October 2017 Newsletter Available

newsletter2017 10The October 2017 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.



A report prepared by Biologically Applied Engineering shows the recent one-week renovation of the main track at Laurel Park was largely a success, but it also strongly recommends daily attention as part of a Maintenance Quality System.

The report was presented by Dr. Mick Peterson (pictured), the principal in Biologically Applied Engineering and Executive Director of the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory who also oversees equine agriculture programs at the University of Kentucky. He visited Laurel Labor Day weekend to examine the dirt surface at the request of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association.

The renovation entailed a peel-back of the surface material to examine the base; five areas of the base were patched and compacted. Some clay was added to the surface material before it was replaced, and drainage issues around the track were identified and remedied.

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Laurel Park will race Mondays rather than Thursdays when it begins its four-day-per-week live racing schedule in October.

The MTHA board of directors Sept. 8 heard about the proposal from Maryland Jockey Club President Sal Sinatra and approved it several days later. The switch in racing days is tied to increased exposure of the Laurel product on the Television Games Network.

Laurel was scheduled to race Thursday through Sunday in October and November and Friday through Sunday in December. Under the new arrangement, there will be racing four days a week in December, with the extra days also Mondays.

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MedStar’s Dr. Kelly Ryan Saves Groom’s Life at Laurel Park

The Horsemen’s Health System funded by the MTHA and Maryland Jockey Club has been an invaluable asset, and it certainly proved its worth Sept. 16 at Laurel Park.

A New York-based groom was stricken—it was determined to be a heart attack—and fell to the ground while holding his horse. Dr. Kelly Ryan of MedStar Sports Medicine, which provides health services on live racing days in Maryland, was alerted and within minutes made her way from her office in the grandstand to the paddock.

The man had no heart beat when Ryan arrived. She used an automatic external defibrillator and CPR to revive him just before an Anne Arundel County ambulance arrived to transport him to a local hospital. He was alert and able to speak at that time.

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Trainer Tim Keefe was re-elected president of the MTHA during the first meeting of the new board of directors September 8 at Laurel Park.

Though board elections are held once every three years, officers are selected by the board each year. Other officers elected for 2017-18 are Dale Capuano and Linda Gaudet, vice presidents; Michael Horning, treasurer; and Katy Voss, secretary.

All the officers were elected unanimously. Keefe has served as president for the past three years.

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The recent Maryland State Fair meet at Timonium proved successful on several fronts, including what is believed to be record pari-mutuel wagering and strong participation from Maryland-based horsemen.

In addition, trainers Kieron Magee and Claudio Gonzalez earned the largest prizes in the trainers’ bonus contest.

According to statistics provided by the Maryland State Fair, total handle for the seven-day session was $5,261,522, up 47.2% from $3,572,474 for the same number of days in 2016. On Aug. 27, the first Saturday of the meet, wagering on 10 races totaled $1,085,504, perhaps an all-time high for one day at Timonium.

There were three 10-race cards and four nine-race cards for a total of 66 races. Average wagering per race came in at $79,720. Average daily handle per day was $751,646, up from $510,353 last year.

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