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2008 Minutes



June 18, 2008


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

Commission Staff:
Stanley K. Bowker, Executive Secretary
Victor I. Harrison, Executive Secretary
Kimberly M. Carter, Office Administrator
C. Richard Harden, DVM, Commission Veterinarian
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 9:40 a.m., Chairman Burnett called the regular monthly meeting of the Commission to order.

The minutes of the May 21, 2008 meeting were approved.

During Commissioners’ comments, Chairman Burnett announced he was moving ahead with plans for an Industry Summit to be held August 21. He said he would like industry stakeholders to provide the Commission with issues that should be addressed at the Summit.

Vice Chairman Brown noted there are a number of important issues on a national level and everyone in the industry needs to be working together to get the support of the public back.

Commissioner Reynolds, Chairman of the Marketing and Promotion Committee, introduced Julie McCracken of CRT/tanaka who provided an update on the marketing activities to date.

Acting on the recommendation from Mr. Bowker, the Commission approved Colonial Downs’ July simulcasting schedule. Pursuant to a request from Colonial Downs and the Virginia HBPA, the Commission also approved sending the Colonial Downs’ signal to RGS and Elite Turf Club with staff instructed to monitor the wagering.

Mr. Bowker advised the Commission the Irrevocable Letter of Credit for the purse account of Colonial Downs L.P. and Stansley Racing Corp. for the live racing meet is in place.

Acting on the recommendation of Mr. Bowker, the Commission approved the contract with the Virginia Thoroughbred Association to administer the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Fund for 2008 at a cost of $190,000.

Acting on the recommendation of Mr. Bowker, the Commission approved the contract with the Virginia Harness Horse Association to administer the Standardbred Breeders’ Fund for 2008 at a cost of $50,000.

Mr. Bowker said checks totaling $165,245.70 for the statutory payments to the Department of Agriculture Horse Industry Board, the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine and the Virginia Equine Center Foundation will be mailed later this month.

Mr. Bowker reported that $200,000 had already been paid out in Virginia-bred horses bonuses. He said that was considerably more than what was expected this early in the meet and staff would be monitoring the payments to make certain they did not cause a problem with the overall Breeders’ Fund plan.

The Commission also discussed the report from the Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Safety Committee which had issued three recommendations on June 15. They involved the use of steroids, toe grabs and the design of the whip used by jockeys.

Iain Woolnough, General Manager of Colonial Downs, reported the first Sunday of the meet had been a very good opening for the meet with more than 3,700 people in attendance. He added that only four days in 2007 were larger. He said it was difficult to make comparisons with 2007 yet because the Colonial Cup had been on opening weekend last year.

Mr. Woolnough said outstanding fields had been drawn for Saturday’s Colonial Cup and the All Along Stakes and he was looking forward to a big weekend.

The next meeting was set for Friday, July 18, 2008 at 1:00 p.m.



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