Ohio HBPA Board Meeting
11:00 am, Thursday, December 2nd, 2021
Ohio HBPA Main Office, Grove City, OH
President Joe Poole Directors: Susan Anderson, Bobby Cline, Jeff Jarvis, Bruce Miller, Dick McCall, Mike Rone, John Royer, Kristi Tumblin Kim Williams
Members Unable to be Present;
Mark Doering, Robin Schuster
Executive Director Dave Basler, OHBPA Lobbyist Tom Pappas, OTBO Executive Director Mike Annachino, OTBO board members Tony Fischback, Robin Murphy
Call to Order/ Approval of Minutes:
President Poole called the meeting to order. President Poole moved and Director Cline seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the October 1, 2021 Ohio HBPA board of directors meeting. Motion passed.
Special Order of Business:
OHBPA Lobbyist Tom Pappas gave the board the latest update on the conference committee’s work on the sports wagering bill stating that negotiations were still ongoing amongst the committee members regarding the number of skins each outlet would have but that apparently most of the other major issues had been resolved and that the committee’s work was likely to be done and a vote scheduled for the following week.
Executive Director’s Report:
The executive director updated the board on the latest information regarding the OHBPA’s litigation of the Federal Court case involving retroactive VLT monies owed the horsemen at Belterra Park stating that he was working with OHBPA law firm Porter Wright to meet the HBPA’s discovery obligations for documents requested by Belterra as required under the law.
Basler updated the board on the OTF program for 2022 stating that there is a Thoroughbred Advisory Board meeting scheduled for the following Wednesday at which he would present the board’s lone program change recommendation as well as reiterating the OHBPA funding guarantee to insure the 2021 program payouts are continued in 2022.
Basler updated the board on the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act stating that new proposed draft regulations were being produced on a nearly daily basis by the Authority for public comment with virtually no transparency as the various drafts are not numbered nor are they in redline versions. So the entire 154 page document must be read each time io order to try to find changes from the previous versions.
Purses and Wagering
Basler updated the board on the status of the purse accounts at all three tracks detailing that the balance at Thistledown as of November 1, 2021 both on track and HBPA held funds totaled $2,200,023 the balance totaled in those accounts as of November 1, 2019 was $1,387,780 overpaid. Basler detailed that if there were no unforeseen circumstances moving forward he anticipated working with Thistledown management on a purse increase to start the 2022 racing season. Basler detailed that the purse account at Belterra Park through November 1, 2021 was approximately $1,200,000 ahead of November 1, 2019 at the track. The starting purse account balance all sources for Mahoning Valley meet was just over $7,200,000 which was nearly $2,400,000 above the starting balance for the comparable meet in 2019. Basler stated that he was working with Mahoning Valley management to institute a purse increase either prior to the end of the year or no later than January 1, 2022.
Discussion was held regarding VLT results at Ohio’s three thoroughbred tracks for October 2021 which showed Thistledown had a net win of over $16,500,000 for the month up nearly $2.7 million from the previous October at the track. Mahoning Valley had a net win of $13,378,801 in October which was up slightly over $2.7 million from the previous October’s net win figure. Belterra park’s VLT net win for October came in at $8,083,517 up from the previous October’s figure of $6,862,808.
The OTBO’s Tony Fischback and Mike Annachino made a presentation to the board complete with multi page handouts regarding a proposal from that group to change the residency requirements for mares to November 1st of the cover year as well as providing an exception for in foal mares purchased at fall auctions for $2,500 of more to December 31st.
Extensive discussion was held regarding the proposals. The board requested additional information from the executive director regarding a motion of a previous sales mare exception which had been passed by the board several years ago and action was tabled until the next OHBPA board meeting.
Budget and Finance
Discussion was held regarding a race which was held regarding the first race at Mahoning Valley on November 9th which was declared a no contest by the stewards after a horse in the race jumped the inside rail and was running loose in the infield in the opposite direction of the field as they raced through the stretch. Director Jarvis moved and Director Rone seconded a motion that the Ohio HBPA pay each owner of a horse in the no contest race $250 from the Industry Initiative Fund to help cover race day expenses. Motion passed with Director Cline abstaining.
Discussion was held regarding a six page handout provided by the executive director detailing the proposed 2022 Ohio HBPA budget which had previously been approved for consideration by the budget and finance committee. Director Jarvis moved and Director Miler seconded a motion to approve the proposed 2022 Ohio HBPA budget as presented. Motion passed.
Discussion was held regarding a written request by the OTBO that the Ohio HBPA provide $25,000 to support the OTBO’s continuing operations. Director Jarvis moved and Director Williams seconded a motion that the Ohio HBPA provide $25,000 from the Industry Initiative Fund to support the OTBO’s continuing operations. Motion passed with President Poole voting no and Directors Rone and Miller abstaining.
Discussion was held regarding the HBPA sponsoring a lunch with legislators at Daryl Duncan’s farm. Director Royer moved and Director Tumblin seconded a motion for the HBPA to spend up to $600 to sponsor a legislative lunch at Duncan’s farm. Motion passed.
Discussion was held regarding the next OHBPA meeting date with the board selecting Thursday, January 27th beginning at 11am in the HBPA main office in Grove City as the time and location for its next meeting.
Director Royer moved and Director Miller seconded a motion to adjourn. Motion passed.