More H2B visas available; industry calls for reform

The American Horse Council June 6 reported that the United States Department of Homeland Security has published a final rule in the Federal Register that authorizes an additional 15,000 H2B visas for the remainder of fiscal year 2018.

The additional visas were authorized by Congress in March of this year. Lawmakers, however, stated the cap of 66,000 could be increased to 129,500 for the current fiscal year.

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June 2018 Newsletter Available

newsletter2018 6The June 2018 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.

 

Laurel surface renovation now set for May 27-29

The main track at Laurel Park will be closed for training Sunday, May 27, through Tuesday, May 29, to allow for the addition of more cushion material.

The project had been planned for Preakness week, but heavy rainfall led the Maryland Jockey Club to postpone the work, which involves the addition of about 25,000 tons of material.

Stanley Concrete, a local company that participated in a major renovation of the Laurel surface during the winter, will lay the material. The track maintenance crew headed by Chris Bosley will work in the material and grade it to ensure the surface is level throughout.

“We want to make it as seamless as possible,” Sinatra said. “The track will be closed three days, but the project will probably take two. We hope to give the track back to the horsemen (for training) on Wednesday (May 30).”

Laurel reopens for its spring/summer meet Friday, June 1. The final day of racing at Pimlico Race Course is Monday, May 28.

Laurel Surface Project Delayed Because Of Rain

The Maryland Jockey Club has altered course with its planned track surface project at Laurel Park because of consistent heavy rain in the area.

The MJC said Laurel will now be open for training May 20-22 rather than closed so maintenance crews can about 25,000 tons of cushion material. The project will be rescheduled as soon as possible during the current Pimlico Race Course meet.

Stanley Concrete, a local company that participated in a major renovation of the Laurel surface during the winter, will lay the material. The track maintenance crew headed by Chris Bosley will work in the material and grade it to make sure its level.

Laurel reopens for live racing June 1.

LAUREL TRAINING TO BE SUSPENDED WHILE NEW CUSHION IS ADDED

The main track at Laurel Park will be closed for training May 20-22 to allow for the addition of more cushion material.

The project had been planned, but heavy rainfall over the past week or so delayed release of a date for it to commence. Most of the heavy rain is forecast to be out of Maryland by Sunday.

“We’ll be adding and mixing in new material,” said Maryland Jockey Club President Sal Sinatra said. “The plan is to add about 25,000 tons, more of it from the crown to the outside of the track, but we need to mix it with the old material for consistency.”

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WITH FEDERAL BAN OVERTURNED, STATES MOVE ON SPORTS BETTING

In the wake of the United States Supreme Court decision to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, multiple states have fast-tracked the regulatory and legislative process to facilitate legal sports betting.

Several states in the Mid-Atlantic region are poised to begin taking bets, including New Jersey, where Monmouth Park officials are hopeful to be up and running in a few weeks. Delaware, one of four states previously authorized to offer limited parlay sports betting on professional football, could be less than a few months away from a major expansion.

West Virginia and Pennsylvania already have laws on the books authorizing sports betting. Maryland does not, and that has led to speculation over when the state may act.

TheBaltimore Business Journalon May 14, the day the Supreme Court decision was made public, reported that legislative leaders are receptive to holding a special session this year to re-address legislation that passed the House of Delegates but died in the Senate earlier in 2018. The publication also reported that Gov. Larry Hogan, who is running for re-election this year, has no plans to call a special session.

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