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Category: Sports

BREAKING NEWS: The Ultimate Lady Legend, Kathy Kusner, to join the Lady Legends Turfside Lunch at the Black-Eyed Susan!

One of the greatest female equestrians ever, Kathy Kusner, will be joining us at Turfside Terrace Lady Legend Lunch, this Friday, May 14, at the Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico Race Course! In addition to being the first licensed female jockey in the United States (after a groundbreaking 1968 lawsuit) and the first female to ride in the Maryland Hunt Cup (the world’s biggest timber race), Kusner rode on three Olympic show jumping teams (silver medal in Munich ’72) and in two Pan Am Games   Her combined show jumping career, flat track and steeplechase career certainly make her the epitome of the Lady Legend! So, if you were playing with the idea of going, but had not yet made up your mind, now is the time to decide…the opportunity to meet all these legendary female riders may never happen again.  Believe me, if I didn’t close The Equiery offices and take everyone to this lunch, my staff would string me up by my toes. This is really a big deal! So, it IS going to be a great day, and many of our friends and clients have already purchased either tables (Stable Tables are $900 each for 10 seats) or individual tickets ($100 each), the Turfside Terrace is quite spacious and there are still plenty of tickets and tables available. We understand that there have been some problems ordering tickets…DO...

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Preakness Future Secured for Maryland

On April 30, Governor Martin O’Malley, Attorney General Doug Gansler, Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Tom Chuckas, President and CEO of the Maryland Jockey Club, addressed the settlement agreement that ensures the Preakness will remain in Maryland. “For 134 years (and counting) the Preakness Stakes has been run in the State of Maryland and has belonged to the people of our state,” said Governor O’Malley. “The Preakness Covenant will ensure that people of Maryland continue to enjoy this time-honored tradition, and that the State of Maryland and City of Baltimore will continue to realize the economic benefits of this annual event. I want to thank Attorney General Doug Gansler, and his staff for working quickly and aggressively with us with us to secure the future of the Preakness Stakes right here where it belongs in Maryland.” “When Magna entered bankruptcy last year, working with the Governor’s Office, the Office of Attorney General immediately drafted emergency legislation granting Maryland condemnation authority over Magna’s Maryland assets, including Preakness,” said Attorney General Gansler. “That law, in conjunction with the State’s existing right of first refusal over any transfer of Pimlico, gave Maryland the hammer we needed to work out an agreement with new owner MID. I’m pleased that we were able to provide the legal support to the Governor to ensure the Preakness forever remains a Maryland tradition.” “This is wonderful...

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Racing Commission O.K.s Magna Deal; Shareholders Appeal

On Monday, April 26, the bankruptcy judge approved the Magna Entertainment Corporation’s “reorganization plan” to transfer ownership of Maryland’s race tracks to its parent company, MI Development. On Thursday, Apri 29, Racing Commission approved transfer of Laurel & Pimlico racing licenses to the “new” owner, who promised to balance the books within two years. MID reported to the courts that the Maryland Thoroughbred operations (which include the Bowie training track and the Preakness) lose about $11 million a year. Also on Thursday, April 29, shareholders of Magna filed an appeal protesting the bankruptcy judge’s approval of the transfer to MID, noting that shareholders receive nothing in the transfer. In Monday’s hearing, attorneys for the shareholders argued that, by not allowing the tracks to go to bankruptcy auction, Magna and MID are hiding the true value of the properties, and shareholders are not being fairly treated. Maryland-bred Homeboykris to run in today’s Kentucky Derby! Read more on May Equiery now in stores; new ads now...

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Racetrack Reorg Approval Hearing: State Happy, Shareholders & Others Not Happy

This week, the courts heard testimony regarding Magna Entertainment Corporation’s plan to have its parent company, MI Development, purchase its assets (including Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park) out of bankruptcy. The courts must approve the reorganization plan before it can go forward. Several hurdles to approval have materialized, including shareholder opposition and a plan to have Penn National Gaming operate slots at Laurel Park (should they ever get approved for slots). However, whether Penn National could legally operate those casinos when they already have an interest in slots in Cecil County remains to be determined. Also questioned during the hearing was how sincere Magna’s effort had been to obtain a stalking horse bid on the properties. Shareholders were represented by an attorney who questioned MID’s business plan for the tracks, noting that the plan published what the company considered to be the value of the land, but not the value or business potential of the tracks themselves, noting that the company has not even attempted to estimate the value of the Preakness as a business asset. However, Magna did say that the MID contract would include language confirming that the state of Maryland will have the first right of refusal should the MID ever attempt, in the future, to sell the tracks. Closing arguments will be heard Monday, April 26. To read more: Daily Record report on Tuesday,...

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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 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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