Purses, Claiming Prices For Select Races To Increase July 1

The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Board of Directors has approved an increase in claiming prices and changes in race conditions in some categories along with a blended purse increase for overnight races that will begin July 1 and extend at least through the end of 2022.

The changes were developed in conjunction with the Maryland Jockey Club. The purse hike will average 10% to 11%, with a bottom purse of $17,000 for a $5,000 condition claimer and the highest purse at $70,000 for an open allowance race.

The increase in claiming prices stemmed from discussions on providing a higher return on investment for Thoroughbred owners who race in Maryland by elevating the value of racehorses, and combating the inflation of expenses and auction prices in the current environment. The purse increase, in many categories, reflects the changes in claiming prices.

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THA to Host Webinar on HISA Registration: Wednesday, June 1 at 11 a.m.

The Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association will host an online webinar on “HISA Registration for Racehorse Owners and Trainers” on Wednesday, June 1, from 11-11:30 a.m. ET. Under the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, which goes into effect on July 1, 2022, you must register as a "Covered Person" if you are licensed by a State Racing Commission, unless you have no contact with the horses and no access to the restricted areas of a racetrack. Registration is required of all owners, trainers and backstretch workers, as well as any licensee who has access to the barn area. Trainers must also register all of the horses in their care.

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Preakness 147 Veterinarian/Trainer Guide Now Available

The Maryland Jockey Club and owner 1/ST Racing have released a trainers’ guide for the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes and Preakness Stakes programs at Pimlico Race Course May 20-21.

The guide covers stabling and training, including specifics for horses entered graded and non-graded stakes; and medication and veterinary treatments that are permitted or not permitted. All stakes horses will be located in designated barns in the Hayward Avenue barn area, which includes the stakes barn.

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Hogan: Avoid ‘One Last Race Syndrome’

Avoiding the “One Last Race Syndrome” and knowing when to retire Thoroughbred racehorses was the focus of an April 20 presentation by noted equine surgeon Dr. Patty Hogan. The event, held at Laurel Park, offered continuing education credit for trainers and assistant trainers and is now available on YouTube on Beyond The Wire’s new channel at https://bit.ly/374GcYR

Hogan, whose practice is located in New Jersey, said the primary reasons to retire a racehorse are a significant physical issue or a lack of competitiveness. She said retirement to a pasture is not ideal, so transitioning to second careers is important—and that requires awareness and planning.

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Pension Deadline Less Than A Month Away

Virtual signups, the primary means to participate in the Maryland Backstretch Pension Plan, will remain available until June 1. Earlier this year, a $1-million contribution to the plan was approved by the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Board of Directors.

The online registration form in English and Spanish is available at the following link: http://mdhorsemen.com/pension

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Law Calls For Progress Reports

Under legislation signed into law in April, the Maryland Stadium Authority must provide two reports—on or before Sept. 30 of this year and by Jan. 1, 2023—on the progress of the redevelopment of Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course as authorized under the Racing and Community Development Act of 2020. The racing-related provisions were added to a broader economic development bill largely related to sports facilities.

Each report is required to describe efforts by interested parties and the MSA to reduce the overall project costs; report on the cost and schedule for Laurel Park based on the programmatic desires of current ownership; and report on the cost and schedule for Laurel based upon the implementation of recommendations from a report on the status of Maryland Thoroughbred racing operations, including models and recommendations regarding future and planning operations for the Maryland Thoroughbred racing industry.

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