New York Thoroughbred Breeders Propose Plan To Expand 'Resident Mare' Eligibility, New York-Sired Incentives - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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New York Thoroughbred Breeders Propose Plan To Expand ‘Resident Mare’ Eligibility, New York-Sired Incentives

Following is an open letter to breeders from Jeffrey Cannizzo, executive director of New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc.

Last November I summarized proposals arising from discussions over a year ago among a wide spectrum of program stakeholders about ways to attract new broodmares into New York's program. A shrinking foal crop and the coming retirement of a generation of our most prolific and successful breeders (responsible for as much as 20 percent of our state foal crop annually) make it essential to restock our mare population. The stark reality is that the New York Racing Association's commitment (per the franchise agreement) to run 600 state-bred races annually will no longer be binding if the program cannot sustain a New York-bred population sufficient to fill the races. Breeders and stallion owners alike agreed that it is essential to remove barriers that are currently keeping new owners from bringing mares into the state.

The gaming commission and executive chamber received the proposal in late 2019. We have received notice the executive chamber (regulatory review unit) approved the publication of the draft rule change in the Department of State Register Aug. 26, initiating a period of public comment lasting 60 days when breeders and other interested parties can respond in writing to the proposed rule.

Click here to read the proposed rule.

The public comment period for this proposed rule will run through Oct. 26. After the public comment period runs, the Fund will be in a position to adopt the proposed rule. If there are public comments received before Oct. 26, the Fund board will need to be apprised, evaluate those public comments, and decide whether to accept any of them. If the Fund board wishes to accept a public comment that would result in a modification of the proposal, it may then issue a Notice of Revised Rule-making, which would need to again be approved by the Regulatory Review Unit, be published as a Revised Rule Making in the State Register, and be subject to a further public comment period.

As I outlined last year, the most important change is to open “resident mare” status to “Mares from Public Auction” purchased for at least $50,000 (or an amount to be determined annually by the Fund). After dropping a New York-bred foal, such a mare would not (as currently) be obliged to breed back to a New York sire. Instead, she could go to an out-of-state stallion, but only so long as she returns to New York after that breeding and maintains “Resident Mare” status (according to existing rules) until the birth of that second foal.

This is a rule that many of our competing neighboring breeding states currently follow. In fact, they permit mares to be purchased and brought in their states with no minimum purchase price threshold or floor, such as Pennsylvania and Ontario.

Another change aims to reduce the shipping burden on owners of resident mares who currently raise foals in Kentucky. A resident mare going out of state to be bred would be allowed to stay away for 120 days (rather than 90 days) so her new foal can be weaned before she returns to New York. Finally, the 90-day period that a non-resident mare must currently stay in New York after foaling would begin “on arrival” rather than “after foaling.”

It is important to point out that stallion owners involved in our discussions have endorsed the kinds of measures outlined above, agreeing that attracting new mares or breeders will benefit the program as a whole. At the same time, I've been successful at brokering an agreement between NYRA and the Fund to further support our stallion population, creating a $5,000 owners' bonus (by purse money) for New York-sired winners in various maiden and allowance conditions (both state-bred and open) with a potential value of more than $650,000 annually. This commitment has been signed by both NYRA and the Fund and will be instituted a year after the rule change officially takes place.

None of this, however, means that any rule change has been put in place; this officially kicks off an elaborately choreographed State-controlled process of review, comment, and possible revision before the proposed rule change is adopted or rejected.

I urge you to make your views known during the public comment period. The outcome of this process will be a transparent, open format, in the hands of the entire program and all constituents.   To comment by October 26th you must send in writing to [email protected] or by mail:

Tracy Egan, Executive Director
New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund
One Broadway Center, 1st Floor, Schenectady, NY 12305

The timeline is such that if there are no comments requiring a change to the rule, the Fund board could submit its approval to the State for finalization before the November sales. The State will then incorporate the new rules which could take weeks administratively. However, it is important to note the rule as written will apply to all mares bought from public auction 2019 forward who've followed the new protocols.

Lastly, New York has reopened indoor businesses such as bowling alleys, museums, and gyms. Schools are reopening. If they can all open successfully, hopefully the casinos may get their chance to open sooner than a 2021 timeline. NYRA is functioning in this reduced environment and surviving. Yes, it's for reduced days and purses. Rest assured, NYTB and NYTHA are working to ensure there will be a winter meet at Aqueduct under these same principles. You can count on that happening.

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