Mountaineer Cancels, But Dispute Resolved

Mountaineer will miss a night of racing because of a jockeys' boycott.

Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort will resume live racing May 8 after canceling May 7 because of a jockeys’ boycott tied to mount fees.

The dispute with the Mountaineer Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association over mount fees was tentatively resolved the evening of May 6 and awaits approval by the full Mountaineer HBPA board. Details weren’t immediately available.

Mountaineer director of racing Rose Mary Williams confirmed racing wouldn’t be held Friday night because mounts hadn’t been accepted for the card. Jockeys, some of which haven’t ridden this year or last year, are named to ride on Saturday’s program; it remains to be seen if the track’s regular riders pick up those mounts.

The losing mount fee at Mountaineer has been $50 in races in which the purse is $8,200-$13,100, and jockeys have sought an increase. The top losing mount in an overnight race is $65.

A per-start fee that was implemented this year as part of a new contract between the track and horsemen's group could have a been factor in the dispute. For races in which the purse is $8,200-$18,900, horsemen must pay $15 per starter. The figure increases to $25 for overnight races in which the purse is $19,600-$37,400.