
Chairman Algeo reminded everyone that Saturday August 24, 2019 is College Day at the State Fair. He noted that the Lieutenant Governor would be there to assist in handing out the scholarships.
Commissioner Konrad Wayson commented that he had been to Laurel Park to observe the horses in training. Commissioner Wayson had received complaints from horsemen, but he commented that he had not observed any problems with training on the date he attended.
Before opening the floor for public comments Chairman Algeo stated that he had received a letter from Alan Rifkin on behalf of the MJC, Bill Cole of Baltimore City and Alan Foreman of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. Chairman Algeo further commented the in lieu of paraphrasing the letter, he would read the letter into the record:
“Dear Chairman Algeo and Members of the Maryland Racing Commission:
I write to you on behalf of myself, Bill Cole and Alan Foreman.
As we have previously reported to the Racing Commission, we have been actively exploring options for comprehensive and long-term capital plans for Pimlico, Laurel Park and other racing facilities – all in hopes of being able to suggest to the appropriate units of state and local government possible recommendations as to the ways and means to preserve the Preakness Stakes® at Pimlico and year-round sustainable racing at Laurel Park. Although we understand that the Racing Commission has requested the Maryland Jockey Club to present an interim capital plan, we would respectfully request the Racing Commission’s continuing patience as we explore the feasibility of more comprehensive and long-term capital plans.
In that regard, we are pleased to report that we have and continue to make substantial
progress. Needless to say, we will continue to keep the Racing Commission informed of our
continuing efforts. We appreciate your consideration of our request.
Very truly yours,
Alan M. Rifkin”
April Smith, of Friends of Pimlico, reported that Pimlico will be 150 years old in 2020 and she believed that should be highlighted in the ensuing year. Ms. Smith further commented that Pimlico should be a viable racetrack in lieu of development proposals being discussed.
Next Commission Meeting
The next Commission Meeting will be held on September 19, 2019 at 12:30 p.m. at the Great Frederick Fair, Frederick, Maryland.
J. Michael Hopkins