Home Cooking: Maryland Connections Have Successful Year for Purses Earned

Owners, trainers and breeders with ties to Maryland took home the bulk of the more than $50 million in purse money available at the state’s Thoroughbred tracks in 2016.Owners, trainers and breeders with ties to Maryland took home the bulk of the more than $50 million in purse money available at the state’s Thoroughbred tracks in 2016.

A recent in-depth study shows that for total 2016 purse earnings of $50,085,471, 78.2% was paid to horses with Maryland connections. And the percentage was even higher when it came to money earned by Maryland connections in thousands of overnight races.

Of the $40,293,471 in purse earnings in overnight races at Laurel Park, Pimlico Race Course and the Maryland State Fair at Timonium, 86.4% went to horses with Maryland connections—owners, trainers and breeders either separately or in combination. 

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Pimlico Viability Study: The Assessment Has Just Begun

The first phase of a Maryland Stadium Authority study into the viability of Pimlico Race Course continuing as host of the Preakness Stakes and other racing and non-racing events revealed there’s far more work to be done before a decision is made.

And the future of the historic facility apparently lies with “leadership” developing a consensus on how to proceed. The study, however, suggested there is hope that a revitalized Pimlico could be profitable.

The MSA, which is responsible for the Baltimore Orioles’ Camden Yards stadium among other projects, released the report Feb. 24, more than a week before its next board meeting.

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MTHA, MJC Make Condition Book Changes; Maryland Million Adds Bonuses

The MTHA has worked with Maryland Jockey Club officials to make changes in the condition book designed to reduce the number of race categories and give dirt races a better chance of filling when turf racing begins at Laurel Park in early spring.

The MTHA Purse Committee, along with MJC President and General Manager Sal Sinatra and Racing Secretary Georganne Hale, agreed to the following changes that will take effect with the April condition book.

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MRC Report: February 23, 2017

The Maryland Racing Commission has developed statutory language that will allow it to adopt updates and changes to model rules—most recently the one on out-of-competition testing—as they are approved by the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

The MRC, which held its monthly meeting Feb. 23, falls under state Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation. MRC Executive Director Mike Hopkins said the department suggested the commission make written modifications that will allow it to avoid having to repeatedly submit new rules for approval.

“It makes (the process) much simpler,” Hopkins said. “We asked for emergency status while the rule is (reviewed).”

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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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