06/18/2015 6:29PM

Maryland Racing Commission approves breeding fund cuts

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The Maryland Racing Commission approved a plan on Tuesday to slow outgoing monies from the Maryland-bred fund through the end of the year, The Racing Biz reports.

The Commission approved plans to reduce the purses of Maryland’s seven remaining state-bred stakes to $50,000, and eliminate the 10 percent Maryland-sired bonus for Maryland-breds who finish in the money at a track in the state. The reductions are expected to save the fund roughly $700,000.

The remainder of the state’s Maryland-bred incentive structure will remain untouched. The program offers a 30 percent bonus to the owners and breeders of Maryland-breds who finish in the money at one of the state’s tracks and a 10 percent stallion owners’ bonus for offspring who finish in the money in Maryland.

Commission members told The Racing Biz that the decision was made due to the combination of slower than anticipated revenue from slot machines and an overwhelming interest in the state’s breeding incentives, which created the potential for a financial shortfall if left unattended.

Also approved during Tuesday’s meeting was a proposal to host a Maryland-bred day at Laurel Park in the late summer, which would include at least three of the year’s remaining state-bred stakes races and five other races restricted to Maryland-breds.

The card would vary from Laurel’s signature Maryland Millions card, which is restricted to Maryland-sired horses, but foaled in any state.

The Maryland Horse Breeders Association pledged up to $200,000 to put toward the non-stakes races on the card in return for the Maryland Jockey Club and Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association helping the organization recoup through giving up part of the card’s handle. The MTHA would discuss the plan at its annual membership meeting the following day.