Minutes of Public Meeting - April 27, 2017
Commission Members Present:
Michael Algeo, Chairman Tammy Lafferty
Dr. Thomas Bowman
Staff Present Representing the Maryland Racing Commission:
J. Michael Hopkins
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 April 27, 2017, commencing at 12:30 p.m. at Laurel Park, Laurel, Maryland.
Chairman Mike Algeo acknowledged and congratulated Alan Foreman, Counsel to the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, for coordinating a meeting at Delaware Park on March 28, 2017, where racing representatives from the Mid-Atlantic region, Kentucky and other geographical areas, gathered to discuss a number of welfare issues and review uniformity in the racing industry. Chairman Algeo also recognized J. Michael Hopkins, the Executive Director of the Commission, for receiving the Len Foote award at the most recent Association of Racing Commissioners International meeting for exemplary service and contributions to racing integrity by a Commission Executive.
Minutes – March 23, 2017.
The Commission waived a reading of the minutes of its meeting of March 23, 2017, and unanimously voted to approve them.
Maryland Standardbred Race Fund.
The Commission was presented with a request from the Maryland Standardbred Race Fund Advisory Committee for the 2017 purse structure of the Sire Stakes and Fund Stakes races. Hearing no objection, the Commission unanimously approved the request.
Maryland State Fair 2017 Live Racing Schedule.
The Maryland State Fair submitted a request for 10 days of live racing in 2017, which would begin on August 25 and run through September 4, 2017, with Tuesday August 22, 2017 as a dark day. Hearing no objection, the Commission unanimously approved the request.
Maryland Jockey Club – Laurel Summer Racing Schedule.
Executive Director J. Michael Hopkins presented the Commission with a request from the Maryland Jockey Club for it 2017 summer racing schedule at Laurel Park, which includes 33 days of live racing from June 1 through August 24, with live racing on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The request also included operational activities, including the importation and exportation of racing signals. Hearing no objection, the Commission unanimously approved the request.
2016 Audited Financial Statements.
Executive Director J. Michael Hopkins explained to the Commission that he had sent each Commissioner an electronic copy of the audited financial statements from each racing licensee and that it was the Commission’s opportunity to ask any questions regarding the statements. Mr. Hopkins further summarized the 2016 audited financial statements: The Maryland State Fair was roughly even; Rosecroft, through the first 7 months of 2016, showed income of $2.5 million dollars and an additional $321,000.00 of income for the last 5 months of 2016, after the sale to the Maryland Jockey Club; Laurel had a loss of $397,000.00; Pimlico had income of $7.1 million dollars, which included receipts from the sale of an adjacent property to Sinai Hospital; Maryland OTB facilities had an income of $779,000.00; and Ocean Downs had a loss of $700,000.00 after receiving $1.2 million dollars from their portion of the purse dedication account to offset certain expenses. Having no questions or comments, the Commission moved to accept the statements as presented.
Maryland Jockey Club.
Sal Sinatra, President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club, reported that Preakness preparations were ongoing at Pimlico for the second leg of the Triple Crown and that plans for an off track betting facility at the MGM casino were progressing. He further noted that another off track betting facility in Hanover, Maryland will be having a zoning hearing in early June. Mr. Sinatra further commented that the Maryland Jockey Club had been conducting searches at Rosecroft in the barn area and were increasing their security presence on race days. When asked about the future of Pimlico by Commissioner Ernie Grecco, Tim Ritvo, Chief Operating Officer of the Stronach Group, noted that the Jockey Club would not be able to pay for the improvements to the Race Track, but would be interested in the improvements should state and local government finance any future improvements to Pimlico.
March VLT Report.
Executive Director J. Michael Hopkins presented the Commission with a VLT report from the month of March.
No Public Comments.
Next Commission Meeting.
The next Commission meeting will be held on May 25, 2017, at 12:30 P.M. in the Triple Crown Room at Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Maryland.
J. Michael Hopkins