Laurel Park to close to patrons, horsemen still permitted

Laurel Park will close to the general public effective 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, but will continue to accommodate owners and other licensed horsemen who wish to attend the races.

The current Maryland Jockey Club COVID-19 protocols and procedures will remain in effect for all participants and owners during live racing. The grandstand will remain open during the races with the current access privileges. Further details will be released as they become available.

Pimlico Race Course will remain open for full-card simulcasting under COVID-19 restrictions, as will the eight Maryland Jockey Club-operated off-track betting facilities in Maryland: the Maryland State Fair at Timonium, Long Shot’s in Frederick, G Boone’s Restaurant and Bar in Boonsboro, Greenmount Station in Hampstead, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore; MGM National Harbor Casino in Fort Washington; Hollywood Casino Perryville, and Riverboat on the Potomac off the the coast of Colonial Beach, Va.

Maryland Jockey Club earlier in November tightened protocols due to the Covid-19 pandemic by closing to riders who aren’t based at Laurel Park and limiting access to the backstretch. 

Maryland Racing Commission moves to greatly limit use of clenbuterol

The Maryland Racing Commission in late October began the rule-making process for clenbuterol, a bronchodilator that would not be permitted unless it is prescribed by regulatory veterinarians under the proposed restrictions.

A coalition of 31 regulatory and stakeholder organizations representing all seven states in the Mid-Atlantic region have unanimously agreed to work together to implement the new rule. In Maryland, it will take about three months for the proposed regulation to go through the regulatory process, which will include a public comment period.

Under the current regional rule, clenbuterol may not be administered to a horse within 14 days of a race, and the concentration of the drug in a post-race blood sample may not exceed 140 picograms/milliliter. The new rule will eliminate the existing testing threshold, require regulatory approval in advance for a horse in racing or training that is prescribed the medication, mandate that the horse be placed on the Veterinarian's List, and bar the horse from racing until it tests negative in both blood and urine and completes a satisfactory workout observed by a regulatory veterinarian.

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Laurel to add live race days in December

Laurel Park will race four days per week through most of December instead of three under a revised schedule agreed upon by horsemen and the Maryland Jockey Club.

The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Purse Committee and MJC officials met Nov. 17 and agreed to add three Sundays—Dec. 6, 13 and 20—to the live racing calendar to offer more racing opportunities for owners and trainers. Laurel already was scheduled to race Sunday, Dec. 27, as part of a post-Christmas weekend.

The four-day race weeks are Dec. 3-6; Dec. 10-13; and Dec. 17-20. The 2020 seasons concludes with racing Dec. 26-27 and Dec. 31, a Thursday. The winter meet begins Jan. 1, 2021.

Laurel has raced four days a week on a Thursday-through-Sunday schedule since early October.

MD casinos, Purse Dedication Account have solid October

Maryland’s six casinos, operating at 50% capacity because of COVID-19 restrictions, generated $142.6 million in revenue in October, down only 0.9% from the same month a year ago, according to Maryland Lottery and Gaming.

The Purse Dedication Account—it earns 6% of video lottery terminal revenue at MGM National Harbor, Live! Casino & Hotel, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, Hollywood Casino Perryville and Ocean Downs Casino, and 2.5% at Rocky Gap Casino is & Resort—collected $5.56 million ($4.45 million for Thoroughbred racing) in October. This is actually a 2.97% increase from revenue received in 2019. 

The Racetrack Facility Renewal Account, which funds capital improvements, produced by $908,000 from its 1% VLT share.

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MJC revises some COVID-19 protocols

Given the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Maryland and additional orders from county and state officials, the Maryland Jockey Club will revise some of its protocols.

Effective at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, the jockeys’ rooms will be closed to riders who aren’t based at Laurel Park. Jockeys from other states will no longer be permitted to ride or exercise horses at Laurel and Pimlico, and members of the Maryland riding colony will not be allowed to ride or exercise horses out of state.

In addition, owners and jockey agents will not be permitted in the stable areas at Laurel and Pimlico. 

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Thirty-four candidates on ballot for MTHA Board of Directors election

Thirty-four candidates are on the ballot for this year’s Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Board of Directors election, which will take place in December.

The election is held every three years. All 15 board seats are up for election in 2020.

Directors are elected to three-year terms. The board is made up of seven owners, seven trainers and one at-large director. The at-large seat is filled by the highest vote-getter of the remaining candidates.

Please note that ballots will be mailed to all MTHA members Dec. 1 and must be received back—not postmarked—no later than Dec. 31. All completed ballots will be mailed from and returned to a third-party company that specializes in corporate and non-profit elections.

Results of the election will be announced online in mid-January.

The following are this year’s candidates:

 Owners    Trainers

 Bonuccelli, Charles A. arrow
 Charles, Ellen M. arrow
 Dorman, Matthew M. arrow 
 Eubanks, Daniel G. arrow
 Gaudet, Linda S. arrow
 Hacker, Gary arrow
 Hayden, JoAnn arrow
 Heyman, Frederic C. arrow 
 Horning, Michael F. arrow
 Johnson, R. Larry arrow
 Kuegler, Thomas J. arrow 
 Lapidus, Mark B. arrow
 Nechamkin, II, Leo S. arrow 
 Pons, Joseph P. "Josh" arrow 
 Rashid, James W. arrow
 Reed, Charles J. “Chip” arrow 
 Robb, Gina A. arrow
 Wade, David H. arrow 


 Allen III, A. Ferris arrow
 Corrales, Jose arrow
 Cox, Kenneth M. "Kenny" arrow
 Garrido, Raul A. arrow
 Gaudet, Lacey A. arrow
 Gonzalez, Claudio A.arrow 
 Keefe, Timothy L. arrow
 Maldonado, Jonathan arrow 
 McMahon, Hugh I. arrow
 Merryman, Michael W. arrow
 Motion, H. Graham arrow
 Robb, John J. arrow
 Schoenthal, Philip B. arrow 
 Testerman, Valora A. arrow
 Trombetta, Michael J. arrow 
 Voss, Katharine M. arrow

Biographies for each candidate are available by clicking each name above.

Purse Release

150 DAY