Ohio HBPA Board Meeting
11:00 am, Friday, October 16th , 2020
Ohio HBPA Main Office, Grove City, OH
President Joe Poole Directors: Susan Anderson. Bobby Cline, Mark Doering, Dick McCall, Bruce Miller, Robin Schuster, Mike Rone, John Royer and Kim Williams
Members Unable to Attend: Jeff Jarvis, Kristi Tumblin
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 August 24th , 2020 Ohio HBPA board of directors meeting. Motion passed with Directors Doering and Miller abstaining.
President Poole moved and Director Cline seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the OHBPA board of directors conference call held on September 14th, 2020. Motion passed with Directors Doering and Miller abstaining.
Special Order of Business:
Ohio HBPA lobbyist led a discussion regarding proposed sports wagering legislation in the state detailing the differences between the House and Senate bills as well as the current climate for the legislation. Due to the sensitive and ongoing nature of this proposed legislation no further details of the discussion will be provided in these minutes.
Executive Director’s Report:
The executive director provided the election results to the board and introduced the board to newly elected board member Bruce Miller.
Basler detailed that the “Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act 2020” had recently passed the US House of Representatives after Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell expressed his support for the bill. While McConnell had expressed his desire to hold a floor vote on the bill in the Senate without holding any hearings prior to the election it appeared that the National HBPA as well as several other organizations fighting the bill had been successful in raising opposition to this approach amongst enough members of the Senate that it now appears any movement on the bill will wait until at least during the lane duck session. The National HBPA opposes this proposed legislation for many reasons including that there are many mandates in the legislation which are going to be very expensive to achieve and the bill has no funding mechanism and specifically states that none of the funding will come from the government or tax dollars which means horsemen are likely to carry the huge price tag for all of the additional funds required by the legislation. There is also major concern that by definition more than half of the board that will be determining national medication policies will have no experience in racing. Additionally, the industry members of the board will likely be controlled by the same special interests groups which have pushed the legislation for years.
Basler updated the board on recent meetings of the OSRC Medication Committee which is looking into establishing screening limits for a number of environmental and endogenous substances.
Purses and Wagering
Basler updated the board on the current status of the purse accounts at all three Ohio thoroughbred tracks which showed Thistledown slightly ahead year over year as of September 1st, 2020 with just over $750,000 available total for purses as of that date.
As of September 1, 2020 all accounts combined held $2,504,112 in available purse funds for Mahoning Valley which was nearly $1,000,000 less than was in the accounts last September 1st which is the reason there will be an approximately 10% purse cut at Mahoning Valley when the fall meet begins.
Belterra Park had $658,825 in available purses as of August 1, 2020 an increase of over $375,000 from the 2019 total on that date.
Discussion was held on handouts provided by the executive director showing September VLT results at the states seven commercial tracks. Basler detailed that the VLT net win at Mahoning Valley was up over 5% from the previous September coming in at $11,042,457 for September 2020. Thistledown showed the largest gain in year over year net win in the state for September with a VLT net win of $14,193,314 in September up over $2.4 million from the previous September at the track. Belterra Park had a net VLT win of $6,914,724 in September 2020, down slightly more that $150,000 from the previous year figure.
Discussion was held regarding the 2021 Ohio Thoroughbred Fund program. Director Doering moved and President Poole seconded a motion that the Ohio HBPA will continue to fund the 2021 OTF program at its current levels provided that the OSRC continues to provide a minimum of 20% of the casino fund tax dollars set aside for racing to the program in 2021 and further provided that there are no increases in funding for administrative, promotion or advertising expenses in 2021. Motion passed.
Director Doering moved and Director Miller seconded a motion that the Ohio HBPA make a recommendation to the Thoroughbred Advisory Board to add the following condition to the 2021 OTF program; Any Ohio race, excluding stakes, which draws a minimum of six accredited Ohio foals and six registered Ohio foals shall be split with one race being restricted to accredited Ohio breds and the other to registered Ohio breds. which are not accredited. Motion passed.
