Once again, a proposal by Governor Tom Wolf to take $199 million from the Race Horse Development Fund Trust to redirect to his Tuition Program is circulating in Harrisburg.
We are working hard to remind the Governor of the historical context of the law he himself signed a revision to in 2017, which protects the slot money in an encumbered trust for the horseracing industry of Pennsylvania, and in turn provides over 1.6 billion dollars in economic activity each year.
Pennsylvania racing has already taken a number of hits due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are optimistic that the state legislature will again reject this proposal.
Still, just the mention of a raid on the fund is enough to scare off prospective breeders, despite the lucrative incentives for PA-Breds in our state.
Raiding the fund seems easier than proposing a tax increase, because a vote is not needed.
Moreover, most voters never realize that the current legislation supplements local property taxes.
ALL THE horsemen in Pennsylvania need to work together in solidarity to remind the legislature of the vast economic impact and good jobs that racing provides, and your PTHA is working to do just that.
As mentioned before, the Live Racing Agreement between the Horsemen and Parx Management has been extended to March 31st, 2021.
Negotiations for the 2021 Live Racing Agreement are still in motion, and the present terms will remain active until a new agreement is entered into.
Please stand by, as more information on the new agreement will be announced as soon as decisions are made.
I understand that there has been a considerable amount of dissatisfaction due to the recent race cancellations at Parx.
Please keep in mind that we have seen significantly more snow than the past couple of years, and fluctuations in moisture and temperature that make the track less manageable.
It is in our best interest to keep our horses and riders safe from harm, and the decision to cancel is left to our Jockeys' and Management’s best judgement.
We should trust in their professionalism and experience as to what conditions are favorable for a successful race day.
We all want to run, but safety first.
We can be proud to have some promising horses training at Parx that are garnering national attention, with Capo Kane placing third in the Withers at Aqueduct and possibly headed to the Gotham Stakes next month for owners Bing Cherry and Leonard Liberto, and Remsen winner Brooklyn Strong for owner Mark Schwartz and Danny Velazquez.
Add Champion Filly Vequist and we all have some great racing to look forward to!