Efforts of CSOA, MSBA and Penn National Gaming Payoff as Rosecroft Announces Plans for 2015
(Fort Washington, MD – September 11, 2014) Since reemerging from bankruptcy in 2011 under the direction of Penn National Gaming, Rosecroft Raceway has provided an economic kick start to the Maryland Standardbred industry.
Since reopening of the racetrack in the fall of 2011 the focus at Rosecroft has been on directing racing opportunities and increasing purses towards Maryland horses and horsemen. Penn National Gaming has established a preference system benefitting Maryland horsemen who are racing at Rosecroft that provides for maximum opportunity for Maryland connected horses.
Horses with a Maryland connection (those owned or trained by Maryland residents or bred, sired or foaled in-state) enjoy a 100% entry preference at Rosecroft Raceway—a first in the industry and the only racetrack in Maryland to offer this benefit to Marylanders. During the 2014 winter-spring meet over 80% of the purses earned were directed to horses and horsemen under this Maryland preference system.
Based on that success, Penn National, Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners’ Association (CSOA), and the Maryland Standardbred Breeders Association (MSBA) agreed to a contract extension that will guarantee live racing at Rosecroft through 2014 with extension options through 2015. All parties agreed that this was a very positive development for the Maryland Standardbred industry.
“We are delighted to report that Rosecroft has agreed to apply for 2015 race dates which means that the revitalization of Maryland Standardbred racing and breeding will continue. We are very grateful for the extension,” said Thomas Cooke, President of CSOA.
“We were all desperately disappointed that the casino in Prince George’s County was not awarded to Rosecroft. It would have been an easy choice for Penn National to walk away after that but they have shown their commitment to our horsemen and the employees of Rosecroft,” Cooke continued.
“CSOA and our colleagues at MSBA are now working on a long term solution that provides monies to offset the expenses of running live racing so we can enjoy a long term racing future in Maryland. We are very confident that we can reach that goal and really appreciate the fact that our horsemen can enjoy earning opportunities in 2015 while we work with the Maryland legislature to get this job done,” concluded Cooke.
The Standardbred industry supports more than 1600 direct jobs, has more than $66,000,000 in assets committed in Maryland and protects more than 18,000 acres of green space in Maryland. Rosecroft is a historic institution in Prince George’s County and is in its’ 65th year of operation.
MSBA President Dan Myer commented, “Successful overnight racing is the key to establishing a revitalized breeding industry in Maryland. Our horsemen need a place to race their horses and we appreciate Penn National’s commitment to Maryland Standardbred racing as a whole. This commitment to live racing and to preserving the future of Rosecroft is greatly appreciated.
Myer further stated, “I am very pleased to see Rosecroft’s commitment to building the Maryland Sires Stakes program. The Maryland Sires Stakes is the lifeblood of the breeding industry in Maryland. The MSBA is so pleased to see the growth in numbers of stallions standing and mares being bred in Maryland. Since 2011, the number of stallions in the state has tripled with 35 standing in 2014. Along with the increase in stallions, this has also enticed the owners of mares to bred to those stallions going from 65 in 2011 to approximately 250 in 2014. This ongoing commitment from Rosecroft will help the Maryland Sires Stakes program grow further. MSBA looks forward to working with CSOA to create a positive environment where the industry thrives. We will be working with Members of the Maryland legislature to create a long term future for the Standardbred industry.”