HISA On Track For July 1 Start

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act’s Racetrack Safety Program remains on track to begin July 1, 2022, as required by federal law. HISA was discussed during a March 31 meeting of racing stakeholders in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond.

Alan Foreman, Chairman of the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, told participants much of the Racetrack Safety Program proposed by HISA already has been in place through the Mid-Atlantic Strategic Plan to Reduce Equine Fatalities and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance Code of Standards. He said it’s “not a heavy lift at all” for the Mid-Atlantic region.

Enforcement regulations for the Racetrack Safety Program were recently adopted by the Federal Trade Commission. The Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program under HISA has been delayed until January 2023. The THA and other groups continue to offer feedback on those proposed rules and regulations.

The HISA budget for 2022 was expected to be released in early April. The New Jersey Racing Commission already announced it will not serve as a fee collector for HISA, meaning that would fall to racetracks in the state. The Maryland Racing Commission has that issue on the agenda for its April 5 meeting.

Ed Martin, President of the Association of Racing Commissioners International, said many regulatory agencies will have to work with legislatures and other agencies to ensure funding and payment procedures are in line with state law.

Laurel Park Turf Looks To Be Ready To Roll

In advance of turf racing season at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, the Maryland Jockey Club invested in an aggressive maintenance plan that began last fall and resumed in late winter of this year. It is part of ongoing and necessary work to provide the best surfaces possible.

After turf racing ended in the fall of 2021, roughly 800 tons of sand—400 tons at Laurel and 400 at Pimlico—was spread on the courses to have it mix with the soil. Both courses were over-seeded last fall and treated with fertilizers and pesticides.

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Match Series Kicks Off At Laurel Park April 16

As has been the case since the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships Series (MATCH) returned in 2018, Maryland will again host its launch with four divisional stakes—one on Saturday, April 16, and three on Saturday, April 23—at Laurel Park.

The series is designed to identify the best horses, and their owners and trainers, in the Mid-Atlantic region. The series, which has had to adapt to the complications caused by the pandemic, will be contested this year at Laurel, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, Colonial Downs and Parx. Parx will host this year’s Championship Day Monday, Oct. 3.

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Hogan Seminar Offers CE Credits

Effective Jan. 1 of this year, all licensed trainers and assistant trainers are required to participate in four hours of continuing education, either at in-person events or via online archived presentations on various issues. The Beyond The Wire aftercare program is offering an important seminar that will count toward CE credits.

There is still time to register for the April 20 seminar featuring Dr. Patty Hogan, an internationally renowned New Jersey-based equine surgeon who regularly works with retired racehorses and assists various aftercare programs in the Mid-Atlantic region. The program is titled “Avoiding the One Last Race Syndrome—Where are we now and what is your role as an owner or trainer?” and it will be held Wednesday, April 20, at 11a.m. in Tycoons in the clubhouse at Laurel Park.

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April 2022 Newsletter Available

newsletter2022 4The April 2022 edition of the Horsemen's Newsletter is now online and available for download. To view this edition click herearrow

The Horsemen's Newsletter is published monthly by the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and is mailed to licensed owners and trainers in the state of Maryland.


10% Purse Boost Approved Through March

The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association at its Board of Directors meeting March 3 approved a 10% across-the-board purse bonus for overnight races through the end of month. The 10% hike is based upon the purse structure in place at Laurel Park prior to a two-week shutdown of live racing to accommodate a racing surface improvement project.

The MTHA in mid-January approved a 20% increase in overnight purse money that took effect Jan. 16 and ran through the end of February. It was designed to compensate for the loss of six racing days and was in conjunction with the addition of three Thursday programs in February.

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