The Maryland equine industry contributes more than $1.3 billion to the state’s economy, with more than half generated by horse racing and related businesses, according to the latest economic impact study commissioned by the American Horse Council.

A May 14 release notes that total employment in the state’s horse industry is more than 21,000 jobs. Racing, both Thoroughbred and Standardbred, produces $365 million in economic value and provides more than 5,200 jobs for a total economic impact of $572 million, according to the study.

The report outlines three primary sectors of the horse industry: recreation, competition, and racing. Other benefits that spin off from the horse industry are land preservation, volunteerism, equine therapy and rehoming operations, and educational opportunities at academic institutions.

Horse racing in Maryland has rebounded in recent years as a result of a 10-year agreement among stakeholders and a dedicated percentage of video lottery terminal revenue from the state’s casinos. Breeding and racing have both experienced growth.

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Groom Elite Program Beginning In June at Laurel Park

As part of its overall backstretch outreach program, the MTHA for the first time will offer courses that are part of the highly regarded Groom Elite Program.

The most basic course, Basic Grooming 99, is scheduled for June 25-29 at Laurel Park. It will be followed at a later date by the program’s primary course, Groom Elite 101.

The MTHA Board of Directors earlier this year signed off the plan to bring the Groom Elite Program to Maryland. Dr. Reid McLellan visited Laurel to make a presentation on how the educational program works, and at that time noted the courses are based on differing levels of knowledge and experience. During his almost 15 years directing the Animal Industries program at Louisiana Tech University, McLellan launched an equine specialty program by which students were licensed as trainers by the state racing commission and trained racehorses on a half-mile track at the school. He has held other positions in the racing industry along with voluntarily leading Groom Elite in the early 2000s.

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The first four stakes in the 2018 MATCH Series (Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships) have attracted a combined 130 nominations. The Series begins May 18-19 at Pimlico Race Course in Maryland as part of Preakness and Black-Eyed Susan Stakes weekend.

The $100,000 Skipat Stakes for fillies and mares at six furlongs, and the $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint for 3-year-olds and up at five furlongs run on May 18, Black-Eyed Susan Day. The $100,000 The Very One, a $100,000 event for fillies and mares at five furlongs on the turf, and the grade III, $150,000 Maryland Sprint Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs, run May 19 on the Preakness undercard.

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May 2018 Newsletter Available

newsletter2018 4The May 2018 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.


Maryland Jockey Club Introduces New Track Superintendent

Maryland native Chris Bosley has spent the better part of the last two weeks getting acclimated in his new job as track superintendent for Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, but he said he already has seen progress.

Bosley, 28, now oversees all track maintenance crews at both racetracks. He previously served as track superintendent for the Maryland State Fair at Timonium and its related May 2-year-olds in training sale for five years.

“Chris is in charge of the dirt surfaces at Laurel and Pimlico and will report directly to me,” Maryland Jockey Club President Sal Sinatra said.

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The Maryland Jockey Club has announced changes in the training schedule effective April 16.

Training hours will remain 5:30-10:30 a.m. each day, but at Laurel Park, there will be two renovation breaks—from 7:30-8 a.m. and 9-9:30 a.m. Gate schooling will be available from 7-7:30 a.m. and 9:30-10 a.m.

Everyone is asked to clear the track on time to facilitate the new schedule at Laurel.

The same schedule was announced for Pimlico Race Course as well, but the MJC later said training hours at Pimlico will stay the same with only one renovation break at the usual time.

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