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Minutes of Public Meeting - March 22, 2018

Commission Members Present:

Mike Algeo, Chairman
Thomas Bowman
David Hayden
Clarissa Coughlin
Tom Winebrener
Tammy Lafferty

Members Absent:

Konrad Wayson
Ernest Grecco
Ronald Thomas

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 March 22, 2018 at 12:30 p.m. at Rosecroft Raceway, Ft. Washington, Maryland, 20744. Chairman Mike Algeo welcomed the public to the meeting and commented that the Commission will have a meeting at Ocean Downs later in the year in an effort to visit the other Maryland racetracks. Chairman Algeo thanked Frank Vespe for his article in the Racing Biz and those individuals who came to see the Chairman’s band play at Galway Bay.

Minutes – February 22, 2018.

The Commission waived a reading of the minutes of its meeting of February 22, 2018 and unanimously voted to approve them.

Regulation – Final Adoption.

The Commission approved final adoption of Regulation, which prohibits a trainer, who also possesses an owner’s license, to claim a horse when their trainer’s license is suspended. Hearing no objection, the Commission unanimously approved the regulation for final adoption.

Regulations, .53, .53-1, .60 and .61 - Proposed.

The Commission was presented with proposed amendments to the Maryland Standardbred Race Fund and Sire Stakes regulations. In each of the proposals, the Commission was informed that the changes included language that would permit the acceptance of electronic registration certificates from the United States Trotting Association, to whom specific payments were to be made and when certain payments were due. The Commission was advised that the Maryland Standardbred Race Fund Advisory Committee supported the proposed amendments. Hearing no objection, the Commission unanimously approved the proposed amendments.

The other two proposed regulations allow the standardbred tracks to offer two additional types of wagers to their customers. The “Ocean High Five” which is the same bet offered at the thoroughbred tracks as the “Super High Five” and the “Survivor Bet”, which requires the purchaser of a ticket to select the winner in each of 10 races or until no other ticket has selected the winner of the previous race. Hearing no objection, the Commission unanimously approved the proposed regulations.

2018 Proposed Legislation.

Executive Director J. Michael Hopkins advised the Commission that the legislation allowing the Commission to become a member of a medication compact and the legislation definitively defining when a licensed jockey is covered by workers’ compensation insurance were moving through Annapolis and both pieces of legislation are expected to pass.

Public Comments.

Chairman Algeo reminded everyone that the Commissioners Race on April 15, 2018 will be held at Rosecroft Raceway and reminded the Commission members that they had agreed to participate.

Bobby Lillis, the Executive Director of the Maryland Horsemen’s Assistance Fund, commented that there will be a zoning hearing in Frederick on April 3, 2018 regarding Off Track Betting. Mr. Lillis also informed the Commission that the “Beyond The Wire” program, which is an industry-wide initiative between the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, the Maryland Jockey Club, the Maryland Horse Breeders Association and Maryland jockeys designed to facilitate safe and enriching placements for retired Maryland based racehorses operated by Jessica Hammond is becoming a national model.

Gary Brewster, representing the State Fair, pointed out that the Maryland State Fair exposes 500,000 people to horse racing during the Fair and that the horse tent exposed over 60,000 individuals. Mr. Brewster continued commenting that the Timonium horse sales generate $25,000,000 and Timonium operates the top OTB in the State. Mr. Brewster informed the Commission members that he took exception to the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association scheduling a meeting with a State Fair employee about working at a different Maryland track without consulting the State Fair.

Chairman Algeo commented that the atmosphere at Timonium is a great place to be during the races and that communication within the industry is necessary and should continue. Chairman Algeo also commented that the Commission’s role is not to interject itself with personnel issues between tracks. Commissioner Bowman commented that a person’s employment would be between the two tracks and not with the Commission. Commissioner Bowman further commented that there had to be a business plan that would have some type of contingency should an individual no longer be available to perform their duties.

Next Commission Meeting.

The next Commission meeting will be held on April 26, 2018 at 12:30 P.M. at Laurel Park, Laurel, Maryland.

J. Michael Hopkins
Executive Director