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Author: Editor

Roadblocks for Rosecroft; All Calm-for the moment-on the Thoroughbred Front

The Maryland Thoroughbred Industry As the Preakness draws near, all is (more or less) quiet on the Maryland Thoroughbred front, once it was determined that the new owner of the flat tracks is the old owner. The only “new” Thoroughbred racing news relates to slots. On April 1, the Anne Arundel County Board of Elections certified the signatures gathered on the petition to require a county referendum to approve slots at the site owned by the Cordish Companies near Arundel Mills.   According to the Daily Record, the Board validated only 22,967 signatures, and invalidated 17,441 – but the 22, 967 were enough to push the issue to a referendum. The Maryland Jockey Club helped to finance the petition drive. Click here for more information. In the meantime, the State has given the green light for acquisition of the actual slot machines. Roadblocks for Rosecroft Meanwhile, Maryland’s Standardbred industry remains in the news. Will legislators legalize poker at Rosecroft? The session closes tonight…check out what the Baltimore Sun has to say. The Daily Record reports that “a bankruptcy judge has denied the proposed sale of Rosecroft Raceway to developer Mark Vogel, calling it a ‘sell out’ that’s unfair to the track’s creditors and the harness racing industry. The track’s owners must instead sell Rosecroft through a traditional Chapter 11 reorganization plan…[track] owner Cloverleaf Enterprises Inc. notified its employees and shareholders...

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April 5 Update: Maryland Legislation impacting Horse Industry

The 2010 Maryland legislative session is quickly coming to close (April 12). Below is an “as of April 5, 2010” update on bills that we have tracked in our print edition; updates appear in italics. Please e-mail comments to editor@equiery.com. To view more information about specific legislation, please visit Maryland General Assembly. EQUINE INDUSTRY SPECIFIC LEGISLATION SB 62: Making MHIB Self-Funded The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) requested this bill that would increase the fees for licensing and inspecting horse stables and will direct the revenue collected from these fees into the Maryland Horse Industry Fund.  This increase will help the Maryland Horse Industry Board meet increased costs associated with stable inspections. The Maryland Horse Council supported this bill, lest legislators decide to keep the stable inspection fees in the general fund, but cut MHIB’s general fund allocation, which would then make the MHIB rely on the feed fund program. This is problematic because the feed fund was intended to provide funding for marketing programs and grants, not underwrite the stable inspection program. This bill passed the Senate on a vote of 34-9 and was duly assigned to the House Environmental Matters Committee, which heard the bill on March 31. Members of both the Maryland Horse Council and the Maryland Horse Industry Board spoke in support of the bill. The chairman of the Committee asked the representative present for...

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Magna/MID Announces 3 Year Plan for Laurel, Bowie & Pimlico

MI Developments Inc. (“MID”) (TSX: MIM.A, MIM.B; NYSE: MIM) announced that the Plan of Reorganization in respect of Magna Entertainment Corp. (“MEC”) and certain of its subsidiaries, jointly proposed by MEC, MID and the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of MEC (the “Creditors Committee”), was amended to provide for the transfer of Maryland Jockey Club (“MJC”) to MID.  The original Plan, including the litigation settlement to be implemented by the Plan, was announced by MID on January 11, 2010. Rather than being sold by MEC pursuant to an auction as originally contemplated, MJC will form part of the assets of MEC that are to be transferred to MID under the amended Plan.  In return for the transfer of MJC, MID will pay the secured and unsecured claims of MJC creditors to the extent allowed or agreed in an estimated amount of US$23 million to US$25 million.  The amended Plan also provides that the amount to be paid by MID to the non-MJC unsecured creditors of MEC pursuant to the Plan will be increased from US$75 million to US$89 million. Dennis Mills, MID’s Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated “We are excited about the development opportunities represented by the land owned by MJC. The land is comprised of 565 acres in three major properties well located in the greater Baltimore-Washington area.” The acquisition of MJC by MID will be subject...

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Update on Hunting Related Bills in the MD General Assembly

SUNDAY HUNTING STILL STIRS PASSIONS In the March issue and in an earlier news blog posting, The Equiery wondered whether or not horse people were still concerned about Sunday Hunting legislation, once a hot button topic among trail riders. Click here to read the original Equiery editorial and responses. Hunting Bills Killed “Killed” bills are those bills which have been given an” unfavorable” report in committee. Click here for The Equiery’s original summary. SB 33: Right to Hunt, Fish and Harvest Wild Game SB 33: Right to Hunt, Fish and Harvest Wild Game HB 521/SB 798: Anne Arundel Rabies Vector Species HB 521/SB 798: Anne Arundel Rabies Vector Species HB 877: Baltimore Co. Sunday Hunting on Private Property HB 877: Baltimore Co. Sunday Hunting on Private Property HB 1518: Sunday Hunting on Private Land, Most of Maryland, Oct – mid- Jan (a very troublesome bill, introduced very late in the session; see original equiery.com posting)  Hunting Bills In Limbo The vast majority of bills die a slow death of being stalled in committee; however, just because a bill is stalled does not mean it is dead, and it could come roaring back to life. When we sent the April print edition, there were still quite a few hunting bills in limbo, neither dead not progressing to the next legislative phase. This year, however, so far, most of the hunting bills...

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New NSAID Rules Explained

On March 16, Dr. Kent Allen, DVM of Virginia Equine Imaging (also a member of the U.S. Equestrian Federation Drug Rules and Regulations committee as well as being the vet for many USET teams) gave a lecture on drug regulation rule changes to a packed room at the Damascus Equine Associates veterinary clinic. The room held a variety of equestrian sportsman and women including some top hunter/jumper, eventing and dressage Maryland trainers. Several veterinarians from the area were in attendance as well. The lecture began with a bit of history on the USEF Drug Rules and Regulation committee and what their labs have found over the last few years. Interestingly enough, the bulk of drug testing done by the USEF is of hunter/jumper horses and Arabian breed show horses. Another interesting statistic was that in 2008, the most overdosing infringements caught by the USEF lab was concerning high levels of phenylbutazone (bute). Dr. Allen also stated that the majority of infringements are due to overuse or misuse of non-steroidal drugs. Dr. Allen gave a good explanation for the three categories of drugs designated by the USEF. “Permitted Substances” are not regulated at all by USEA. “Restricted Substances” are allowed in small amounts and a drug declaration form must be filled out prior to competition. “Forbidden Substances” are not allowed at all. However, if need for a legitimate therapeutic reason...

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It’s Over – No Auction, No New Track Owners

It’s over. For Cordish, it is over. For the De Francis family, it is over. For the Blow Horn Equity Group, for Penn National, it is over. And for many Maryland horsemen, the hope of new ownership of our Thoroughbred tracks is over – at least for the foreseeable future. Today, Magna Entertainment Corporation – or rather its parent company, MI Developments, will remain the owner of the Maryland Jockey Club, Laurel, Pimlico and the Preakness.  Today, shortly after Magna worked out a deal to settle a lawsuit by its unsecured creditors (which include the De Francis family), MID announced it would buy the Maryland assets out of bankruptcy – surprising everyone, including the De Francises, who were still intending on bidding on the tracks.  So, the more things change, the more they stay the same. For more in depth coverage, please visit Baltimore Sun: Magna, former track owners OK settlement, Auction Next Baltimore Sun: Auction Canceled, Parent company to acquire Maryland tracks Daily Record’s AP...

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