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Minutes of Public Meeting - September 28, 2017

Commission Members Present:

Michael Algeo, Chairman Tammy Lafferty
David Hayden
Dr. Thomas Bowman
Tom Winebrener
Konrad Wayson
Ernie Grecco
Clarissa Coughlin
Ronald Thomas

Members Absent:

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 September 28, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. at Laurel Park, Laurel, Maryland.

Chairman Mike Algeo welcomed the public to the meeting. Further, the Chairman recounted the positive coverage of the Maryland Racing Industry on Facebook and other social media as well as the successful race meeting at Timonium. Also, he reminded everyone of the tribute to Ben’s Cat to be held on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2017 and advised that Maryland Million Day will be on October 21, 2017.

Minutes – August 24, 2017.
The Commission waived a reading of the minutes of its meeting of August 24, 2017, and unanimously voted to approve them.

Ratify Laurel Revised Live Racing Schedule.
The Commission was asked to ratify an e-mail poll regarding Laurel’s revised live racing schedule for their Fall race meeting. Hearing no objection, the Commission unanimously ratified the e-mail poll. In addition, the Commission was presented with a request to renew the permits for the five Satellite Simulcast Betting Facilities operated by the Maryland Jockey Club (Pimlico, Horseshoe, Perryville, Timonium and Boonsboro) for 2018. Hearing no objection, the Commission unanimously approved the request.

Greenmount Station Satellite Simulcast Betting Facility.
The Commission was advised by Executive Director J. Michael Hopkins that he received an application from the Maryland Jockey Club to open a sixth off track wagering facility at Greenmount Station located in Hampstead. Further, Mr. Hopkins asked the members to let him know their availability to hold a meeting regarding the Satellite Simulcast Betting Facility application and to hear any public comment on the proposed application. After some discussion, the Commission agreed to meet on November 29, 2017 at 6:00 P.M. at the proposed facility in Hampstead.

Regulation Proposed –
The Commission was asked to adopt as proposed COMAR, which would increase the permitted threshold of detomidine to conform to the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium recommendations. Hearing no objection, the Commission unanimously adopted the regulations as proposed.

Suspensions –Individuals Holding Multiple Licenses.
The topic of whether a licensee should have all licenses suspended or only individual licenses suspended was discussed by the Commission. For example, under the current policy, a trainer that is given a suspension, who also serves as owner, has only their trainers license suspended. Under this proposal, all licenses held by the trainer would be suspended and the individual could not act as an owner. The Commission tabled the proposal until they had the opportunity to hear from more stakeholders on the issue.

Tom Cooke – Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Association, Suspension for Horses that Test Positive.
Tom Cooke representing the Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Association advised the Commission that his organization supported the suspension of a horse that tests positive, which other jurisdictions, including Pennsylvania and Canada, had recently implemented through policy. Mr. Cooke also advised that in New Jersey the owner of the Meadowlands Racetrack, Jeff Gural, had approached the New Jersey Racing Commission to adopt the Pennsylvania policy, but increase the number of days a horse would not be permitted to participate. The Commission thanked Mr. Cooke for his presentation, but tabled the topic until all stakeholders could be heard regarding the issue.

VLT Report.
Executive Director J. Michael Hopkins presented the Commission with a VLT report from the month of August.

Public Comments.
Cricket Goodall commented that Maryland and Kentucky were the only two states that showed an increase in foals over 2016, which was a very positive sign for Maryland breeding. Hearing no other public comments, the Commission adjourned.

Next Commission Meeting.
The next Commission meeting will be held on October 26, 2017, at 12:30 P.M. at Laurel Park, Laurel, Maryland.

J. Michael Hopkins
Executive Director