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Minutes of Public Meeting - May 23, 2019

Commission Members Present:

David Hayden
Thomas Bowman
Tammy Lafferty
Tom Winebrener
Konrad Wayson
Ernie Grecco

Members Absent:

Michael Algeo
Clarissa Coughlin

Staff Present Representing the Maryland Racing Commission:

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 May 23, 2019 at 12:30 p.m. at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. Commissioner David Hayden welcomed the public to the meeting and explained that Chairman Mike Algeo was unavailable for the meeting.

Minutes – April 25, 2019.

The Commission waived a reading of the minutes of its April 25, 2019 meeting and voted unanimously to approve them.

Resignation Announcement.

Commissioner Hayden announced that Ron Thomas had resigned from the Commission due to his inability to regularly attend meetings.

Proposed Regulation COMAR

Commissioner Hayden requested Sal Sinatra of the Maryland Jockey Club to explain the proposed future wager, which would allow for future win bets in separate pari-mutuel pools. The wager would allow bets on up to 24 horses, with the odds changing and the field narrowing as the race drew closer. The regulation would create separate pools for each round of betting. Mr. Sinatra explained that the Kentucky Derby employs a similar wager. Mr. Sinatra indicated that the Maryland Jockey Club would like the regulation implemented in time for the upcoming Breeders Cup Classic in early November. After answering questions by the Commission and its counsel, Commissioner Hayden requested a motion for proposed regulation COMAR Hearing no objection, the Commission unanimously voted to approve the request.

Maryland Jockey Club – Update.

Sal Sinatra of the Maryland Jockey Club reported record-breaking attendance at the Preakness Stakes, with handle falling just short of $100 million. Mr. Sinatra noted that while there were some water issues, the event ran smoothly, had great weather for the first time in four years and feedback had been generally positive.

Public Comments.

Cricket Goodall, representing the Maryland Horse Breeders Association, reported that the May 11, 2019 horse farm tour was a resounding success. More than 2,000 visitors were reportedly happy to observe that the horses are well taken care of and that aftercare facilities exist for retired horses. Ms. Goodall is unsure if this will be an annual event, as it puts added stress on the farms during a busy time of year. Dr. Michael Harrison of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association added that the visitors to the horse farms represented a cross-section of ages and agreed with Ms. Goodall that the tour was a great success. It was then suggested that, if held next year, the tour be held on multiple days so that visitors are able to tour more farms. Georganne Hale of the Maryland Jockey Club suggested that future tours should include a horse rescue center. Additionally, Ms. Hale announced that there will be a crab feast on June 29th in Timonium honoring State Senator Mike Miller for his commitment to Maryland Racing.

Andy Cashman, representing the Maryland State Fair, reported record sales grossing $29 million at last week’s Mid Atlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training sale at the State Fairgrounds in Timonium, including a horse that sold for a record of $1.8 million dollars. Additionally, Mr. Cashman reported that the off track betting facility at Timonium had a very successful weekend.

Cheri Stambaugh, representing the Maryland Standardbred Race Fund, reported track records in three of four recent races and added that the finals are set for the upcoming Maryland Stakes races at Ocean Downs.

Maribeth Kalinich, representing the Friends of Pimlico, thanked the Commission and reported that she had the time of her life at the Preakness. Ms. Kalinich went on to make suggestions for ways in which the Commission could improve the experience for the general public, including through technology updates and improved concessions.

Next Commission Meeting.

The next Commission Meeting will be held on June 27, 2019 at 12:30 p.m. at Laurel Park, Laurel, Maryland 20725.

J. Michael Hopkins
Executive Director