"I wish we could go to our state legislature and come up with that," commissioner Earnest Oare said in regard to $11 million worth of purse supplements New Jersey's Thoroughbred industry is expected to receive this year.John Mooney, president of the Virginia-Maryland Racing Circuit, said the majority of Maryland horsemen have told him they will race at Colonial Downs as long as purses average $200,000 a day. During past meets, Maryland-based horses have made up about 75% of the stock on the grounds.The Colonial Downs meet is scheduled for June 10-July 14. The Maryland racing schedule remains up in the air, though a Pimlico Race Course stakes schedule received by The Blood-Horse only goes through June 9. Traditionally, Maryland has had summer racing but hasn't raced in September and early October when Colonial Downs has been open.In other business, Colonial Downs hopes backstretch conditions will improve through capital improvements and increased services funded by revenue from pari-mutuel breakage. Projects include construction of a $200,000 bathhouse, and the planting of vegetation to control drainage and erosion.
"There are problems that go back to the construction of the facility (in 1997)," said Mooney, who discussed plans for a $150,000 upgrade to the satellite wagering facility in Richmond, Va.A breakage committee chaired by Peter Burnett, a member of the Virginia HBPA board of directors, submitted a $60,000 request to the racing commission to fund service programs for backstretch personnel.