- Published: Monday, 11 September 2017 11:34
Trainer Tim Keefe was re-elected president of the MTHA during the first meeting of the new board of directors September 8 at Laurel Park.
Though board elections are held once every three years, officers are selected by the board each year. Other officers elected for 2017-18 are Dale Capuano and Linda Gaudet, vice presidents; Michael Horning, treasurer; and Katy Voss, secretary.
All the officers were elected unanimously. Keefe has served as president for the past three years.
The board welcomed three new members: trainer representative Phil Schoenthal; owner representative Mark Lapidus; and trainer Hugh McMahon, who won the at-large seat. The Board thanked outgoing directors Ellen Charles, Christine Bricker and Larry Murray for their service to the MTHA.
In regard to an update on the recent renovation of the Laurel dirt surface, the MTHA retained the services of well-known racing surfaces expert Dr. Mick Peterson, executive director of the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory, to inspect the new Laurel racing surface to collect samples and take measurements. The inspecton and recommendations by Dr. Peterson have led the Maryland Jockey Club to agree to contract with Peterson for quarterly visits and development of a track maintenance program.
Under Peterson’s program, racing surfaces are checked daily for moisture content and depth, among other things. He will be working with the Maryland Jockey Club track maintenance crew.
“This is a big deal having Mick Peterson here,” Keefe said. “We’re very fortunate our tracks will be in this program now. I feel very good he’s here to at least oversee what is going on.”
“I think he’ll set up some systems here to provide for best practices (in surface maintenance,” Voss said.
One of the objectives of track maintenance going forward will be to treat every day like a live racing day to provide for consistency.
In other news, the MTHA gave approval to the Maryland Jockey Club for planned new off-track betting facilities that are anticipated to open at Greenmount Station restaurant in Hampstead, Carroll County, Maryland and at the MGM National Harbor Casino near Washington, DC.