Minutes of Public Meeting - September 6, 2022
Commission Members Present:
Staff Present Representing the Maryland Racing Commission:J. Michael Hopkins
Eric B. London
Assistant Attorney General
In accordance with §3-302, General Provisions Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, the Maryland Racing Commission (“Commission”) met in person and by conference call in open session at 12:30 p.m. at Pimlico Race Course on September 6, 2022. Prior to the meeting, Acting Chairman David Hayden informed the public that their phones or computers should be muted, but he would give the public the opportunity to address the Commission during Public Comments. At the start of the meeting, Chairman Hayden took a roll call of the Commission members and advised that Chairman Algeo was absent. Acting Chairman Hayden confirmed that all other Commissioner members were present at Pimlico, with Commissioners Emmet Davitt, Konrad Wayson and Tammy Lafferty participating by phone.
Minutes – August 18, 2022.
The Commission waived a reading of the minutes of its meeting on August 18, 2022 and voted unanimously to approve the minutes.
Maryland Jockey Club – Update.
Mike Rogers, representing the Maryland Jockey Club (“MJC”), reported that the MJC had completed the track repairs at Laurel.
Ocean Downs Update.
Bobbi Sample reported that Ocean Downs, which is owned by Churchill Downs, was finishing the racing season on a positive note. Ms. Sample advised that handle was up off track and down at the track. She indicated that she believes that handle was down at the track due to the dining area not being available due to a lack of sufficient employees.
Bill Reightler, representing the Maryland State Fair, reported Timonium had a slight increase over 2021 and the crowds were larger on the second weekend. Mr. Reightler expressed his thanks to the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen and the Maryland Jockey Club for their help during the race meeting and informed the Commission that the track was going to be resurfaced, as that had not been done since the 1970’s.
April Smith, representing the Friends of Pimlico, expressed her concern of the planned reorientation of the Pimlico racetrack. Ms. Smith read from a prepared statement to the Commission. Marybeth Kalinich echoed Ms. Smith’s comments and informed the Commission that if the track were reoriented, history would be lost. Marylyn Bobbi, another member of Friends of Pimlico, expressed her concern with the track reorientation plan and asked the Commission members for their opinion. Assistant Attorney General Eric London, counsel to the Commission, explained that the Commission was receiving public comments and it would be inappropriate for the Commission to discuss the reorientation plan without it being on the agenda. Mr. London advised Ms. Bobbi as well as the Friends of Pimlico that they would need to reach out to the Executive Director to get the issue on the agenda. Jeffrey S. Watkins also expressed his concerns regarding the planned reorientation of the Pimlico racetrack.
Next Commission Meeting.
October 4, 2022, at Laurel Park Race starting at 12:30 P.M.