Benevolence, Policies and Organization
Elections were help for Ohio HBPA officers with each to serve a 2-year term.
Director Rone moved and Director Miller seconded a motion nominating Joe Poole for President. Joe Poole accepted the nomination. No others were nominated for President and Joe Poole was elected.
Director Doering moved and Director Miller seconded a motion nominating Bobby Cline as Vice president for Belterra Park. Director Cline accepted the nomination. No others were nominated for Vice president at Belterra Park and Bobby Cline was elected.
President Poole moved and Director Miller seconded a motion nominating Robin Schuster as Vice President for Mahoning Valley Race Course. Director Schuster accepted the nomination. No others were nominated for Vice President at Mahoning Valley and Robin Schuster was elected.
Director Cline moved and Director Miller seconded a motion nominating Mike Rone for Vice President for Thistledown. Director Rone accepted the nomination. No others were nominated for Vice President for Thistledown and Mike Rone was elected.
The board established chapter committees for each track as follows
Belterra Park: Bobby Cline, Susan Anderson, Bruce Miller, Jeff Jarvis, Doug Cowans
Thistledown: Robin Schuster, Mark Doering, Kristi Tumblin, Mike Rone, Don Radcliffe
Mahoning Valley; Robin Schuster, Mark Doering, Kristi Tumblin, Mike Rone, Bobby Cline
Discussion was held on the need to make two minor changes to the Ohio HBPA Code of Regulations based on the motion passed previously by the board that all benevolence requests would be decided by the full board.
President Poole moved and Director Miller seconded a motion that section 4.1 (b) of the current Code of Regulations which read as follows; “The Board of Directors shall choose three (3) of its members to serve as a Benevolence Committee at each of the tracks. The Benevolence Committee may approve benevolence requests up to $500 provided that the requestor or his/her immediate family will not exceed the lifetime maximum of $1,000. The Benevolence Committee may also make recommendations to the Board of Directors from time to time for any worthy charitable causes and shall cooperate with other organizations in the dispensing of benevolence.”
be removed. Motion passed.
Director Doering moved and President Poole seconded a motion that section 3.1 (j) of the OHBPA Code of Regulations be amended to read “ Any direct benevolence must be approved by the Board of Directors.” Motion passed.
Board members were assigned to the following committees for 2020 to 2022;
Benevolence, Policies and Organization
Purse and Wagering Committee
Government and External Affairs Committee
Budget and Finance Committee
Government and External Affairs
Director Royer, who also serves as President of the OTBO detailed that the organization had a successful sale the prior day at the Delaware County Fairgrounds with over $500,000 in purchases being made at the sale. Mike Annachino has been named executive director of the OTBO.
Budget and Finance
Discussion was held regarding taking legal action against various parties for the retroactive VLT monies owed between May 2014 and June 2018 at Belterra Park.
Director Miller moved and President Poole seconded a motion for the executive director to authorize OHBPA legal firm Porter Wright to file legal claim against the parties mentioned in their letter to the board to recover the retroactive monies. Motion passed.
The executive director is to meet with Porter Wright to obtain cost estimates beyond the filing of the claims and report them back to the board.
Director McCall moved and Director Doering seconded a motion to authorize the executive director to have the Belterra Park medical trailer repaired based on the estimates he provided to the board with the expenses to be paid from the Industry Initiative Fund. Motion passed.
Director Doering moved and Director Miller seconded a motion that the Belterra Park field office manager be provided a bonus of $250 for taking temperatures of those living in the dorms 7 days a week during the racing season. Motion passed.
Discussion was held regarding the date for the next OHBPA board of directors meeting with Thursday, December 10th beginning at 11am at the OHBPA main office being selected by the board.
President Poole moved and Director Rone seconded a motion to adjourn. Motion passed.