Ohio HBPA Board Meeting
11:00 am, Monday, July 26th, 2021
Ohio HBPA Main Office, Grove City, OH
President Joe Poole Directors: Susan Anderson, Bobby Cline, Jeff Jarvis, Dick McCall, Bruce Miller, Mike Rone, John Royer, Kim Williams
Members Unable to be Present;
Mark Doering, Robin Schuster, Kristi Tumblin
Executive Director Dave Basler, Ohio HBPA Lobbyist Tom Pappas
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 May 14th, 2021 Ohio HBPA board of directors meeting. Motion passed.
The members missing this meeting are all granted an excused absence as they all race at Thistledown and this was a live racing date at the track.
President Poole reiterated his opinion of the importance of our tracks racing on weekends in order to bring in new fans as well as allow owners to watch their horses compete in person. Poole expressed a desire to have the board press the OSRC for live weekend racing in 2022 if any of the tracks don’t apply for weekend dates next year.
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 while the judge still hasn’t ruled on the defendants motion to dismiss the court did require the parties to get together via phone and agree to discovery deadlines. That meeting has taken place and the following deadlines were agreed to by the parties. August 13, 2021 initial disclosures. May 13, 2022 cut-off for discovery. July 15, 2022 all dispositive motions due.
Basler updated the board on the lawsuit filed by the National HBPA and several affiliates challenging the constitutionality of elements of the Horse Racing Safety and Integrity Act in Federal Court stating that the Government had filed a motion to dismiss in the case and the HBPA’s attorneys have filed their response to that motion. Basler also informed the board that a separate lawsuit had been filed in Federal Court by the Attorney General’s offices of both Oklahoma and West Virginia challenging the constitutionality of other provisions of HISA and that the USTA and several other groups are also listed as plaintiffs in this suit. Basler4 informed the board that the Louisiana Attorney General’s office last week joined the suit as a plaintiff as well. Due to the sensitive and ongoing nature of these cases no further details will be provided in these minutes.
Basler and President Poole updated the board on the National HBPA Officer elections and executive committee meetings which took place earlier in the month in Iowa where Doug Daniels of Virginia was elected National HBPA President. Rick Hiles was reelected as First Vice President, other regional vice presidents elected were Joe Davis, Sandee Martin and Lloyd Yother.
Purses and Wagering
Basler updated the board on the status of the purse accounts at all three tracks detailing that the balance at Thistledown through the end of June exceeded the balance at the track through the end of June in 2019 which allowed for the purse increase at the track above 2019 levels. Basler detailed that the purse account at Belterra Park through the end of May 2021 was approximately $400,000 ahead of May 2019 at the track. The board asked Basler to press for a small purse increase at Belterra based on those numbers. The purse account at Mahoning Valley from all sources held $2,061,323 through the end of June 2021 over $500,000 more than through the same month in 2019 at the track.
Discussion was held regarding the Ohio Thoroughbred Fund program including its finances and the need for the program to be written out in advance. Director Williams moved and Director Rone seconded a motion that the executive director send a letter to the Thoroughbred Advisory Board recommending that the entire OTF program for 2022, excluding claiming races, be written out by the racing secretaries by no later than December 1, 2021. Motion passed.
Discussion was held regarding VLT results at the three thoroughbred tracks for June 2021 which showed Thistledown net VLT remained very strong at $17,387,345 up over $5,300,000 from the corresponding month in 2019 . Mahoning Valley’s net win for June2021 was $13,460,017 up over $2,400,000 from the same month in 2019. Belterra Park’s net VLT win for June was $8,081,005 up approximately $600,000 from June 2019 at the track. 2019 numbers were used for comparison as the VLT operations at all three tracks were only open for part of the month in June 2020 due to the pandemic.
Budget and Finance
Following lengthy discussion Director Williams moved and Director McCall seconded a motion to grant a personal benevolence request for partial payment of medical bills in the amount of $400. Motion passed with Director Jarvis voting no.
Director Cline moved and Director Miller seconded a motion to grant a benevolence request for $1,000 to help defray expenses to the family of a long-time member who passed away after a long illness. Motion passed.
President Poole moved and Director Rone seconded a motion to grant the field office manager at Thistledown and Mahoning Valley one weeks paid vacation in 2021. Motion passed.
Following lengthy discussion Director Jarvis moved and Director Williams seconded a motion to grant a request to authorize up to $25,000 being paid from the Mahoning Valley purse pool for an OTBO Auction Stakes race to be conducted at the track in March, 2022. Motion passed.
Discussion was held regarding the date of the next Ohio HBPA board of directors meeting with the board determining Friday, October 1st beginning at 11am at the Ohio HBPA main office as the date and time for the next meeting.
President Poole moved and Director McCall seconded a motion to adjourn. Motion passed.