Md. Panel Revokes Approval For Simulcasts At Rosecroft

Horse Racing

April 29, 2009|By Bill Ordine

The Maryland Racing Commission revoked Tuesday its approval that allowed Rosecroft Raceway to receive televised thoroughbred racing for simulcast wagering.

The commission's action, effective at midnight Wednesday, came as a result of Rosecroft's failure to pay the state's thoroughbred industry - namely the Maryland Jockey Club, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and the Maryland Horse Breeders Association - a premium required under a 2006 agreement.

Kelley Rogers, who runs Cloverleaf Enterprises Inc., which owns Rosecroft, promised to be in court Wednesday to seek emergency relief from the commission's order. The Prince George's County track had been the site of harness racing and is still used to stable horses but now offers racing only on television.

Under the 2006 agreement, Rosecroft is required to pay the thoroughbred industry $5.9 million a year to use the thoroughbred signal. The prorated amount owed for this year is about $2 million. To date, Rosecroft has paid nothing in 2009.

Rogers expressed regret but said his company needs a new deal with the thoroughbred industry, one that reflects the declining revenues at his facility. Rogers said the handle at Rosecroft has declined from about $110 million when the agreement was reached to a projected $69 million this year. He said that he wants the premium lowered to $2 million.

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