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2008 Minutes

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

April 16, 2008

HORSEMEN’S BUILDING
COLONIAL DOWNS
10700 HORSEMEN’S ROAD
NEW KENT, VA

In Attendance
Commission Members:
Peter C. Burnett, Chairman
William H. (Trip) Ferguson
I. Clinton Miller
David C. Reynolds

Commission Staff:
Stanley K. Bowker, Executive Secretary
Kimberly M. Carter, Office Administrator
David Lermond, Jr., Director of Pari-mutuels
Peggy E. Mason, Permitting Manager
Joseph M. Roney, Director of Operations & Enforcement
Marvin A. Sniegon, Director of Financial Management & Planning
Dennis E. West, Director of Operations

Attorney General’s Office:
Amy K. Dilworth
__________________________

At 9:44 a.m., Chairman Burnett called the regular monthly meeting of the Commission to order.

The minutes of the March 19, 2008 meeting were approved.

During Commissioners comments, Commissioner Miller commended Chairman Burnett for his efforts and performance during his recently concluded term as Chairman of the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

Chairman Burnett reported that while there is considerable work to be done, he was pleased that during his term as RCI Chairman considerable progress was made toward uniformity especially in the regulation of steroids and other medication.

Commissioner Reynolds reported that the Marketing and Promotion Committee had reviewed a number of requests for small grants with the following recommendations:

1. VHBPA - - Virginia Bred Races at Steeplechase Meets
This is to assist in sponsoring and promoting a series of twelve flat races for Virginia bred horses registered with the Virginia Thoroughbred Association. There will be seven races in the Spring at various steeplechase meets, each carrying a purse of $2000. Capping the series will be at least one $10,000 “championship race” during the Colonial Downs summer meet for participants in the Spring races. A fall championship race would be held at the International Gold Cup day at Great Meadow.
Total cost $60,000-- $39,000 from the Commission’s marketing budget.

Commissioner Reynolds moved approval of $29,000 for the sponsorship package for 10 spring and fall races with the championship races to be supported by other sources. Total costs to the Commission shall not exceed $29,000, to receive payment, the VHBPA shall provide detailed copies of all bills associated with this request and that the Racing Commission receive appropriate recognition for assisting in the sponsorship of this program.
The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.

2. New Kent County Fair at Colonial Downs
In 2007 the Fair and harness race season opened in conjunction with each other for the first time ever and the results were impressive. The two day event attracted 4,379 people on Saturday and 1,153 on Sunday. The Saturday crowd was one of the largest to ever attend harness races at Colonial Downs.
For 2008, the Fair will expand to three days and will offer children’s amusements, art/craft competitions/exhibitions, live entertainment, pony rides, fireworks after the races on both Friday and Saturday, a giant “HorsePower” auto show, a 5K run and other events geared to attract a wider variety of age and ethnic groups. Harness racing will still be the featured grandstand entertainment all three days.
Total cost $38,000--$25,000 from the Commission’s marketing budget.

Commissioner Reynolds moved approval of $20,000 to support the New Kent County Fair at Colonial Downs. Detailed copies of invoices associated with the Fair and recognition to be provided to the Racing Commission for its support.
The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.

3. Fast Facts 2008
Torrey Charles Marketing (TCM) envisions producing 20 to 25 “Fast Facts” segments. Each “Fast Fact” would be produced to run 30 to 40 seconds for the in-house (between races) television show. In addition, each segment would be produced to run up to two minutes for use on the Colonial Downs and VRC websites for promotional use year-round by track ambassadors.
Total cost $30,000--$30,000 from Commission’s marketing fund.

Commissioner Reynolds moved approval of $15,000 on a matching basis with the condition that TCM work with CRT/tanaka to professionalize the presentations and that the detailed invoices be provided to the Commission to receive payment.
The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.

Commissioner Reynolds and Mr. Bowker added that there is very little money left to provide additional grants this fiscal year (ending June 30, 2008).

Acting on the recommendation from Mr. Bowker, the Commission approved Colonial Downs’ May simulcasting schedule.

Acting on the recommendation of Mr. Bowker, the Commission approved the list of racing officials for Colonial Downs for the 2008 Thoroughbred race meet.

Acting on the recommendation of Mr. Bowker, the Commission approved Dalare Associates, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine Racing Laboratory and Center for Tex Services in Tempe, AZ as the reference laboratories for both the Thoroughbred and Standardbred meets in 2008.

Acting on the recommendation of Mr. Bowker, the Commission approved Dr. Walter Hyde as the Official Chemist for the Racing Commission and Iowa State University Laboratory as the Commission’s official testing laboratory for 2008.

James Weinberg, counsel for Colonial Downs presented for Commission approval a new Agreement between Colonial Downs and the Virginia HBPA. He stated the changes were outline in the Staff Report and essentially involved a reallocation of priorities in growing handle.

The Commission unanimously approved the Agreement, however because there is a condition in the agreement that also affects the Agreement between Colonial Downs and the Virginia Harness Horsemen’s Association, there is a delay in the effective date. The Commission asked that Colonial Downs and the VHBPA extend the old contract until the May 21 meeting and provide a weekly update on the discussions with the harness horsemen.

The next meeting was set for May 21, 2008.

Chairman Burnett announced that the Commission would be spending the remainder of the day in a closed meeting involving personnel matters. He then made the following motion:

“In accordance with the provisions of Section 2.2-3711 (A)(1) of the Code of Virginia, I move that the Commission go into closed meeting for the purpose of discussion or consideration of the assignment, appointment, performance or salary of specific employees of the Commission.” The motion was seconded and was unanimously approved.

Following a series of interviews, the Commission continued the closed meeting for further discussions at a date to be determined and advertised.

 

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