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Minutes of Public Meeting - November 21, 2019

Commission Members Present:

Mike Algeo
David Hayden
Thomas Bowman
Ernie Grecco
Clarissa Coughlin
Tom Winebrener

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 November 21, 2019 at 12:30 p.m. at Laurel Park.

Minutes – October 24, 2019.
The Commission waived a reading of the minutes of its October 24, 2019 meeting and unanimously voted to approve them. Commissioner Clarissa Coughlin abstained from the vote, as she was not in attendance at the October meeting.

Maryland Bred Race Fund 2020.
The Commission was presented with a report from the Maryland Bred Race Fund Advisory Committee recommending no change in the current percentages for bonuses being paid to owners, breeders and stallion owners for the first six months of 2020. Hearing no objection, the Commission approved the request. Commissioners Hayden, Bowman and Wayson abstained from the vote.

Maryland Jockey Injury Compensation Fund.
Executive Director J. Michael Hopkins informed the Commission that the workers’ compensation policy for licensed jockeys had decreased from $1,030,818 in 2019 to $1,019,114 for 2020 and that he was recommending the annual assessment on each licensed owner and trainer remain $100.00. Chairman Algeo requested a motion to approve the $100.00 assessment on each licensed owner and trainer. Hearing no objection, the Commission unanimously approved the request.

2020 Racing Dates.
Mr. Hopkins reported that he had received a request for 2020 racing dates from the Maryland Jockey Club (“MJC”) and Prince Georges Racing Ventures (Rosecroft). Mr. Hopkins further commented that the MJC 2020 live racing calendar was 12 days less than 2019 and Rosecroft’s racing calendar would be approximately the same as 2019. Chairman Algeo requested a motion to approve the racing dates from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, which included the importing and exporting of races each licensee found marketable throughout the year. Hearing no objection, the Commission approved the request.

Maryland Jockey Club – Update.
Sal Sinatra, representing the MJC, reported that the purpose of reducing total racing days in calendar year 2020 is due to the availability of horses to fill races. Mr. Sinatra further noted that the Potomac Pace at Rosecroft was successful and thanked the horsemen for their cooperation. Mr. Sinatra reminded the public of the stallion show in the Laurel Paddock would be held on Saturday, November 30, 2019.

Safety and Welfare Reforms.
Chairman Algeo commented that there had been significant discussion amongst stakeholders after the October Commission meeting, where the Commission reviewed a number of safety and welfare issues. As a result of stakeholder concerns, the Commission tabled the proposed implementation dates on those reforms until the Commission has the opportunity to meet and discuss the reforms with all stakeholders.

Public Comments.
Cricket Goodall, representing the Maryland Horse Breeders Association, reminded everyone that Horse Industry Day in Annapolis has been scheduled for January 22, 2020 and encouraged the public to register to attend and discuss horse related topics with legislators.

Next Commission Meeting.
The next Commission Meeting will be held on December 19, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. at Laurel Park, Laurel, Maryland.

J. Michael Hopkins
Executive Director