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Minutes of Public Meeting - February 28, 2019

Commission Members Present:

Mike Algeo, Chairman
Thomas Bowman
David Hayden
Tammy Lafferty
Tom Winebrener
Konrad Wayson

Clarissa Coughlin
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 February 28, 2019 at 12:30 p.m. at Laurel Park, Laurel, Maryland. Chairman Mike Algeo welcomed the public to the meeting

Minutes – January 24, 2019.

The Commission waived a reading of the minutes of its meeting of January 24, 2019 and voted unanimously to approve them.

Proposed Regulation.

J. Michael Hopkins, Executive Director of the Commission, reported he had received a request from the Maryland Jockey Club to adopt a new wagering regulation called the Roulette wager, which is currently being offered in Florida and California. Mr. Hopkins further explained that the wager would only be for fields of six horses or more and the MJC would designate no less than two horses as black, green or red. A winning wager would need to have one of the horses designated to a color win the race. The wager would be offered with a $2.00 minimum. Mr. Hopkins also stated that the proposal was approved by the Acting Secretary and the Governor’s office as a proposed and emergency regulation in order to have the wager in place for the Preakness. Hearing no objection, the Commission unanimously approved the request.

Supplemental Agreement for Bred Fund Enhancements.

Chairman Algeo announced that he had been informed that the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and the Maryland Horse Breeders Association reached an agreement regarding the Bred Fund Enhancement Program for the next 5 calendar years. Chairman Algeo thanked Commissioner Tom Bowman and his committee for their efforts in bringing together the parties to resolve this issue. Commissioner Bowman commented that the execution of this agreement was an example of the industry working collaboratively to obtain the goal of promoting the racing and breeding industry in Maryland. Commissioner Bowman thanked everyone involved in the process.

Legislative Update.

Executive Director J. Michael Hopkins informed the Commission that six proposed pieces of legislation affecting the racing industry have been introduced in the current session of the General Assembly. Mr. Hopkins also noted that each piece of legislation had been cross filed in both the House and Senate. Mr. Hopkins explained to the Commission the purpose of each Bill. The Commission members thanked Mr. Hopkins for the information.

Maryland Jockey Club – Pimlico Spring Meet.

The Commission was presented with requests from the Maryland Jockey Club for its Pimlico Race meeting beginning May 6, 2019 through May 30, 2019 with 12 days of live racing. Other requests included, but not limited to, simulcasting, intertrack and common pool wagering. Hearing no objection, the Commission unanimously approved the requests.

Maryland Jockey Club – Update.

Sal Sinatra, President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club, reported that the racing at Laurel during the current meet had been successful. He also noted that the Preakness bands had been booked and the planning of events leading up to the Preakness are on schedule. Mr. Sinatra also explained that the new barn materials had been delivered and before that construction begins, the MJC must determine its exact location. Mr. Sinatra noted that the MJC is still working out some issues with permitting and other outstanding issues, but Anne Arundel County has indicated that they are anxious to work with the MJC in the process. Chairman Algeo reminded the public that the purpose of repeating this agenda item each month was a result of previous meetings with the Maryland Jockey Club and the Horsemen, where Horsemen would be given the opportunity to voice concerns to the MJC.

Public Comments.

Andy Cashman, representing the Maryland State Fair, thanked everyone for their support who participated in the Horse Industry Day in Annapolis. Cheri Stambaugh, representing the Standardbred industry, reported that while she was at the Dan Patch awards in Florida, the owner of the highest earnings horse ($7.6 Million dollars), Foiled Again, who was receiving an award, had the horse brought into the hotel during the ceremony. Ms. Stambaugh also commented that the Standardbred industry has created a “Standardbred Transition Alliance” for Standardbred aftercare, similar to the aftercare programs currently in place for retired thoroughbreds. Alan Foreman, counsel to the MTHA, commented that the revived Match Series was very successful in 2018. As a result of its success, the Match Series will be run again in 2019. Having time to evaluate and make adjustments, the Match Series will have 5 big event days. The first event will be at Laurel, followed by Penn National, Parx, Delaware Park and ending up at Monmouth Park for the championship Day. David Richardson, President of the MTHA, commented that the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen Association have rolled out their scholarship program for 2019 and hoped to be giving away $50,000 in scholarships in the Fall.

Next Commission Meeting.

The next Commission Meeting will be held on March 28, 2019 at 12:30 P.M. at Laurel Park, Laurel, Maryland 20725.

J. Michael Hopkins
Executive Director