Early Numbers In For MGM National Harbor

It wasn’t even open for a full month, but the MGM National Harbor casino in December generated a little more than $1 million for the Maryland Thoroughbred Purse Dedication account funded by video lottery terminals.

Overall, December was a good month for Maryland casinos. According to Maryland Lottery and Gaming statistics, six casinos generated a record $133.47 million in gaming revenue, an increase of 27.9% from May 2016 when the previous record of $104.35 million was set by five casinos.

In a year-to-year comparison, December 2016 revenue was up 40.2% from the same month in 2015.

MGM National Harbor, located just across the Potomac River from Northern Virginia, opened Dec. 8. Gross gaming revenue per VLT per day was $313 in December, Maryland Lottery and Gaming reported.

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Racing community celebrates life of Joe Miller

The Maryland racing community Jan. 4 celebrated the life of Joe Miller, the long-time horse ambulance driver who died Dec. 15 at age 53.

Miller, who most recently worked on the track maintenance crew for the Maryland Jockey Club, was known for his kindness, love of horses and people, and his pit bull Einstein, who popularly made the rounds among the crowd assembled in TIPS in the Laurel Park clubhouse.

A collection of photos taken by MJC photographer Jim McCue rotated on television monitors during the service.

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Eppler, Schera, Toledo Capture Meet Titles

Mary Eppler wrapped up 2016 in a familiar place—the winner’s circle—en route to the leading trainer title for the Laurel Park fall meet. In the process she became the first woman to win a training title in the history of Laurel.

Matthew Schera and Jevian Toledo were the leading owner and jockey, respectively, for the meet that began in early September and concluded Dec. 31.

Eppler, based at Pimlico Race Course, had one horse entered on the final program of the meet—Double Whammy, who won a starter allowance test for his third consecutive victory. Eppler co-owns Double Whammy with Adam Staple.

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January 2017 Newsletter Available

newsletter2017 1The January 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.

 

In Memoriam: Joe Miller

Joe Miller had quite an impact on the Maryland racing community during his decades of service.

Miller, who died Dec. 15 at age 53, worked at the Maryland racetracks for about 30 years, most recently as a member of the track maintenance crew. But he is best remembered as the long-time horse ambulance driver, a difficult job that requires a special type of person.

In 2015 Miller was recognized with the MTHA “Special Unsung Hero Award” for his contributions. He manned the ambulance not only during racing but during morning training at Maryland tracks.

Miller, of Kingsville, Md., was profiled in a 2013 New York Times story along with MJC track photographer Jim McCue, who assisted Miller whenever with his own love of photography. Miller was known for regularly taking photos of morning training and wildlife, including eagles that have been spotted in the Laurel Park infield.

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MRC Report: Change Is In The Air

The Maryland Racing Commission meeting Dec. 20 at Laurel Park marked a changing of the guard, but the message was one of unity.

It was the first meeting for two new members: Chairman Michael Algeo and Konrad Wayson. Algeo, a retired Montgomery County Circuit Court judge, said he hopes to continue the forward momentum in the Maryland racing industry.

“I can assure you I will do everything in my power to make sure horse racing goes in the same direction it has been going,” Algeo said. “My hope is to make certain that peace in the valley continues.”

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