As many of you know, the issue of racing “preferences” has been a subject of inquiry by the Maryland Racing Commission since last fall. At that time a “handful” and I want to emphasize a “handful” of horsemen and women expressed their opposition to any “preferences” at Rosecroft. While everyone has the right to their opinion, the opposition failed to take into account that CSOA had successfully negotiated for racing preferences, designated races and bonuses on behalf of the horsemen and women. In my opinion, the impact of the opposition to preferences of any type could have had dire consequences on Maryland Standardbred racing and breeding.
The long and short of this story is to let you know that on February 25, 2015, the Maryland Racing Commission, after having a conversation with Cloverleaf, announced that effective with the start of the Spring 2015 meet at Rosecroft the following procedures would be in place.
• 80% of the races at Rosecroft and presumably Ocean Downs will be designated as Maryland restricted races. Since the term Maryland restricted races may be a bit confusing, the term “Maryland Preferred” will appear on the Rosecroft Condition Sheets. The term 80% refers to the number of races actually run.
• Within the category of “Maryland Preferred,” the following groups will have a priority order (note that we are no longer using the word “preference.” Please note the working definitions/explanations provided under each category.
1. Maryland Owned
A horse 100% owned by a Maryland resident. If a horse is owned in partnership, each of the partners must be a Maryland resident. Horses that are privately purchased by a Maryland resident will not be considered as Maryland owned until after 60 days from the official transfer of ownership with the USTA. Horses that are purchased at a public auction or claimed in a race are exempt from this rule. Horses purchased by way of an on-line auction or sale are considered horses that are privately purchased.
2. Maryland Sired
A foal whose Sire was a Stallion registered to stand in Maryland at the time of the breeding.
3. Maryland Bred
The owner of the Dam of a Foal at the time of conception was a Maryland resident.
Finally, I want to wish everyone a successful meet at Rosecroft Raceway.