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Columbus, OH - With the suspension of harness racing for about three months during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, total wagering at all U.S. harness tracks for the year was down by 18.39 percent from $1,424,886,558 in 2019 to $1,162,848,201, a decrease of $263,038,357. In addition, the amount of purses distributed was down significantly by 30.82 percent. In 2020, horsemen earned a total of $304,059,115 a decrease of $135,486,904 from the $439,546,019 in 2019 purses. The 2,358 race days in 2020 was 1,066 less than the 3,424 race days in 2019, a 31.13 percent decrease. Despite all of the lost race days, the per race wagering average increased by 10.5 percent from $5,008 in 2019 to $5,534 in 2020. To better understand the negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic and the lengthy suspension of racing during 2020 had on the numbers, the economic indicators are broken down into three categories. 1. The year-to-year economic indicators for 2020 compared to 2019. 2. The "Before COVID" economic indicators before the shutdowns caused by the pandemic comparing Jan. 1 to March 22, 2020 to the same timeframe in 2019. 3. The "After COVID" economic indicators after tracks resumed racing following the shutdowns comparing June 1 to Dec. 31, 2020 to the same timeframe in 2019.               Following are the comparative economic indicators for U.S. harness racing from 2019 to 2020. ECONOMIC INDICATORS ON U.S. RACES YEAR-TO-YEAR COMPARISON Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2020   2020 2019 % Change Total Wagered $1,162,848,201 $1,424,886,558 -18.39% Per Race avg. $45,140 $39,991 +12.87% Per Betting Interest $5,534 $5,008 +10.50% Purses $304,059,115 $439,546,019 -30.82% Race Days 2,358 3,424 -31.13%   BEFORE COVID Jan. 1 – March 22, 2020   2020 2019 % Change Total Wagered $299,074,258 $315,189,172 -5.11% Per Race avg. $52,756 $56,976 -7.41% Per Betting Interest $6,594 $6,975 -5.46% Purses $53,949,205 $52,804,155 +2.17% Race Days 474 455 +4.18%   AFTER COVID June 1 – Dec. 31, 2020   2020 2019 % Change Total Wagered $844,385,389 $796,464,289 +6.02% Per Race avg. $42,414 $35,097 +20.85% Per Betting Interest $5,173 $4,414 +17.20% Purses $248,668,418 $306,707,985 -18.92% Race Days 1,866 2,339 -20.22%   “Obviously it was a very difficult year for everyone in harness racing, especially for our horsemen, racetracks and everyone whose employment depends on our industry,” said USTA Executive Vice President and CEO Mike Tanner. “All of them should be commended for their efforts and compliance with the required health and safety measures that allowed us to return to racing. And we’d like to thank all of our loyal harness racing fans for their continued support through tough times.” Please note:  The information above includes U.S. and Canadian common and separate pool wagers on races contested in the U.S. Dan Leary Director of Marketing and Communications  

