09/12/2013 10:21AM

Expanded Maryland owner, breeder incentives to begin with Laurel Park meet

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Expanded incentive programs for owners and breeders of Maryland-breds will go into effect in the state beginning with the start of the Laurel Park fall meet on Sept. 19.

The program will be rolled out and expanded over a three-year period, beginning next week, where breeders will receive a 30 percent bonus payout for Maryland-bred horses that finish in the top three of any race at a Maryland racetrack, and a 10 percent stallion bonus. The owner bonus awards will continue with the current program of 17.5 percent to the winner through the remainder of the year.

In 2014, the Maryland-bred owner’s incentive program will expand to the top three finishers. The owner’s award percentage will remain at 17.5 percent for maiden, allowance, and claiming races with a tag of $10,000 and up.

By 2015, both Maryland-bred breeder and owner bonuses will be set at 30 percent for the top three finishers of all races.

The program was implemented following a nearly yearlong study by an industry task force that examined similar programs in states including Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New York.

“This incentive program will result in more Maryland-bred runners to help fill our races, and it validates the faith that Annapolis legislators have placed in us to grow the business of racing and breeding horses in Maryland,” said Tom Chuckas, president of the Maryland Jockey Club which runs Laurel and Pimlico Race Course.