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Category: Sports

MARYLAND RACETRACKS DELVE INTO BRAVE NEW WORLD OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

by Ross Peddicord – Maryland Life “Hey there’s a sure thing running in the 4th race at Pimlico!” The in-house handicapper at Maryland racetracks hasn’t gotten around to tweeting that sort of hot tip yet to racing fans, but the Maryland Jockey Club tracks have begun delving into the brave new world of social media and using it as a marketing tool to attract new fans and to keep existing ones in the loop. There’s a Laurel Facebook page (as well as ones for Pimlico, Preakness and the Infield Fest), the track’s Aug. 22 Family Fun Day was advertised on Craigslist (the jockeys engaged in a Rody Pony race! Google Rody Ponies on the web to find out what this is about), ad banners for special race days are placed on washingtonpost.com, there is an active group of bloggers alerting fans on track happenings (such as the aspiringhorseplayer.com) and there are Laurel accounts both on My Space and Twitter. “Hey there is a reggae band playing during the twilight racing card on Friday evening at Laurel. Come on out, it’s a lot of fun.” If you are a Twitter follower of Megan Forshey, you heard it first from her Tweet, sent out to hundreds of followers from her Twitter account. Megan is the 20-something marketing specialist at the Maryland Jockey Club tracks who is devoting more and more of...

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Rosecroft Sold, TBs Win Lawsuit

Vogel Buys Back Rosecroft On July 8, the stockholders of Cloverleaf Enterprises Inc. unanimously voted to approve the sale of Rosecroft Raceway in Price George’s County to former owner Mark Vogel. Vogel told The Baltimore Sun that the purchase is costing him more than 10 million dollars. Since Cloverleaf filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June, a bankruptcy judge must approve the sale. Also, the Maryland Racing Commission must approve transfer of Rosecroft’s racing license to Vogel before live harness racing can resume. Vogel hopes to have live racing back at the track by January 2010 and is also looking into the possibility of adding a restaurant on the grounds and hosting concerts and other events. Cloverleaf Loses Lawsuit A federal judge on July 15 denied Cloverleaf Enterprises Inc.’s request to reinstate Thoroughbred simulcast signals at Rosecroft Raceway. According to The Baltimore Sun, Cloverleaf had also asked for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to order the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and the Maryland Horse Breeders Association to stop interfering with Rosecroft’s simulcast agreement and order out-of-state racetracks to restore Rosecroft’s signal. The judge denied this request as well. To read background information on these two issues, click...

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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 equiery.com 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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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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