by Frank Vespe
Maryland Racing Commission chairman Bruce Quade will step down from that position, he announced at today’s regular monthly Commission meeting at Laurel Park. Quade had become chairman in mid-2013.
John McDaniel, a member of the Commission for some 30 years and a past chairman, will step back into the role of chairman and will preside over the Commission’s next public meeting, November 17, in that role. Quade will remain a member of the Commission.
“I’ve greatly enjoyed being chairman,” Quade said in an interview after the meeting. “I hope that the passion I have for racing has translated into some concrete contributions to the industry.”
Certainly, his fellow commissioners, and many in the industry, seem to think that’s the case. Quade is slated to receive an award next month from the Maryland Racing Media Association for his work. And several at the meeting rose to praise Quade’s tenure. Commissioner Mary Louise Preis called him a “very inclusive” chairman who took extra steps to involve the members of the Commission.
Cricket Goodall of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association and Alan Foreman, representing the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, added their voices to the chorus of goodwill.
And Bill Fasy, from Ocean Downs, chimed in, “My hat’s off to you.”
Quade himself cited a number of accomplishments by the Commission and the racing industry as a whole in Maryland. Those include:
- 10-year deal among the tracks, horsemen, and breeders to govern racing in the state;
- the state’s status as one of the leaders in adopting the Association of Racing Commissioners International’s national uniform medication policy;
- improvements to the state’s bonus programs for breeding and racing horses in Maryland, which came about as a result of efforts made by a task force convened by the Commission;
- the Commission’s aggressive response to a spate of breakdowns at Laurel Park in the early months of 2013 and subsequent formation of a health and safety task force.
All told, those steps have helped put Maryland racing on firmer ground within the state, and within the national industry, than it had been for many years.
“All of these have helped us build good rapport with Governor Hogan’s administration and with the General Assembly,” Quade said.
Quade, recently reappointed by the Hogan to an additional four-year term on the Commission, said that he hoped “to continue to contribute” to the Commission’s work and the industry’s growth in the years to come.
McDaniel, the incoming chairman, called it “a privilege and an honor to follow Bruce Quade” as chairman and said that he viewed his basic charge in the role as “to stay the course” that the Commission had charted in recent years.
NOTES FROM THE COMMISSION
- The Commission heard and rejected an appeal by trainer Dorothy Worton and jockey Caitlyn Stoddard of a disqualification of the horse Madbobandshan from the fourth race at Laurel on September 25. Stewards disqualified Madbobandshan, who won by a nose, after the horse drifted out and impeded Don’t Be Fooled, the fourth-place finisher, under what the official chart called “repeated left handed rousing,” and they slapped Stoddard with a three-day suspension for “careless riding.” Worton and Stoddard claimed that their horse had been clear of Don’t Be Fooled, had not impeded that runner, and in any case had not affected the order of placing. The Commission, however, sided with the stewards, who pointed out that Madbobandshan had drifted out several paths while being struck left-handed.
- The Commission congratulated the track and Maryland Million, Ltd. on a successful Maryland Million this past weekend.
- The Commission will review requests for racing dates for 2016 at its next meeting.
- On the sulky side, the Commission also rejected an appeal by trainer Joseph Hundertpfund, who had been suspended 45 days by Ocean Downs stewards after a pair of medication positives that Hundertpfund said stemmed from oral anti-allergy medication he gave to his horses. He had sought to have the penalty reduced — 30 of the 45 days came because the two penalties gave him three multiple medication violation points, triggering an automatic 30-day suspension — but the Commission noted that the regulations are prescriptive, requiring the penalty, rather than permissive (allowing it).
- Also on the sulky side, the Commission approved 48 days of live racing at Ocean Downs for 2016.