I normally don't write two entries in a day, but the Maryland slots issues is heating up (referendum on the issue is this November) and I found something in an article today in the Baltimore Sun that needs to be commmented on.
A gentleman who claims to be a taxpayer "advocate"...(hold on, let me stop there, aren't we all advocates of our tax money? Anyway...)says that a large portion of purse money set aside for Maryland racetracks is going to *gasp* out of state owners. He claims to be in favor of the slots (because he is "sick of hearing about it"), but its puzzling why he then issued this "report."
And what state would dare take money from Maryland race tracks? Why its Virginia!!! The Advocate points to the fact eight percent *double gasp* of purse money goes to Virginia owners. It is nothing to do with the fact that Virginia only has 47 days of racing and that maybe Virginia owners like to race at Maryland race tracks. Would the Advocate care if we took the horses to the other Mid-Atlantic tracks when Colonial closes down?
I will make bones about the fact that Maryland has been very good to Perfect Peace Farm. Its race tracks and breeding industry we believe are the best in the Mid-Atlantic. The slots vote will impact Virginia negatively if it fails. It is more expensive to ship to Pennsylvannia among other things. If it succeeds there will be those (i.e. Congressman Frank Wolf) who say Virginia will need slots to survive. No it won't. Even though the Maryland-Virginia Racing Circut Inc. is no longer, the two states still cooperate on racing dates and depend on each other for workers and horses. When Virginia is racing, Maryland is not, and vice versa. Effectively, we are Maryland South and that is not such a bad thing.
I have had my problems with Magna Entertainment (parent company of Pimlico and Laurel), but as for the horsemen of Maryland, I have no issue with and support them fully.