Ohio HBPA Board Meeting
11:00 am, Thursday, March 21, 2012
Sanese Center, Columbus, OH
Directors: Mark Doering, Nancy Garrison, Debbie Kopatz, Joe Poole, Bob Reeves, Kim Williams, Alan White and Rich Zielinski
Members Unable to Attend:
President: Tim Hamm Directors: Butch Nemann, Dr. John Piehowicz, Robin Schuster
Executive Director Dave Basler, Lobbyist Tom Pappas, OTBO Executive Director Gayle Babst
Call To Order/ Approval of Minutes:
Vice President Doering called the meeting to order. After review Director Garrison moved and Director Zielinski seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the February 7, 2013 Ohio HBPA board of directors meeting and the January 3, 2013 conference call of the Ohio HBPA board of directors. Motion passed.
Special Orders of Business:
Ohio HBPA lobbyist Tom Pappas updated the board on the status of the Budget and Transportation budget bills.
Executive Director’s Report:
Basler led a discussion regarding the OSRC Beulah Park relocation hearings which had taken place on both March 13 and March 20 providing the board with a copy of his 4-page written testimony on the topic presented to the commission on the previous day.
Basler detailed that the commission had scheduled another meeting for March 27 and had requested that Penn National come back to them with revised relocation plans for the frontside of both the proposed thoroughbred track at Austintown and to do the same thing for their proposed plans for the harness track in Dayton. Requesting that Penn add additional seating with views of the racetrack at both facilities and had also requested revised plans for the barn area at Austintown to include additional stalls as well as dorm room facilities.
The executive director provided a 2-page handout on the barn area drawings of River Downs which had been worked on by a committee made up of President Hamm and Directors Piehowicz, Nemann and Williams. That group had met with Pinnacle officials as well as had several conference calls revising the backside plans to get to the stage which was depicted on the drawings.
Basler led a discussion on the recently announced Mid-Atlantic uniform medication and drug testing program which included a 2-page press release issued by the THA in support of the program. Basler detailed to the board that the National HBPA had serious reservations about the proposed policies on two different fronts.
The first being that the list of 24 approved medications in the release did not address any of the long lists of environmental, dietary and endogenous substances which can and do occur in horses in post race testing.
The National HBPA's second concern regarding the list of approved medications on the Mid-Atlantic list was incomplete in that approximately 30 therapeutic medications currently being used throughout the United States are not on the list and would become prohibited substances in any state in which these rules are adopted. Basler detailed that the National HBPA would be submitting to the ARCI at its April meeting a list of the environmental, dietary and endogenous substances along with proposed thresholds which should be included in any model rule regarding medication and substance thresholds. He also detailed that the National HBPA was preparing a survey to be circulated to the various affiliates as well as practicing vets at their tracks regarding which the therapeutic medications which have been left off of Mid-Atlantic list of approved therapeutics in order to put together a submission for the ARCI at its July meeting seeking inclusion of additional therapeutic medications in the model rule.
Director Zielinski moved and Director Poole seconded a motion to enter executive session to discuss the status of VLT revenue sharing negotiations at Thistledown. Motion passed.
Following extensive discussion regarding the status of VLT revenue sharing negotiations with Rock Ohio, Director Reeves moved and Director Doering seconded a motion that on the following day the executive director is to send a follow up email with a hard copy letter to follow via US mail to Rock Ohio lawyer Dan Reinhard informing him that we have yet to receive a response to our last email detailing our position regarding a proposed VLT revenue sharing agreement between the parties. The email should detail that we need a response by the following Wednesday as well as put Rock Ohio on notice that we plan to take further actions in order to bring the issue to a resolution prior to the April 9 planned opening of VLT sales at Thistledown. Lobbyist Tom Pappas and the executive director are also authorized to work together to hire a law firm to write a follow up letter to Rock Ohio and a separate letter to OSRC chairman Schmitz detailing what further actions we intent to take on this issue. Motion passed.
The board then came out of executive session and went back into regular session.
Purses and Wagering
Discussion was held regarding the potential movement of the River Downs 2013 race meet to Beulah Park. Basler detailed to the board that at the previous day's OSRC meeting the commission introduced a resolution which would allow for the movement of the meet to Beulah Park and planned to take action on the resolution at their March 27 meeting provided that the Transportation budget bill which contained enabling language for the resolution had passed by that time. Basler also informed the board that the resolution contained a provision requiring that Penn National and Pinnacle complete a signed agreement on the movement of the meet prior to the April OSRC meeting and that to his knowledge a deal had not yet been finalized between those two companies.
Basler updated the board on the current status of the purse accounts at all three thoroughbred tracks stating that as of March 1, 2013 Beulah Park's purse account was overpaid by $939,507 as compared to being overpaid by $225,710 on March 1, 2012, River Downs was underpaid by $351,637 as of March 1, 2013 compared to being underpaid by $538,279 on March 1, 2012 although he explained some of the difference at River was due to timing issues involving payments of Dark Day Simulcast Fund monies as well as source market fees, and that Thistledown was overpaid by $180,732 through March 13, 2013 as compared to underpaid by $538,729 through the same date in 2012.
Director Reeves, chairman of the OHBPA Purses and Wagering committee, moved and Director Doering seconded a motion that the executive director is directed not to approve the export of the Thistledown signal for the upcoming meet until an agreement on VLT revenue sharing has been reached between the Ohio HBPA and Rock Ohio. Motion passed.
Budget and Finance
The executive director provided each director with a copy of and brief discussion was held regarding the 2012 audited financial statements of the OHBPA.
Discussion was held regarding the date of the next board meeting and the board members set May 16, 2013 as the date of the next meeting.
Director Garrison moved and Director Reeves seconded a motion to adjourn. Motion passed.