Virtual signups for Backstretch Pension Plan now available

The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association on May 12 held an informational webinar to explain virtual signups for the Maryland Backstretch Pension Plan, which are now available.

Given physical distancing requirements issued by state government because of coronavirus (COVID-19), the customary in-person signups at Laurel Park, Pimlico Race Course and the Fair Hill Training Center cannot be scheduled before the July 1 deadline for submittal of pension documents.

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Medical records required for horses claimed, sold or transferred

The Maryland Racing Commission earlier amended regulations that now require the medical record of any horse that is claimed, sold or transferred be provided to the new owner with seven days of the claim, sale or transfer.

In order to comply with the regulation, a “Horse Health Record” form must be completed and submitted to MRC Equine Welfare and Medical Director Dr. Libby Daniel and Lasix Clerk Melanie Martin. The form asks for information such as immunization dates, joint therapy and radiographs.

The form is available at this link to the MRC website.

MJC releases condition book for Laurel Park

The Maryland Jockey Club has released a 15-day condition book in advance of the resumption of racing at Laurel Park.

The condition book, which is available here via Equibase, does not assign dates to each of the days given the fact it remains unclear when live racing can resume.

According to the book, purse levels are the same as they were before live racing was suspended in mid-March. For instance, the bottom purse is $15,000 for $5,000 claimers, $33,000 for the waiver-maiden $40,000-$35,000 claimer, and $40,000 for maiden special weight events. There also are open $55,000 allowance races on the dirt and turf.

The MJC racing office said there won’t be an accompanying index at the present time.

Monumental Racing and Community Development Act becomes law

The Racing and Community Development Act of 2020, which will protect the long-term future of horse racing in Maryland through the rebuilding of Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park into state-of-the art facilities, was one of many bills Gov. Larry Hogan allowed to become law without his signature May 7.

The legislation, which had broad bipartisan support in the House of Delegates and Senate, calls for the Maryland Stadium Authority to issue up to $375 million in bonds for the projects through a combination of funds from the Racetrack Facility Renewal Account, the Purse Dedication Account, video lottery terminal payments to Baltimore City and money from the Maryland Lottery. The Act will take effect June 1.

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Backstretch Pension Signups To Begin With Important Webinar on May 12 at 2pm

The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association will offer an educational webinar on Tuesday, May 12, to explain procedures necessary to sign up for the Maryland Backstretch Pension Program this year.

The webinar will be held from 2-3 p.m. To register, click here

Virtual sign-ups are necessary this year because of ongoing physical-distancing requirements issued by state government officials because of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Along with online transmission of applications and tax documents such as Form W2, the MTHA is setting up backstretch collection boxes to obtain forms and documents from backstretch workers.

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Application process reopens for COVID disaster loan program

The United States Small Business Administration has reopened the application process for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan COVID-19 related assistance program after a short delay.

The EIDL application is available here.

Farms with fewer than 500 employees whose primary activity is breeding horses may now apply for these loans offered to businesses that have suffered economic hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and National Thoroughbred Racing Association lobbied the SBA for several weeks after farms were excluded from earlier federal emergency aid packages. On April 24, President Trump signed into law another package providing relief to small businesses, including farms and ranches.

Purse Release