The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association has worked with the Maryland Jockey Club to develop a system that will allow trainers access to the standard commission from purses in a more timely manner.
The MTHA Board of Directors unanimously voted to implement the program, which permits the automatic deduction by the Horsemen’s Bookkeeper of the standard 10% gross commission for trainers from all starters that finish first, second or third in all overnight and stakes races after purses are released. The hope is that the program, similar to the one by which jockeys are paid, helps get money to trainers more expeditiously, especially during this difficult economic period.
Trainers must enroll in this program in advance. Applications will be processed and verified within 30 days of submission of the required paperwork, which includes the enrollment form and an IRS Form W9. Forms will be available in the MTHA office and online at mdhorsemen.com. The MTHA will verify that forms are completed properly and will then transmit them securely to the MJC Bookkeeping department.
Trainers who are successfully enrolled in the program and verified will have funds available similar to the procedures regarding availability of the owners funds. The funds will consist of the trainer’s cleared earnings.
The program has been discussed by the MTHA over the last few years in response to feedback and suggestions by Maryland-based trainers.
“For a lot of trainers, getting the 10% within a reasonable period of time is important, especially at this time,” said trainer Dale Capuano. “It will help with cash flow, because the bills keep coming on our end. The owners pay it anyway, so I don’t see any negatives. It’s a good thing from my perspective. It does work well in Delaware.”
Delaware Park has used the automatic 10% trainer commission deduction for first- through third-place finishes for about 10 years, said Bessie Gruwell, Executive Director of the Delaware THA. It has worked very well, she said, and is an “extremely simple” process.
“The trainers absolutely love it,” Gruwell said. “If they don’t want to do it—some trainers have different deals with owners—they can opt out, but traditionally most of them here have the 10% deduction. New Jersey also does it, and people who have come here from Oaklawn Park (in Arkansas) said they do it there. It’s widely accepted—nobody complains about it.”
Many Maryland-based trainers ship horses to Delaware Park to race throughout the course of the track’s meet and are familiar with the automatic deduction.