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2021. While the holiday season normally is a quiet one for harness racing, that was not the case most recently. On the evening of Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, the Horseracing Integrity & Safety Act (HISA) was passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives as part of a 5,539 page omnibus spending bill. President Trump signed the bill into law several days later. Here's what every USTA member should know. *HISA is scheduled to go into effect no later than July 1, 2022. The Federal Trade Commission will oversee a rule-making process that eventually will establish and approve the medication control and racetrack safety programs to be enforced by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (Authority). Letters have already gone out to Thoroughbred stakeholders asking recipients to suggest nominees for the Authority's board of directors. *The entity will be costly to the industry, but that price has yet to be determined. The new law stipulates that the Authority initially will be funded by loans taken out to fund its expenses, which will then be repaid by fees assessed to the state racing commissions. It is widely believed that a per-start surcharge will be implemented. *The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is identified within the new law as the medication control enforcement body that will be the foundation of the Authority. *The new law does not specifically mention harness racing, and, indeed, some proponents of the legislation frequently questioned why the USTA was opposing a measure that did not include Standardbreds. However, the law contains an opt-in provision for each state racing commission to elect to have additional breeds covered by the law, and the financial implications for state racing commissions, as expressed clearly in a September press release from the Association of Racing Commissioners International (https://www.arci.com/2020/09/federal-bill-may-incentivize-states-to-defund-anti-doping-and-medication-rule-enforcement/), are such that many commissions will have no choice except to bring Standardbred and Quarter Horse racing into the federal fold. *The new law effectively removes medication control from the state racing commissions. The commissions will continue to perform all other traditional functions, including licensing and general oversight. State racing licenses will still be required for participants, and it is likely that a national license also will be required for owners, trainers, etc. *The new law specifies that all race day medication, including Lasix, is to be phased out and ultimately prohibited. It does allow for a Lasix study to be performed, but for any changes to be implemented, the entire nine-person board of directors must unanimously agree that the following conditions are met: 1. That the modification is warranted. 2. That the modification is in the best interests of horse racing. 3. That furosemide has no performance enhancing effect on individual horses. 4. That public confidence in the integrity and safety of horse racing would not be adversely affected by the modification. Given that all four conditions are subjective, rather than objective, and that all nine handpicked board members, rather than a majority, must be in agreement in order for the policy to be changed, it's probably safe to say that Lasix will be off the table in any harness racing jurisdiction that opts into the Authority. *In addition to medication control, use of the whip/crop also would be regulated by the Authority as it is considered a racetrack safety issue. Other matters under the racetrack safety umbrella likely will include track surface composition and conditioning, in addition to pre-race examination and testing. There remains a long road ahead as the enactment of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act is contemplated. The USTA, under advisement from its attorneys, remains convinced that the new law is unconstitutional, and has grave concerns about its potential impact upon the harness racing industry. The Association continues to evaluate this issue and explore its options. Further developments will be reported as they occur. Dan Leary Director of Marketing and Communications

Nichols, NY – Tioga Downs will host the first harness racing Grand Circuit stake of the 2020 season when the 1st leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters comes to the Southern Tier of New York on Sunday (June 14). The draw for the June 14 card will be on Thursday (June 11) with a box closing at 9 a.m. Electronic entry for the Graduate Series is now available on etrack. Be advised that post time for all Tioga Downs race cards will be 4 p.m. on Sunday and Monday for the month of June. Horses shipping in for stakes will be assigned stalls in a ship-in barn and will remain in those stalls through the race. There is no detention and the track asks horsemen to ship up day of the race and ship back out as soon as practically possible. The NY COVID-19 protocol is available on the web and the practices are much like they are at Meadowlands. We are pleased to host the Graduate Series and other stakes but must insist that these guidelines are followed explicitly as to not jeopardize the track’s status. The Graduate Pacing Leg #1, Roll With Joe Open Pacing Stake and the NYSS for 3-year-old filly trotters will all be raced on Sunday (June 21). Questions should be directed to the racing office at 607.699.7688. Dan Leary

Racetracks and horse owners eligible for PPP loans under new guidance from the SBA Friday, April 24, 2020, from the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association Owings Mills, MD — The Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association announced Friday, April 24 that the Small Business Administration today has issued new guidance clarifying that racetracks and small entities such as horse ownership entities are eligible for loans under the Paycheck Protection Loan Program. The new guidance is as follows: “d. Part III.2.b. of the Third PPP Interim Final Rule (85 FR 21747, 21751) is revised to read as follows: Are businesses that receive revenue from legal gaming eligible for a PPP Loan? A business that is otherwise eligible for a PPP Loan is not rendered ineligible due to its receipt of legal gaming revenues, and 13 CFR 120.110(g) is inapplicable to PPP loans. Businesses that received illegal gaming revenue remain categorically ineligible. On further consideration, the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary, believes this approach is more consistent with the policy aim of making PPP loans available to a broad segment of U.S. businesses.” This guidance makes clear that while the exclusion for entities that receive revenue from legal gambling activities does not apply, the entity must still satisfy the other loan requirements. We are grateful to the NTRA and THA representatives on Capitol Hill for getting this done. Dan Leary Director of Marketing and Communications U.S. Trotting Association | 6130 S. Sunbury Rd. | Westerville, OH 43081-3909

