Ed Martin Jr., who authored the Indiana-bred incentive program and was very much involved in the start-up of Thoroughbred racing at Hoosier Park in 1995, said he would announce his resignation from the Indiana Horse Racing Commission during an awards dinner March 2.
Martin, who operates car dealerships in the Indianapolis area, has been a Thoroughbred owner and breeder for years. He chaired the Thoroughbred Development Advisory Committee since its inception, then accepted an invitation from the governor to serve on the racing commission.
Martin, an Indiana native, will leave the regulatory panel June 30.
"My term was to expire on Sept. 1, 2003, and for the past two years I have been breeding and buying Indiana-breds in preparation to participate in Indiana-bred racing immediately after my term was to expire," Martin said in a letter. "Since I own two Indiana-breds that will be ready to compete at this year's Hoosier Park meet, I have chosen to leave the commission a year early."
Racing commissioners can own horses, but they can't race in Indiana. Martin has raced his horses, including the nice turf horse Conscience Clear, in other states, including Kentucky. Conscience Clear, by Relaunch, was retired from racing and now stands at Swifty Farms in Indiana.
"Serving the state as a regulator has exposed me to a side of the horse racing industry that is served by people who have to make very tough and unpopular decisions in their quest to do what they think is in the best interest and integrity of our industry," Martin said.
Martin, who visits the Kentucky bloodstock sales, was featured in a story in The Blood-Horse in January 2000 and dubbed "Mr. Indiana." He purchased his first Thoroughbred in 1986, and hasn't looked back since. In his March 1 letter, he said it was time to hang a sign in his window that says, "Gone Racin'!"
"There were issues in Indiana I wanted to be involved in," Martin said. "But now it's time to get back to where the excitement is."
Martin owns 10 broodmares, several of which will foal in Indiana. "With the horses I have in the pipline, it's time to move on," he said.