At a meeting last week, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association’s (MTHA) board of directors voted for the second time to endorse a rule allowing claims to be voided.

The new rule endorsed by the organization will, if implemented, void claims in two circumstances:

  1. the claimed horse dies during the running of the race; or
  2. the claimed horse suffers an injury which requires the euthanasia of the horse as determined by a State Veterinarian.

The Maryland Racing Commission is expected to consider — and likely will adopt — the modified rule at its meeting tomorrow.

The new rule endorsed by the MTHA is a narrower version of one that the organization had supported during the summer.  That rule — which would also have allowed claims to be voided for up to an hour following the running of a race when a horse had been vanned off — won conditional approval from the Racing Commission.

However, that approval was conditioned on review by the Maryland Jockey Club, which operates the two major tracks in Maryland, and the Commission’s own further analysis.  Ultimately, both the MJC and the Commission raised concerns, and the rule was scrapped.

So far during the Laurel meet, it is believed that one claimed horse was euthanized following the race from which it was claimed.