Phil Langley, 83, president of the USTA for 13 years, died April 11, 2020. He was elected as a USTA director in 1983 and became president in 2003 before resigning at the close of 2016. His leadership at the USTA was characterized by great advances in technology, such as online entry for races at all levels and a social media presence that made it possible for people across the globe to follow racing's people and horses at any time, on any electronic device. Mr. Langley, a native of Wisconsin, learned about racing from his father, who was a mailman, restaurant owner and in the 1930s, took over administration of the Elkhorn Fair and later the Wisconsin State Fair. "I learned to read by helping my dad figure out which horses qualified for a race," Mr. Langley said. As a boy, he saw the 1943 Hambletonian winner Volo Song race at Elkhorn, Wisc,, where his father was race secretary. The trotter suffered a fatal broken bone and had to be euthanized, a memory that stayed with Mr. Langley throughout his life. "My dad stayed with him at the vets until they gave up. Sad day in Elkhorn," he said decades later. Mr. Langley graduated from Dartmouth University in 1959 with a history degree, a passion he continued as a racing official, with a Standardbred library whose titles stretched back to the Civil War. Mr. Langley's career as a race secretary and executive centered on the Chicago tracks, and he held management positions at Sportsman's Park and was director of racing at Balmoral and Maywood Park. He was part of the ownership group of both those tracks. He was inducted into the Illinois Harness Horsemen's Hall of Fame in 1994 and into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y., where he was also a trustee, in 2007. Mr. Langley served as a member of the Illinois Department of Agriculture Advisory Committee and the Racing Industry Charitable Committee, which served the needs of backstretch employees. Mr. Langley worked with both the Illinois and Du Quoin State Fairs on their harness racing meets for many years in an advisory capacity. As a horse owner, his top performer was Thisbigdogwilfight p,5,1:49.1, a winner of $978,789 lifetime. Mr. Langley is survived by his wife, Margo; son, Dr. Pete; daughters, Kate and Meg; and five grandchildren. Dan Leary Director of Marketing and Communications U.S. Trotting Association | 6130 S. Sunbury Rd. | Westerville, OH 43081-3909

Dresden, ON – The last time harness racing driver Gene Piroski got his picture taken in the winner’s circle was September 29, 2012, but Sunday could change that. The Cottam teamster scored his last win behind St. Lads Zoom at Hiawatha Horse Park in Sarnia. Piroski’s trademark black colors with white polka dots was a fan favorite at Dresden Raceway, but when Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal Government reneged on their memorandum of understand with Ontario Horsepeople and cancelled the Slots at Racetracks Program, he saw the writing on the wall and left the business. “It was pretty obvious that the harness racing industry was going to suffer and I didn’t want my family to suffer. I had to feed them the best way I know how, so I changed professions without having to pick up and move my family.” Piroski said. The 46-year-old driver left Ontario and worked out west for two years before coming back and landing a job at Chrysler in Windsor, but something was missing in his life. “I’ve been in this business my whole life and I love it. Leamington is just 15 minutes down the road and tracks like Dresden and Sarnia are perfect. I’m excited to be back in the bike and hope that I can hit 2,000 wins before I’m done,” he added. Piroski’s lifelong passion for harness racing never died and now he is back driving ready to build on his 1,686 victories and more than $9 million in purses earned. “It’s almost perfect that I can work all week, and then on weekends, I can drive horses.  It’s so nice to be back,” he said with a big smile. Piroski will be at the controls for 2-1 morning line favorite Darktwistedfantasy in the second race at Dresden Raceway. Darktwistedfantasy is looking to break the C100,000 lifetime earnings mark for Megan Meekison of Belmont with a win. The 8-year-old Artistic Fella mare has carded 21 wins and has C$98,986 in the bank. Sunday is Legion Day at Dresden Raceway as Legion members will be honored with the first 50 Legion members receiving free hats as well as a race named in their honor. Post time for the 10-race card is set for 1:30 p.m. By Dan Leary

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