Ohio HBPA Board Meeting
11:00 am, Friday, May 14th, 2021
Ohio HBPA Main Office, Grove City, OH
President Joe Poole Directors: Susan Anderson, Bobby Cline, Mark Doering, Jeff Jarvis, Dick McCall, Bruce Miller, Mike Rone, John Royer, Robin Schuster, Kim Williams
Members Unable to be Present;
Executive Director Dave Basler
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 March 11th, 2021 Ohio HBPA board of directors meeting. Motion passed.
President Poole expressed the importance of our tracks racing on Saturdays 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.
Poole stated that with Governor DeWine’s announcement earlier in the week that his health orders involving Covid would expire in early June that he felt it was important for the Ohio HBPA board of directors to resume meeting in person beginning with the July meeting with that President Poole moved and Director Miller seconded a motion that beginning with the July meeting of the Ohio HBPA board or directors the previous policy of an in person meeting only be reinstated. Motion passed.
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 all filings regarding the defense’s motion to dismiss had been made and the motion was now in the hands of the judge.
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 were in the process of responding 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 was also listed as a plaintiff in this suit. 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 executive committee meeting which took place in April in Lexington.
Purses and Wagering
Basler updated the board on the status of the purse accounts at all three tracks detailing that the beginning balances at both Thistledown and Belterra Park exceeded the beginning balances for those tracks in 2019 which is what allowed for the purse increases at both tracks back to 2019 levels after cuts last year made necessary due to the loss of revenues when the tracks were forced to close in mid-March through early June due to the pandemic. Basler also detailed that while the purse account balance at Mahoning Valley at the close of the 2021 meet was over $1.1 million below that when the meet closed in 2020 that amount was more than made up for by the $1,268,935 VLT payment made to the purse account from April VLT’s net win at the track as there was no April VLT payment made to the purse account in 2021 due to the aforementioned closing last year.
Discussion was held regarding VLT results at the three thoroughbred tracks for April 2021 which showed Thistledown net VLT win came in at an all-time record for the facility at $19,516,805 . Mahoning Valley’s net win for April 2021 came in at $15,058,185 trailing only March 2021’s net win as the second highest ever at the track. Belterra Park’s net VLT win for April was $9,173,756 which was the highest ever at the track beating the previous record by over $1 million dollars.
Budget and Finance
Following lengthy discussion Director Jarvis moved and Director Schuster seconded a motion to grant a personal benevolence request in the amount of $500. Motion passed
Discussion was held regarding the date of the next Ohio HBPA board of directors meeting with the board determining Monday, July 26th 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.