MRC approves proposed regulation to make claiming assessment mandatory

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

The Maryland Racing Commission June 7 approved a proposed regulation that would make a 1.5% assessment on claimed horses mandatory rather than voluntary. The regulation will now go through the customary process before it is finalized.

Beginning in January 2022 at the request of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and with the blessing of the MRC, the 1.5% assessment--the funds go to the Beyond The Wire aftercare program--was enacted. It has been voluntary given the fact that individual owners can sign an opt-out form.

The program is similar to one at the New York Racing Association tracks, where the claiming assessment to benefit aftercare has been mandatory from the start. The MRC said the MTHA and Maryland Jockey Club support the proposed regulation.

MTHA Executive Director David Richardson said that in 2022 the voluntary assessment on claims raised about $105,000. Based on 2022 statistics that show there were 616 Thoroughbreds claimed in Maryland for a total of about $9.5 million, a mandatory assessment would have generated about $142,000, or about $37,000 in additional funds.

In 2020, 1/ST Racing (The Stronach Group) pledged $250,000 million a year for four years to support Beyond The Wire. This is the last year of the contribution. The company also pledged that after 2023, it would match the mandatory per-start contributions from owners to support the aftercare program.

Beyond the Wire is an industry-wide 501(c) 3 non-profit initiative between the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, 1/ST Racing, Northview Stallion Station, Maryland Jockey Club, Maryland Horse Breeders Association and Maryland jockeys.

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