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 deal struck in 2006 with the Maryland Jockey Club, the Maryland Horse Breeders Association and the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, which really sunk the track. The deal requires that Cloverleaf pay the groups $5.6 million annually in exchange “for the right to simulcast and take bets on Thoroughbred racing.” However, the deal was withdrawn by the Maryland Racing Commission on April 28 (see the June issue of The Equiery for details), although on April 29, the Prince George’s County Circuit Court overturned the Maryland Racing Commission, ordering the signal restored. The company remains hopeful that it can rise out of bankruptcy and at this time is not closing the track

• June 19: Mark R. Vogel, president of Mark Vogel Cos. LLC, expresses interest in purchasing Rosecroft Raceway.