Ohio HBPA Board Meeting
11:00 am, Thursday, June 6th, 2019
Ohio HBPA Main Office, Grove City, OH
President Joe Poole Directors: Bobby Cline, Jeff Jarvis, Dick McCall, Mike Rone, John Royer, Robin Schuster, Kristi Tumblin and Kim Williams
Members Unable to Attend: Susan Anderson, Doug Cowans and Mark Kuntz
Executive Director Dave Basler
Call to Order/ Approval of Minutes:
President Poole called the meeting to order. After review President Poole moved and Director Cline seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the April 18th, 2019 Ohio HBPA board of directors meeting. Motion passed.
President Poole moved and Director Cline seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the May 10th, 2019 Ohio HBPA board of directors conference call. Motion passed.
President Poole moved and Director Royer seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the May 25th, 2019 Ohio HBPA board of directors conference call. Motion passed.
President Poole moved and Director McCall seconded a motion to grant excused absences for this meeting to Directors Anderson, Cowans and Kuntz due to the fact the meeting was held on a live racing day at Belterra Park.
Special Order of Business:
The executive director led an extensive discussion of two state sports betting bills which had been introduced recently in Ohio. House Bill 194 which was introduced by Representative Greenspan and Senate Bill 111 which had been introduced by Senator Eklund. Basler detailed that while HB 194 had already had several committee hearings
but intel from OHBPA lobbyist Tom Pappas indicated that for political reasons it appeared that the bill was going to stall.
SB 111 had not been assigned to a committee and Senate President Obhof does not appear to be in any hurry to move any sport betting legislation.
Executive Director’s Report:
The executive director updated the board regarding negotiations with Belterra Park management on revising the track contract. Extensive discussion was held regarding those negotiations and the Ohio HBPA’s strategy moving forward. Due to the sensitive and ongoing nature of these negotiations no further details will be provided in these minutes.
Basler updated the board on the Jockey Club’s continuing attempt at federal medication reform legislation which had been introduced this session as HR 1754. Basler informed the board that the supporters of this legislation had been trying to take advantage of the recent equine deaths at Santa Anita to further their agenda. The National HBPA along with its lobbyist the Ingram Group had been having meetings with members of congress stating our opposition due to the many flaws in this proposed legislation which would eliminate the use of lasix on raceday.
Extensive discussion was held on a provision in the Ohio Budget Bill which would allow more than two tracks in Ohio to be owned but not operated by the same corporation.
Basler stated that the provisions not allowing more than one thoroughbred track to be operated by the same corporation were being added to section 3769 of the ORC as part of the bill.
Director Jarvis moved and Director Royer seconded a motion that the executive director instruct OHBPA lobbyist Tom Pappas write a letter to be submitted to Ohio legislators that while we don’t oppose the new language involving the ownership of tracks in Ohio the Ohio HBPA would oppose any operator being allowed to operate more than two tracks total or more than one thoroughbred track in Ohio. Motion passed.
Purses and Wagering
Basler updated the board on the current wagering trends at Thistledown and Belterra Park with both tracks showing significant increases in all sources handle through the first month plus of the meet at those tracks.
Basler updated the board on the current status of the purse accounts at all three Ohio thoroughbred tracks and discussion was held regarding the numbers.
Basler went through handouts provided to the board showing VLT revenues for the state’s seven commercial racetracks showing that the net win at Thistledown in April 2019 came in at $12,288,007 up over 10% from the previous April. Mahoning Valley recorded a net win of $10,824,536 in April up slightly from the April 2018 net win figure of $10,511,089 at the track. The net win at Belterra Park in April 2019 was $7,363,628 up slightly from the prior year figure of $7,262,670 but that the credits played at the track actually was lower in April 2019 than in the previous year.
Benevolence, Policies and Organization
Discussion was held regarding a one page handout provided to the board which contained the OTBO’s proposed changes to 3769-5-66.
Director Royer who also serves as the recently elected President of the OTBO stated that the OTBO board had voted to approve recommending the changes provided on the handout to the Thoroughbred Advisory Board during a recent conference call.
Following discussion Director Jarvis moved and Director Royer seconded a motion to approve the Ohio HBPA board recommending the proposed changes to the Thoroughbred Advisory Board subject to confirmation that the requirement that the mare being required to remain in Ohio for a year has not changed. Motion passed with Director Williams abstaining.
Discussion was held regarding a multi-page handout of the Ohio Thoroughbred Fund stakes schedule provided by the executive director. The handout contained the executive director’s proposed changes to the stakes schedule in order for there to be a Best of Ohio type program at each track each year going forward. The board has asked the executive director to make an attempt at putting together such a schedule and this handout was that attempt. It was determined by the board that the schedule could now be distributed to our membership for their input.
Budget and Finance
The executive director discussed a series of meetings he had with representatives of the OHHA discussing their trainer and groom health insurance coverage detailing that they were self insuring and that he was uncomfortable with the level of risk involved with the Ohio HBPA doing a similar program at this stage but that he would like to further explore being able to obtain group health insurance rates for trainers and their families which the Ohio HBPA board could then decide whether to partially subsidize or not.
The executive director presented a vacation request from Darla Ball the Thistledown field office representative. Following discussion Director Tumblin moved and Director Schuster seconded a motion that the Thistledown field office representative be granted one weeks paid vacation in 2019 which encompasses four live racing days at the track with any additional requested vacation days being granted as unpaid days off. Motion passed.
Discussion was held regarding the next meeting date for the Ohio HBPA board of directors with Monday, August 5th, 2019 being selected as the date for the next meeting.
Director Cline moved and Director Rone seconded a motion to adjourn. Motion passed.