Linda Gaudet, a member of the MTHA Board of Directors since its inception in 1994, is involved in nearly every facet of Thoroughbred racing. She is one of the board’s most involved members, dedicating numerous hours weekly to many of the behind-the-scenes work that benefits horsemen.
She serves on the MTHA Medication Committee, Racing Committee, and Health and Welfare Committee, and is a director of the Maryland Horsemen’s Assistance Foundation.
With the retirement of her husband, Edmond “Eddie” Gaudet, she took over training duties for the stable but several years ago turned the operation over to her daughter, Lacey. Together they oversee a large public stable and are known as “Team Gaudet.”
The Gaudets, based at Laurel Park, also maintain a small breeding farm in Upper Marlboro. Gaudet is actively involved in life on the backstretch and is an advocate for programs that assist workers in the stable area. She noted the importance of programs such as the Backstretch Pension Plan as well as the Horsemen’s Health System, which allows backstretch workers to visit doctors on live racing days; and the health fairs sponsored by the MTHA each year. Gaudet spearheaded the creation of both programs.
“I’m glad we’ve made a lot progress with some backstretch issues but we have a long way to go with things like housing,” Gaudet said.
On the financial side, Gaudet said horsemen must educate themselves on the revenue sources for purses and ensure that those sources generate the maximum revenue for horsemen. She noted that there has been heightened interest in the situation this year given the loss of revenue and racing opportunities due to the COVID-19 shutdown earlier in the year.
“We need to look at where our wagering dollars come from, and how the revenue is split,” she said. “Regarding our slots revenue that provides money for purses, should Maryland eventually approve online casino gaming, the revenue may shift. We also need to look at the ADW structure, and we can’t wait too long to do that.”
Gaudet believes in improving the overall racing product, and that includes providing a better stable area that in turn could attract new outfits to Maryland.