Ohio HBPA Board Meeting
11:00 am, Thursday, January 25, 2018
Sanese Center, Columbus, OH
President: Joe Poole Directors: Randy Blevins, Bobby Cline, Doug Cowans, Mark Doering, Jeff Jarvis, Bonnie Rogoff, Mike Rone, Robin Schuster, Kristina Tumblin
Members Unable to Attend:
Mark Kuntz, Bruce Ryan
Executive Director Dave Basler, Ohio HBPA Lobbyist Tom Pappas
Call to Order/ Approval of Minutes:
President Poole called the meeting to order. After review Director Rone moved and Director Cline seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the November 16, 2017 meeting of the OHBPA board of directors. Motion passed.
Special Order of Business
Ohio HBPA lobbyist Tom Pappas gave a rundown and his analysis of the 2018 statewide races. Discussion was also held regarding the Ohio State Racing Commission hearing to be held in February on the VLT percentage to be paid to horsemen from VLT proceeds earned at Belterra Park pursuant to ORC 3769-2-43 which Pappas and the executive director have worked on for over a year on behalf of the Ohio HBPA.
Executive Director’s Report:
The executive director provided the board a multi page handout detailing the 2018 Ohio Thoroughbred Fund program and led a discussion of the changes to the program from 2017.
The majority of the changes had come at the request of the Ohio HBPA and included that all Ohio-bred claiming races must now be used when they draw at least seven betting interests, that any Ohio funded race which draws at least 14 entries must be split and the adding of two Ohio-accredited turf stakes at Belterra Park.
The executive director detailed that by agreement with Mahoning Valley Race Course management the 6 days cancelled due to adverse weather and track conditions thus far in 2018 would be made up as follows; Added racing dates Friday, March 2nd, Friday, March 16th and Friday, March 30th. Additionally the Winter-Spring meeting will be extended and the following racing dates added; Monday, April 23rd, Tuesday, April 24th, Wednesday, April 25th.
Discussion was held regarding Ohio’s “jail time” claiming rule in light of an Indiana court decision disallowing similar rule provisions in that state with the sense of the board being to stick with our current recommendation to the OSRC regarding ORC 3769-6-15 which is that the rule should be changed to read “No thoroughbred horse claimed in Ohio may be raced in another state, except a stake race, for a period of sixty days or the end of the racing season at the track from which is was claimed whichever comes first.”
Basler presented a multi page handout of analysis on the main track at Thistledown provided by Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory which had been engaged by Jack Entertainment to evaluate the racing surface. Discussion was held regarding the report and its findings.
Purses and Wagering
Basler updated the board on the current status of the purse accounts at all three of the states thoroughbred tracks and discussion was held regarding the numbers.
The executive director provided handouts detailing VLT results at each of Ohio’s seven commercial race tracks for December 2017 showing that both Mahoning Valley and Belterra Park had significant year over year net win increases for the month while Thistledown showed a slight decrease in net win in December from its December 2016 net win figure.
Basler provided the board a multi page handout detailing the 2018 Ohio Combined Simulcast Purse Fund Distribution Percentages as well as the numbers used to come up with these calculations. A handout detailing the historical percentages paid from the fund since its inception in 1996 was also provided and discussion was held on those numbers.
Benevolence, Policies and Organization
Discussion was held regarding writing a letter to Boyd Gaming, which will become the owner of Belterra Park when all of the regulatory approvals are in place (expected to be the second half of 2018), introducing the Ohio HBPA to Boyd and discussing some of the current issues which we have been working with Pinnacle Gaming management to resolve at the track. The sense of the board was that Director Jarvis work with the executive director to draft the proposed letter and bring it to the board for approval at the next meeting.
Discussion was held regarding the racing surface at Belterra Park. President Poole moved and Director Jarvis seconded a motion authorizing the executive director to write a letter to Belterra Park General Manager Chris Corrado requesting the track to engage the services of Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory to perform an analysis and make recommendations regarding the main track at Belterra Park. Motion passed.
Budget and Finance
Extensive discussion was held regarding the Ohio HBPA Industry Initiative Fund which included many handouts provided by various groups that sought funding from the Fund.
Director Doering moved and Director Cline seconded a motion for $40,000 to be paid from the Ohio HBPA Industry Initiative Fund to the National HBPA for the promotion and protection of thoroughbred horsemen’s interests nationwide. Motion passed.
President Poole moved and Director Rone seconded a motion that $15,000 be paid from the Ohio HBPA Industry Initiative Fund to the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center and $10,000 be paid from the Ohio HBPA Industry Initiative Fund to the Equine Health and Welfare Alliance, Inc. to support equine medication, environmental contamination and testing threshold research projects. Motion passed.
Director Rogoff moved and Director Doering seconded a motion to approve a $55,000 contribution from the Ohio HBPA Industry Initiative Fund to the Ohio HBPA Scholarship Fund to support the scholarship programs which began in 2016 with both the Ohio 4H and the Ohio FFA as well as 2 on track scholarships at each Ohio thoroughbred track in 2018. Motion passed.
Director Doering moved and Director Blevins seconded a motion to approve a $2,000 per month contribution from the Ohio HBPA Industry Initiative Fund at each track during the live racing seasons at both Thistledown and Belterra Park to the Race Track Chaplaincy of America, Inc. to compensate a chaplain at each of those tracks. Motion passed.
Director Jarvis moved and Director Blevins seconded a motion to approve a $35,000 contribution from the Ohio HBPA Industry Initiative Fund to the Belterra Park purse account to support quarter horse purses for races to be run at the track in 2018. Motion passed with Director Tumblin abstaining.
Director Blevins moved and Director Schuster seconded a motion to approve a $20,000 contribution from the Ohio HBPA Industry Initiative Fund to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Motion Passed.
President Poole moved and Director Cline seconded a motion to approve a $50,000 contribution from the Ohio HBPA Industry Initiative Fund to New Vocations to support retraining and placement of retired thoroughbreds which raced at Ohio tracks during their racing careers. Motion passed.
Director Doering moved and Director Schuster seconded a motion to approve a $20,000 contribution from the Ohio Industry Initiative Fund to the Van Wert Agricultural Society to support thoroughbred purses at races run at the Van Wert County Fair in 2018. Motion passed with Director Jarvis voting no.
The executive director led a discussion regarding investing a portion of the Industry Initiative Fund in FDIC insured CD’s in order to greatly increase the interest earned on the money.
Director Blevins moved and Director Rone seconded a motion that the executive director be authorized to move up to $3,000,000 from the Industry Initiative Fund into short term (1 year or less) FDIC Insured CD’s. Motion passed.
President Poole and Director Rogoff seconded a motion that Director Doering (attending horse sale) and Director Blevins (illness) be granted excused absences for missing the November 16th, 2017 Ohio HBPA board of directors meeting. Motion passed.
Director Rone moved and Director Rogoff seconded a motion that Directors Kuntz and Ryan be granted excused absences for missing today’s Ohio HBPA board of directors meeting due to the date of the meeting having to be changed because the OSRC meeting was scheduled on the original meeting date after the Ohio HBPA board meeting had been scheduled. Motion passed.
Following discussion the board determined the next Ohio HBPA board of directors meeting would be on Thursday, March 29th, 2018 beginning at 11am at the Sanese Center in Columbus, Ohio.
Director Doering moved and Director Rone seconded a motion to adjourn. Motion passed.