Troy Singh: Laurel Backstretch Employee for 2019

Troy Singh, who has served as assistant trainer for the Claudio Gonzalez barn for the past four years, has been selected Backstretch Employee of the Year at Laurel Park for 2019.

Singh, a 38-year-old native of Guyana, took an interesting path to his job--he was a racehorse owner who became so interested in being around the horses that he went to work for Gonzalez, who he met at Monmouth Park when Gonzalez claimed a horse for him.

Singh owned 12 horses trained by Gonzalez at the Bowie Training Center before it closed in 2015 and then became his assistant at Laurel.

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New riding crop rule in effect in Maryland

The Maryland Racing Commission effective Jan. 9 implemented a riding crop rule that stemmed from discussions among members of the local riding colony and the stewards.

The jockeys and stewards had been discussing development of a rule given action taken in other jurisdictions over the past year in California, New Jersey and at Woodbine in Canada.

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'Coffee With Chris' offers opportunity to discuss racing surface

In keeping with a heightened focus on equine health and safety, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association recently launched biweekly meetings that allow horsemen to interact with Track Superintendent Chris Bosley on racing surface issues.

"Coffee With Chris" is held every other Friday at 9:30 a.m. in the MTHA offices in the Laurel Park recreation room. Bosley, who was hired by the Maryland Jockey Club in April 2018, is readily available when horsemen have questions or concerns, but the regular meetings are designed to create more dialogue.

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January 2020 Newsletter Available

newsletter2020 1The January 2020 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.


Increased access to H2-B visas part of 2020 spending bill

Trainers who utilize the H-2B guest worker visa program to fill various backstretch positions are expected to have increased access to H-2B visas as a result of language included in the 2020 spending bill passed by Congress the week of Dec. 16 and signed into law by President Trump.

The bill gives the Secretary of Homeland Security the discretion to release additional visas above the statutory cap and also includes related labor provisions that have been in place for several years.

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Equine health and safety directives, regulations approved by MRC

The Maryland Racing Commission Dec. 19 approved a host of directives and regulatory changes tied to the safety and welfare of the racehorse that will take effect in early 2020.

These changes have been under review and discussion in Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region since July, and include revisions to the National Uniform Medication Program that were formally adopted by the Association of Racing Commissioners International on Dec. 12, 2019.

"The Mid-Atlantic region had been looking at safety and welfare issues well before the issues that came up at Santa Anita during the winter and spring (of 2019)," MRC Executive Mike Hopkins said. "The MRC elected to allow horsemen to be heard and to talk through these changes. Discussions have been held."

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