MRC Approves Amendment To Claiming Regulations

A suspended trainer will not be permitted to claim horses with his or her owner’s license under an amended claiming rule approved by the Maryland Racing Commission at its Nov. 30 meeting.

The current rule allows a suspended trainer to continue using his or her owner’s license without restriction. The MTHA Board of Directors endorsed the change at its most recent meeting Oct. 30; it had been discussed at a previous MRC meeting and supported by commissioners.

The MTHA in October also issued its support for an equine medication and drug-testing standards compact that would facilitate adoption of model rules simultaneously in states that pass enabling legislation. The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission and West Virginia Racing Commission are moving ahead with compact legislation for their upcoming 2018 legislative sessions. The initial objective is to get lawmakers in the Mid-Atlantic region to pass the enabling legislation, though any state could do so.

“This is going to make everyone’s life a lot simpler,” MRC Executive Director Mike Hopkins told MTHA board members. “Using the Mid-Atlantic, which has the largest population of racehorses, makes a lot of sense. I think it would be a good thing to get done in the Mid-Atlantic first since we have been a leader in adopting uniform medication rules.”

The MRC at its Nov. 30 meeting also approved three expenditures from the Racetrack Facilities Renewal Account, which is funded through 1% of video lottery terminal revenue at the state’s casinos. RFRA money is provided on a 50% matching basis.

The projects are $857,591 for construction of “Barn 3” at Laurel Park; $908,167 for capital improvements in the clubhouse area of Laurel; and $106,854 for fencing along Race Track Road at the Bowie Training Center property.

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