Deal in Place to Increase PA Mount Fees

from the Pennsylvania Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association

The Pennsylvania Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association has reached an agreement with the Jockeys’ Guild and Jockeys at Penn National Inc. to increase the minimum losing mount fee to $75 for all finishes below third-place.

The Jockeys’ Guild represents riders at Presque Isle Downs & Casino, while Jockeys at Penn National Inc. represents riders at Hollywood Casino at Penn National. The parties at Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack previously struck a deal on losing mount fees.

“Now that we have integrated purses from gaming into the overall purse structure, we have come to the point where this increase can be accommodated by increasing the losing purse to owners to $200 per horse or the existing percentage, whichever is greater,” Pennsylvania HBPA president Joe Santanna said. “It is a win-win situation, and we are fortunate to be in the position to take this action.  I applaud the representatives from each jockeys’ organization for the professional manner that culminated in the action.”

While the increase in both losing jockey mount fees and owners losing purses will occur Aug. 20 at Penn National, both increases will be delayed at Presque Isle until an agreement is reached between the racetrack and the Pennsylvania HBPA on increasing the owners’ losing purse.

Though in agreement on the increase in the jockey mount fee, officials at Presque Isle rejected the request for the owner increase, the horsemen’s group said. Negotiations will continue.

“We’re happy to have an agreement with the Pennsylvania HBPA at Presque Isle Downs for the remainder of the 2008 season,” said Terry Meyocks, national manager of the Jockeys’ Guild. “We hope the HBPA and Presque Isle Downs can quickly work out their disagreement so that the new agreement is implemented.”