May 2023

Minutes
Ohio HBPA Board Meeting
11:00 am, Friday, May 12th, 2023
Ohio HBPA Main Office, Grove City, OH

Members Present: President Joe Poole Directors: Linda Carrera, Bobby Cline, Mark Doering, Jeff Jarvis, Bruce Miller, Mike Rone, Robin Schuster, George Sikora, Kristi Tumblin

Members Unable to Attend: Susan Anderson, Brian Poe

Others Present:

Executive Director Dave Basler, OHBPA Lobbyist Tom Pappas

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 March 17, 2023 Ohio HBPA board of directors meeting. Motion passed.

President Poole moved and Director Miller seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the April 10, 2023 conference call of the Ohio HBPA board of directors. Motion passed.

Director Doering moved and Director Cline seconded a motion to grant Director Anderson an excused absence for the March 2023 OHBPA board meeting due to having a horse in at Turfway Park that day. Motion passed.

President Poole moved and Director Miller seconded a motion to grant Director Rone an excused absence for the March 2023 OHBPA board meeting as he was attending a funeral in Illinois. Motion passed.

Director Doering moved and Director Carrera seconded a motion to grant Director Schuster an excused absence for thew March 2023 OHBPA board meeting as she was working out of state at the time. Motion passed.

President Poole moved and Director Rone seconded a motion to grant Director Poe an excused absence for this meeting due to end of school year obligations at his job. Motion passed.

Director Anderson is automatically granted an excused absence for this meeting as she had horses in at Belterra Park.

Special Order of Business:

Ohio HBPA lobbyist Tom Pappas updated the board on the current state budget discussion noting that the budget had passed the House and was now on to the Senate.

Pappas and the executive director discussed language which the OHHA has tried to insert into the budget bill which would have required all sports betting operators in the state to take wagers on horse racing, The language ultimately did not make it into the budget bill passed by the House.

President’s Report

President Poole led a discussion regarding the 2023 HISA Assessments which the tracks have asked the Ohio HBPA for clarification on payment of the horsemen’s share of the assessments.

Following discussion Director Jarvis moved and Director Rone seconded a motion that the executive director be authorized to contact legal counsel and ask them to assess the Horse Racing Safety Integrity Act regarding assessments as well as the Ohio HBPA contracts with our tracks to determine a course of legal action against HISA and our tracks should any HISA assessments be charged against any of our purse accounts, Motion passed.

Executive Director’s Report:

The executive director provided updates on the various lawsuits still in play against HISA.

Basler informed the board that he had Dr. Mary Scollay, Chief of Science for HIWU, scheduled to make a presentation on the HISA ADMC program and answer questions at the horsemen’s meeting scheduled for the following Tuesday at Belterra Park.

Basler provided the board with a handout of the Ohio HBPA’s motion for pre judgement interest in the Belterra Park retroactive VLT monies case. The motion seeks $809,446.13 in interest in the case in which Judge Marbley had previously granted the Ohio HBPA’s motion for summary judgement in the amount of over $2.8 million dollars.

Purses and Wagering

Basler updated the board on the current status of the purse accounts at all three Ohio thoroughbred tracks detailing that Thistledown had a total of $12,777,320 available for purses through the end of March, 2023 as compared to $12,073,053 through the end of March, 2022. As of April, 2023 Mahoning Valley had a total of $865,258 available for purses compared to being overpaid by $804,513 on April 1, 2022. Belterra Park had $2,132,869 available for purses as of March 1, 2023 compared to $3,176,742 on March 1, 2022 which necessitated the purse cut for the current meet.

Basler went through handouts provided to the board showing VLT revenues for the state’s seven commercial racetracks which showed that Mahoning Valley recorded a net win of $13,881,538 in April which was down approximately $630,000 from the April, 2022 net win figure at the track. Thistledown showed a $16,683,329 April net win which was down approximately $550,000 from the prior year net win in April. The net win at Belterra Park was $7,526,676 in April which was down nearly $1,100,000 from the prior year figure at the track.

Extensive discussion was held regarding the uncoupling of same owner entries. Director Doering moved and Director Rone seconded a motion that the Ohio HBPA’s official position on the uncoupling of same owner entries be that the trainer should be asked at time of entry whether he/she wants the horses to run coupled or uncoupled recognizing that this is not a requirement as the rule is currently written. Motion passed with Director Jarvis voting no and Directors Carrera and Schuster abstaining.

The executive director detailed issues with the exporting of the Thistledown signal to Churchill Downs ADW platforms due to a prior contract entered into by Thistledown with Churchill which the Ohio HBPA has not granted export approval for as required under the IHA to the outlets in question for the 2023 meet.

Budget and Finance

Director Doering moved and Director Rone seconded a motion to provide $1,000 from the Industry Initiative Fund to sponsor the Track Superintendents conference to be held in June, 2023 at Horseshoe Indianapolis. Motion passed.

Following discussion Director Doering moved and Director Sikora seconded a motion to provide a $5,000 check from the Industry Initiative Fund to jockey Mauro Cedillo who sustained a life-threatening injury at Thistledown earlier in the meet. Motion passed with Director Jarvis voting no.

The date for the next OHBPA board meeting was set for Tuesday, July 11th, 2023 beginning at 11:00am at the main OHBPA office.

Adjournment:

President Poole moved and Director Cline seconded a motion to adjourn. Motion passed.