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Latest Lawsuit: Standardbreds Sue Thoroughbreds

On July 6, Cloverleaf Enterprises, Inc., which owns Rosecroft Raceway and filed for bankruptcy protection in June, has filed a $20,000,000 (yes, that is right, twenty million dollar) lawsuit against 17 different organizations, most of which represent the Thoroughbred industry, including the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (the organization for owners and trainers, a.k.a. “the Horsemen”), and the Maryland Horse Breeders Association (an organization for Thoroughbred breeders, a.k.a. “the Breeders”), and 15 other defendants, mostly out of state race tracks.The lawsuit alleges breach of contract regarding the simulcast agreements, and specifically accuses the Horsemen and the Breeders of interfering with Rosecroft’s simulcast agreements with out-of-state racetracks, which allegedly led to the track’s disastrous drop in revenue, which then allegedly led to Cloverleaf filing for bankruptcy. Interestingly, despite news reports to the contrary, this lawsuit does NOT list the Maryland Jockey Club as a defendant, although Rosecroft has complained in the press about the Jockey Club’s interference with its signal. Recommended Reading: The Daily Record The Washington Post Background Information (first printed in the July 2009 issue of The Equiery): • June 4 : Cloverleaf Enterprises Inc, which owns Rosecroft Raceway, filed for bankruptcy. The 60-year-old track, which is located on 130 acres in Ft. Washington, has estimated assets of $10-50 million and debts of $1-10 million. Kelley Rogers, president of Cloverleaf, told The Washington Post that it was the 15-year...

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Justice Delayed, Justice Denied?

Hearings postponed and/or rescheduled include… …Massage Therapist Lawsuit The final hearing (we hope it’s the final hearing) for the lawsuit brought against the Maryland State Board of Chiropractic Examiners by massage therapist Mercedes Clemens, which has been repeatedly postponed, has now been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 30, in the Montgomery County Circuit Court. For more background, please visit our archives at Make sure you subscribe to The Equiery’s News Feed (blog) in order to get your next update! …Magna Bankruptcy The Associated Press reported recently that the judge agreed to postpone until August 18 a hearing to determine a request for the appointment of an examiner for the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of Magna Entertainment, owner of the Laurel and Pimlico racetracks. The request for the appointment of an examiner is from Greenlight Capital Offshore Partners, which is an unsecured creditor of Magna, but also a shareholder in the parent company of Magna, and is thus concerned about the fairness and transparency of the parent company’s attempt to buy Magna’s assets. The bid deadline for the assets is July 31. Recommended Reading: The Daily Record The Baltimore Sun The Daily TImes …Arundel Mills Slots Meanwhile, why is Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold dragging his feet on the Arundel Mills slots request? On July 6, he withdrew zoning legislation for a 4,750-slot parlor at Arundel...

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Former Owner Wants to Buy Back Rosecroft

The Baltimore Sun reported on June 24 that Mark Vogel, who owned both Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington and Ocean Downs Racetrack in Berlin in the 1980s, is in negotiations with Cloverleaf Enterprises, current owner of Rosecroft, to buy back the harness track. The Gazette then printed on June 26 that Vogal “hopes to resume live harness racing” at the track and is also interested in making a bit for slots. Since Rosecroft was not on the original list of proposed slot locations that Marylanders voted on November 4, 2008, a new statewide referendum would be needed. Local officials told The Gazette that they are not in favor of slots at the track. The article goes on to say that Vogel expects to take ownership of the track by September and will need the Maryland Racing Commission’s approval before resuming live racing. He will also need to resolve the relationship between Rosecroft and the commission in terms of simulcasting Thoroughbred racing. To read more about this issue and about Rosecroft, Cloverleaf and the Maryland Racing Commission, see the July issue of The Equiery, now in stores, or order a free copy by clicking...

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AHC Washington Update

The American Horse Council’s “Welfare of the Horse” Forum is Now Available on Horse TV’s H-SPAN from the American Horse Council On Tuesday June 16, 2009 the American Horse Council held “The Welfare of the Horse” forum in Washington, DC.  The Forum, sponsored by Luitpold, was held as part of the AHC’s National Issues Forum and featured speakers from segments of the horse community as varied as competition, sport, work and entertainment. Speakers and panelists discussed the many welfare and safety initiatives that various segments of the horse industry have in place or are instituting. The Welfare of the Horse forum created an opportunity for the industry to provide reports on the welfare and safety initiatives already in place and those that are being undertaken.  It also lets the fans, the general public, the media, and elected officials know how important this is to the horse community. The forum is available for on-demand viewing here.  H-SPAN is a digital channel providing coverage of industry symposiums, meetings, educational presentations and more on its equestrian television portal,  It is a continuing service provided by HorseTV for the benefit of the international horse community, and its mission is to inform, educate, empower and unite the industry worldwide. Dr. Scott Palmer, a nationally-know veterinarian and past-president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, delivered the keynote address. Other featured speakers included Gary...

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Legendary Maryland Equine Sporting Photographer & Writer, Peter Winants, Dies At 82

by Margaret Worrall Well known editor, author and steeplechasing expert Peter Winants, age 82, died on May 18, at his home in Rectortown, Virginia, following a long battle with Hodgkin’s disease. Born 1926 in Baltimore to Frances Bonsal and Peter Winants, the younger Peter was ultimately raised on My Lady’s Manor by his widowed mother and her second husband, noted horseman S. Bryce Wing. Winants attended Pomfret School in Connecticut and Princeton University. Following a stint in the Army in WWII, Winants opened a successful photography business in Baltimore with his brother, Garry. In the beginning  photographing horses and equine sports were only a small part of their work, but soon Peter Winants added freelance jobs, including writing, fulfilling his pent-up passion for racing, especially steeplechasing and he was soon a regular contributor to The Maryland Horse. His first book was Jay Trump, A Steeplechasing Saga, a perceptively written story accented by Winants’ photographs of the 1965 English Grand National and Crompton “Tommy” Smith, the first American rider in the race’s history to win that event. There are now four additional books by Winants in print: Flatterer; Foxhunting with Melvin Poe; Steeplechasing, A Complete History of the Sport in North America;  and  The Sporting Art of Franklin B. Voss. At the time of his death he was working on a new book about the legendary Virginia horsewoman and Piedmont...

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Chiropractic Board Declines To Rescind Cease & Desist Order Against Equine Massage Therapist

by Katherine O. Rizzo In the summer of 2008, after receiving a cease and desist letter, human and equine massage therapist Mercedes Clemens sued the Maryland State Board of Chiropractic Examiners. On May 5, 2009, Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge David A. Boynton suspended the hearing against the Board, strongly urging the Board to rethink its position and policy, and giving them until June 2 to do so. On May 14, the Board met for its monthly, open meeting. In attendance were two reporters (this reporter and Steve Lash for The Daily Record), former senator Paula Hollinger and Mercedes’ attorney, Paul Sherman from the Institute for Justice. When the Board reached this item on its agenda, it closed the meeting, throwing the reporters, as well as the senator and the lawyer, out of the room, so that they could “discuss the issue and make a final decision.” After 30 minutes, the lawyer, senator and reporters were allowed back into the room, only to be told that the Board had received some sort of mysterious “new information” which needed further discussion and that they would present a written statement “at a future time.” What next? Make sure you have subscribed to The Equiery’s News Feed in order to receive updates directly to your e-mail account. Equiery Recommended Reading: Hold Your Horses: A Delay in That Massage Case by John Kelly...

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