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Minutes of Public Meeting - February 27, 2020

Commission Members Present:

Michael Algeo
Emmet Davitt
David Hayden
Thomas Bowman
Ernie Grecco
Clarissa Coughlin
Konrad Wayson

Members Absent:

Tammy Lafferty

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 27, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. at Laurel Park. Prior to beginning the meeting, Chairman Mike Algeo informed the public of the passing of his brother, Jim Algeo, a legendary high school football coach in the Philadelphia area as well as John Wayne, the Executive Director of the Delaware Racing Commission, and asked for a moment of silence on their behalf. Chairman Algeo welcomed new Commissioner Emmet Davitt to the Commission, as Chairman Algeo was not present at the previous meeting

Minutes – January 23, 2020

The Commission waived a reading of the minutes of its January 23, 2020 meeting and voted to approve the minutes.   Chairman Algeo and Commissioner Winebrener abstained from the vote, as they were absent at the January meeting.

Final Regulations.

Executive Director J. Michael Hopkins informed the Commission that five proposed regulations were being presented to the Commission for final adoption: adds a digital tattoo as a means of identify a horse; requires an owner to provide the medical records of a horse that is sold, transferred or claimed to a new owner within 7 days of the transfer; 09.10.02 25 allows the uncoupling of an entry for wagering purposes; allows a Maryland Standardbred Stallion be moved to another breeding location in the State; and defines what is to be included in a horse’s medical records.

Mr. Hopkins further commented that each regulation had been published in the Maryland Register for the required amount of time and that no public comments had been received. The Commission members unanimously voted to approve for final adoption each regulation separately.

Rosecroft – Wagering Format.

The Commission was informed that beginning March 1, 2020, Rosecroft would be adding a Pick 4 at the start of Race 7 and the Pick 5 would be moved to at the start of Race 2.

Maryland Jockey Club Spring Race Meeting.

The Maryland Jockey Club requested approval for its spring race meeting at Pimlico, which would start May 4, 2020 and conclude on May 28, 2020. Included, were requests for the importation and exportation of races they find marketable, administrative officials, racing days and inter-track wagering. The Commission was informed that the requests were the same as being used at the race meeting at Laurel Park. Hearing no objection, the Commission unanimously approved the requests.

Cecil County Breeder’s Fair, Inc. Request to Transfer its Race Meeting to Laurel.

The Commission was asked to approve a request from the Cecil County Breeder’s Fair to transfer its race meeting to Laurel Park on May 23, 2020. The reason for the request was that the Fair Hill turf course, which had been replaced in 2019, would not be ready for racing in May of 2020.  Executive Director J. Michael Hopkins informed the Commission that the request to transfer the Meet had been advertised in a newspaper as required by law and that the Maryland Jockey Club had provided its consent to host the race meet. Hearing no objection, the Commission unanimously approved the transfer.

Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Request for its Annual Pension Contribution.

The Commission was provided a letter from the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Executive Director, David Richardson, asking permission to authorize a deduction of $900,000.00 from open purses for the backstretch employees’ pension fund for 2020. Mr. Hopkins advised the Commission that the Business Regulation Article §11-518 allows the deduction of an amount up to .25 % of all mutual pools.   Mr. Hopkins further advised that in 2019 the mutual pools totaled $621,231,487.00, which makes the request less than the permitted amount. Hearing no objection, the Commission unanimously approved the request.

Legislative Update.

Executive Director J. Michael Hopkins informed the Commission that the proposed legislation concerning the racing industry had been discussed in their respective committees. The Commission members thanked Mr. Hopkins for the report.

Maryland Jockey Club Update.

Mr. Sinatra commented that planning continues for the 145th Preakness.

Public Comments.

There were no public comments.

Next Commission Meeting

The next Commission Meeting will be held on March 26, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. at Laurel Park, Laurel, Maryland.

J. Michael Hopkins
Executive Director