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Emerald Downs

Muckleshoot Indian Tribe

Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association

Washington Horse Racing Commission

President's Message - Pre-February 2010

Greetings to the members of the WHBPA. I am sending this message for February out a little bit early,
due to my excitement for the beginning of the 2010 season at Emerald Downs. I will look forward to
seeing many of you that I know at the Quarter Chute Café in the coming weeks. And for those I do not
know on sight, if you recognize me, please feel encouraged to say hello.

As we indicated in our special message, 2010 is off to a great start thanks to the economic development
contribution of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. They have been formally thanked by Emerald Downs
management, the Washington Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association, and by our
organization. This is an important and necessary “leg up” to our industry, which is struggling along with
the national economy.

As previously described to you in a prior message, Emerald Downs track management has asked the
Washington Horse Racing Commission for 90 days of racing, which was approved, subject to potential
modest revision. However, in light of the current economic circumstances, those days come with a bit
of a change in the racing calendar, and a variation in the number of days of preparation time versus
most recent prior years. Emerald Downs will accept horses into the barn areas on Friday, January 29,
2010, and will commence the training calendar on Monday, February 1, 2010. In order to maximize the
potential for on-track attendance and wagering (and the related purse structure impacts) Emerald
Downs has determined that they want to commence racing earlier this year, and racing will start on
Friday, April 9, 2009. This is a great weekend to get going, as it precedes the Mariners home opener by
one week. Racing is scheduled to end on the 26th of September.

Your board was asked to approve a variance in the number of days of training available prior to start the
season, and we did so, wanting to maximize the potential number of days in the racing calendar. We
believe that shortening the training period is not ideal, but affects only the first weekend of racing.
Second, and very importantly, there is a SIGNIFICANT CHANGE in the manner in which the Labor &
Industries department will be assessing and collecting premiums this year, and it is VERY IMPORTANT
that each trainer licensed in the state become aware of the changes and the responsibilities that they
are facing as a result. This information can be found on our website, www.whbpa.com, will be posted at
the track, will likely be given out by the Washington Horse Racing Commission to trainer licensees upon
their re-licensing this year, and can be explained in greater detail by MaryAnn O’Connell or Lanna Allen,
at the WHBPA offices. We will plan on providing information to our trainers to provide them with an
understanding of “what” is going on and “how to” comply with the new laws.

Third, as a reminder, the Washington Horse Racing Commission passed a rule regarding the lay-off of
claiming horses which allows a horse that has not raced in 180 days to return to the races in a claiming
race safe from being claimed in its first return race. This is a significant advantage to those of our
owners and trainers that give their horses the entire winter off, and then bring them back to the races.
There are a limited number of specific rules relating to this, and very critically, one MUST indicate AT
THE TIME OF ENTRY that the horse is entered exempt-from-claim, or the benefit cannot be conferred
after the fact. We consider this to be a very good rule, allowing folks to give horses the time off they
need after injury (or just a long season) and to not risk the loss of the horse after incurring the cost to
ready it again for competition. Make sure you get and read a copy of WAC 260-60-405, which is
available in summary at our website or by a link from our website, www.whbpa.com.

Fourth, an emerging issue in our industry has to do with the unwanted horse. This is becoming a
significant issue, both in terms of action being taken on the part of animal rights people, as a matter of
perception of our industry. We have heard recent stories about folks, including some of our current and
recent members, receiving calls from animal rights people threatening them with action due to a horse
that was formerly in their care being found in an auction pen, apparently about to be sold for nonrecreational
purposes. While this is disturbing itself, it can also be problematic when one is accused of or
linked in some way to the horse’s past with a threat of ongoing financial responsibility. We will be
learning more about this issue and communicating it to our members.

Very importantly, however, is the moral responsibility that we have for these horses once their racing
days are over. Emerald Downs sponsors the “Prodigious Fund” which is a manner for each of us to
contribute to the care of horses that are past their racing days. We each have individual moral
responsibility for these horses, of course, but there are persons who shirk that responsibility and we must
take collective action to assist in this matter. Emerald Downs has asked that owners designate an
amount for each start to go to the Prodigious Fund; each of the last two years, they have matched the
amounts donated by the owners into this fund. Typically, an owner is asked to sign up for an amount
with the Horsemen’s Bookkeeper when picking up their credentials. As little as $1 per start is suggested,
but I would like to ask those who can to step up and help in a bigger way. My wife and I have donated
$25 per start each of the last two years, and we will continue to do so as long as we are able (much
easier in 2008 with about 10 wins than in 2009 with 0!). We, and others, also provide an annual check to
local horse retraining facilities; for those of us with memory issues, you can also consider signing up to
have regular monthly withdrawals made from a checking account to go to the benefit of these programs.

This is yet another of the image issues facing our industry. Those of us who know and admire these
animals take responsibility for their care and after-care, but there are a number of examples wherein
others, many outside the thoroughbred industry, give us a bad stain from their neglect or other actions
that are considered uncaring. Please consider doing what you can when signing up for your credentials
to assist the Prodigious Fund – remember, every dollar that you contribute is worth two, thanks to the
matching contribution of Emerald Downs.

Fifth, and last among the “news” items, I am planning to hold an informational meeting of the WHBPA
membership in the next few weeks. I will try to do so on a weekend, and I will buy the coffee. Once
training is underway, I will find out some logistics and announce it by email and posting around the
track. My intention is that this will be a rather informal meeting, with an introduction of your Board
members present, a brief report from me, a report from MaryAnn O’Connell providing you with
information on the Labor & Industries issues, an update on immigration issues, a calendar of upcoming
information, and a question and answer session. I also plan to ask a few questions of those of you in
attendance. Please feel encouraged to join us as we kick-off the 2010 racing year together.

If you have questions with things that your WHBPA can assist you with, please feel encouraged to
contact the WHBPA office, at 253 804 6822. Either Lanna or MaryAnn will be happy to be of assistance
to you.

Since this message is a bit premature for February, I will also be sending you another message following
our February 9 board meeting and the Washington Horse Racing Commission meeting on February 11.
The Commission is looking at a couple of rule changes that will likely be of interest to our members.

Looking forward to seeing you soon,

Ron Maus

If you have comments or questions, I can be reached at ron@buffalostables.com.

 

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