Winbak News


Read below for the latest on Winbak Achievements and graduates.
Stories are from the leading industry news sources.

The Maryland Racing Commission at its April 2 meeting approved a recommendation from the Maryland Standardbred Race Fund Advisory Committee to offer $2.4 million in purses for the Maryland Sire Stakes and Maryland Standardbred Race Fund events in 2024.

The schedule for all the stakes at Rosecroft Raceway and Ocean Downs Casino was released earlier in the year.

The advisory committee noted this year’s amount is the highest ever for the MSS program and up slightly from 2023. Each of the MSS finals for 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds (16 events) will carry a purse of $87,500, and all preliminaries will carry a purse of $10,000. Last year, the finals went for $85,000.

There will be four MSS events for 4- and 5-year-olds — two for pacers and two for trotters — with total purses of $100,000.

The MSRF stakes, which are for 2- and 3-year-olds foaled in Maryland, will total about $400,000 with one race for each age, gait and sex. All of those events are held at Ocean Downs.

In other business, the MRC approved an update to the Ocean Downs capital investment plan for 2024. The amount is $452,950, with the largest expenses $190,000 for application of white protective coating for the roofs of five barns that house horses during race nights, qualifiers and training; and $102,000 for the racetrack’s share of a project to refurbish a water tower on the property.

The plan also notes Ocean Downs, owned by Churchill Downs Inc., is doing preliminary design and feasibility modeling for a hotel that could replace the existing clubhouse. It would include a new racing level and concessions facing the racing surface.

“Alternatively, if the hotel feasibility analysis does not show an acceptable rate of return can be garnered, we will also explore other possible racing improvements to continue to enhance the racing experience,” the plan states. “With these projects we expect to utilize a large percentage of available (Racetrack Facility Renewal Account) funds.”

Racetracks in Maryland have shared in one percent of casino video lottery terminal revenue that provides matching funds for capital improvement projects. RFRA in 2023 accumulated $13.1 million, 20 percent of which traditionally has been set aside for Ocean Downs and Rosecroft.