Purse Release Program will become automatic Nov. 1

Several years ago the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, in cooperation with the Maryland Jockey Club, instituted an Expedited Purse Release Program to allow for our owners to get purses earned on an expedited basis and before drug test results had been returned to the Maryland Racing Commission by the commission’s testing laboratory.

The program required that interested owners sign an agreement that obligated the owner to repay and affected purse money paid that became the subject of a positive drug test.

In light of significant test result delays that are being caused by COVID-19 and other factors beyond the control of the MRC, the MTHA and MJC have determined to implement the program automatically Nov. 1 as to all overnight races, unless an owner determines to opt out of the program. Purse money will be released 72 hours after a race, pursuant to MRC regulations.

If an owner has received purse money earned before the test results are received and a positive test is reported, the owner will be required to return such purse money to the Maryland Thoroughbred Purse Account. Failure to do so can result in suspension of the owner’s license until the funds are repaid.

Owners can opt out of the program and await payment of a purse earned once the test results are received. To opt out, an owner must notify the MTHA or MJC in writing.

We hope that this change will benefit our racing community and not subject our owners to unnecessary delays in getting their purse earnings. 

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