Excitement Building For Fantasy Owners Day On March 18

Make plans to be a part of something special when the Maryland racing industry hosts its first Fantasy Owners Day Saturday, March 18, at Laurel Park.

The event, which features a full day of activities including a live racing program with five stakes, is sponsored by the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, Maryland Jockey Club, Maryland Horse Breeders Association, and Capital Bank.

The program will begin at 8:30 a.m. with an opportunity to watch horses train on the track with free coffee and donuts available. At 10:30 a.m. in the Ruffian Room on the second floor of the clubhouse, there will be a seminar featuring some of the region's racehorse and breeding partnership managers as well as others who will offer industry insights.

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Lawmaker Floats Amendment on Bowie Training Center Property

A Maryland lawmaker has offered a legislative amendment that would make the Bowie Training Center eligible for racetrack capital improvement funds generated by video lottery terminals at the state’s casinos.

The amendment also would strike language regarding condemnation of the Bowie property, which is owned by the Maryland Jockey Club but had fallen into disrepair since training ended there in the spring of 2015.

Democratic Delegate Geraldine Valentino-Smith, during a Feb. 15 hearing by the House Ways and Means Committee, said her amendment would add the Bowie Training Center to the list of facilities eligible to use the Racetrack Facilities Renewal Account, which is funded by 1% of VLT revenue. Prince George’s County, the City of Bowie, and local residents said it is imperative the historic piece of property be regularly maintained given it serves as a gateway to the city.

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Bill Whitescarver, Designer of MTHA Pension Plan, Dies at 81

William “Bill” Whitescarver, who designed and launched the backstretch pension plan for Maryland Thoroughbred horsemen in 1987, died Feb. 6. He was 81.

Whitescarver, a United States Army veteran, served as vice president of investments for Chapin Davis Inc., a financial services firm in Baltimore, and was a member of the company’s board of directors. Up until his death, he continued to manage the investments of MTHA pension plan which was created to provide retirement income to backstretch workers as a supplement to Social Security.

Whitescarver, a Baltimore County resident who was educated at the University of Baltimore, also served on other boards in the retirement services industry.

“Bill was a first-class guy who truly cared about the racing community and the people who work on the backstretch,” MTHA Executive Director David Richardson remarked. “The pension plan was his baby, he told me often that he considered it his life’s work.”

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Maryland Senate Committee Discusses Future Of Bowie Training Center

Whether horses return to the vacant Bowie Training Center in Maryland apparently hinges on the results of a Maryland Stadium Authority report on the feasibility of rebuilding Pimlico Race Course, according to comments made Feb. 2 during a Senate Finance Committee hearing.

Sen. Douglas Peters, whose district includes the City of Bowie, filed a bill that would authorize the state to “acquire, by purchase or condemnation for public use with just compensation, private property relating to the Bowie Race Course Training Center if the owner does not meet certain requirements.” Bowie, which held its last race meet in the summer of 1985, hasn’t been used for training since the spring of 2015, and the local community is anxious about the future of the property.

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February 2017 Newsletter Available

newsletter2017 2The February 2017 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.


MTHA Will Propose Change in Claiming Rule to MRC

The MTHA Board of Directors Jan. 27 voted to request that the Maryland Racing Commission make a change in a rule regarding claimed horses.

Under the current rule, the new owner of a claimed horse, should it be entered and run within 30 days, must race the horse at a claiming price 25% higher than the price for which it was claimed. Under the MTHA request, the 30-day window would be reduced to 20 days.

MTHA board members made it clear the change can only be made by the MRC. The board acted in response to concerns voiced by trainers who attended the Jan. 27 meeting.

Most of the trainers said the current rule, coupled with a three-day racing week at Laurel Park for most of the year, hinders their ability to provide earnings opportunities for owners who claim horses. They also said the tightening of therapeutic medication rules over the past three years has perhaps negated the need to mandate that a horse race at higher claiming price in the start after it’s claimed.

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