Since the beginning of 2016, horsemen whose runners finished first or second in a race in Maryland have been forced to wait on average 12.5 days for their purse money to clear because of holds imposed because of state-mandated laboratory testing. Sometimes that wait has been three to close to four weeks because of holidays and other unforeseen circumstances.
Horsemen will be relieved to know that earlier this year, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen Association Board of Directors approved the implementation of the Expedited Purse Release Program, a program designed to speed payment of purses to owners and finishing first or second in an overnight after a 72 hour hold.
In the past, the funds were not allowed to be released until a clean laboratory test was returned from the accredited lab located in California. Horsemen learned to be patient.
“Horse racing is a tough game,” trainer Tim Salzman Jr. said. “We all try to do what we can to make a little money. When we win, we need that money as quick as possible – to pay the help, pay the feed bills. But you call the bookkeepers office and the money hasn’t cleared because they’re still waiting for the test results. People in other situations, it’s OK, they may not need the money, but most of us do.”
So the MTHA board took action.
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