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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 99-1665




[58 PA. CODE CHS. 163 AND 165]

Rules of Racing

[29 Pa.B. 5094]

   The State Horse Racing Commission (Commission), acting under authority conferred by section 202(a) of the Race Horse Industry Reform Act (4 P. S. § 325.202(a)), hereby amends Chapters 163 and 165 (relating to rules of racing; and administrative rules).

   The Commission reviewed this order and considered its purpose and likely impact in accordance with Executive Order 1996-1, ''Regulatory Review and Promulgation.'' This order will help clarify and update the present rules of racing and bring them into conformance with surrounding racing jurisdictions. This order also addresses a compelling public interest and is otherwise in compliance with Executive Order 1996-1.

Notice and Comments

   Notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 28 Pa.B. 4797 (September 26, 1998). These final-form regulations are being adopted with changes to the proposed rulemaking. The Commission only received comments from one individual commentator and from the Honorable Senator Robert J. Thompson, Vice Chairperson of the Senate State Government Committee. The Commission also received comments and suggested changes from the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC). The comments and the Commission's response follow:

Section 163.95. Coupled entries

   The individual commentator expressed his concern that the uncoupling of entries for horses entered by the same trainer could lead to hidden ownership of horses or other devious acts. The Commission presumes the individual commentator was in essence referring to possible collusion between trainers and jockeys to affect the outcome or fix the race. As the Commission explained in its proposed rulemaking, in today's heavily regulated thoroughbred industry and in light of the extensive recordkeeping requirements and significant investigative capabilities, the potential for hidden ownership or collusion has been greatly diminished, if not completely eradicated. Nevertheless, the Commission is ever mindful of its legislative mandate to protect the integrity of the sport and pari-mutuel wagering system for patrons in this Commonwealth. Accordingly, the Commission believes the benefit of the uncoupling amendment to the patron exceeds the potential risk of hidden ownership.

   IRRC stated that the language of § 163.95(b) was not consistent with the Commission's overall intention of removing the restriction for trainers from the coupled entry rule. IRRC suggested appropriate language, which would be phrased in the positive and therefore, less confusing. The Commission agrees with IRRC's suggested changes and has implemented those changes to subsection (b).

   IRRC also asked the Commission to explain the Commission's rationale for prohibiting a trainer from having more than two horses in the same race, but not an owner. Proposed § 163.95(d), which specifically prohibits trainers from entering more than two horses, has been proposed by the Commission to bring its regulations into conformity with surrounding racing jurisdictions. As previously stated, while the Commission believes the benefit of updating the coupled entry rules outweighs the potential for collusion or the appearance of collusion, the Commission nevertheless believes that certain reasonable controls, such as those in § 163.95(d) should be implemented or maintained, or both.

Section 165.531. Definitions.

   IRRC suggested the Commission clarify the definition of ''breeder.'' The Commission concurs with IRRC's suggested language and has implemented the changes accordingly. Additionally, IRRC questioned how the Commission arrived at the 90-day period in the definition of ''Pennsylvania-bred horse'' and specifically, whether the 90-day period is a sufficient limitation to assure that a foal qualifies as a Pennsylvania-bred horse. After consultation with the Pennsylvania Breeding Fund Advisory Board and the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association (PHBA), the Commission concluded that 90 days would be a reasonable compromise period. The Commission believed that a period less than 90 days might not ensure a substantial contribution to this Commonwealth's commerce. Likewise, the Commission believed that a period more than 90 days might become too onerous on the Fund program participants.

   As previously explained, the Commission's existing regulations simply require that the horse be foaled in this Commonwealth to qualify for the Breeders Fund Program and the program's entitlements. Due to the monetary success of the program, out-of-State breeders have been quick to take advantage of the overly broad definition of a Pennsylvania-bred without contributing to this Commonwealth's thoroughbred industry. The Commission believes the amendment will modify the current trend and help ensure the continued success of the Breeders Fund Program.

   Senator Robert J. Thompson and IRRC questioned how the PHBA, which is responsible for the registration and records for Pennsylvania-bred horses, will determine that owners and breeders have met the conditions of the 90-day period. The breeder or an authorized agent, or both, is solely responsible for submitting information regarding the foal and all pertinent information regarding the 90-day period by way of an application/affidavit. The breeder or the breeder's agent shall specifically provide and attest to information regarding the farm at which the mare or foal domiciled for at least 90 days during the calendar year of foaling. The application/affidavit makes clear the consequences to the breeders or his agent if the information provided is fraudulent. This form has been approved by the Commission.

   Senator Thompson and IRRC also suggested the Commission incorporate the eligibility requirements which shall be met by the breeders into the regulations. The Commission is not inclined to do so. The Commission believes the foal application/affidavit clearly and adequately explains the requirements for registration as a Pennsylvania-bred: 1) The horse must foaled in this Commonwealth; and 2) The foal or dam must spend a minimum of 90 days at a facility in this Commonwealth. These requirements only affect those individuals who wish to voluntarily participate in the Breeders Fund Program. Accordingly, the Commission does not believe it is necessary to add further regulation or add the application/affidavit to the existing regulations.

   Section 165.118(j). Trifecta.

   IRRC suggested that, for purposes of clarity, the Commission delete its proposed language and simply add a cross reference to § 163.95 (relating to coupled entries) which would clarify what horse would have to run as a coupled entry. The Commission agrees with IRRC's suggested changes and has implemented them accordingly.

Fiscal Impact


   The Commission has determined that the amendments will have no adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth.

Political Subdivisions

   The amendments will not have any direct fiscal impact on political subdivisions.

Private Sector

   The amendments will not have any negative fiscal impact on the private sector within this Commonwealth. There may be limited fiscal impact upon out-of-State breeders who enter this Commonwealth to become eligible for the Breeders' Fund Program. This impact should be offset as a result of the commerce generated with the new 90-day requirement for the dam and foal, which will have to be met to qualify for the Pennsylvania-bred registration.

General Public

   The amendments will not have any fiscal impact on the general public. The amendments will, however, bring the Commission's regulations relating to coupled entries into conformity with the other surrounding racing jurisdictions.

Paperwork Requirements

   The amendments will not generate any new substantial paperwork for the public or the Commonwealth.

Regulatory Review

   Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on September 14, 1998, the Commission submitted a copy of the notice of proposed rulemaking published at 28 Pa.B. 4797 to IRRC and to the Chairpersons of the House and Senate Standing Committees on State Government for review and comment. In compliance with section 5(b.1) of the Regulatory Review Act, the Commission also provided IRRC and the Committees with copies of all comments received.

   In preparing these final-form regulations, the Commission has considered all comments received from IRRC, the Committees and the public. These final-form regulations were approved by the Committees on August 10, 1999, and were approved by IRRC on August 19, 1999, in accordance with section 5(c) of the Regulatory Review Act.

Contact Person

   Further information is available by contacting the State Horse Racing Commission, Room 304, Agriculture Building, 2301 N. Cameron Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9408, Attention: Benjamin H. Nolt, Jr., Executive Secretary, (717) 787-1942.


   The Commission finds that:

   (1)  Public notice of intention to adopt the amendments encompassed by this order has been given under section 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240)(45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.

   (2)  A public comment period was provided as required by law and that all comments received were considered.

   (3)  The adoption of the amendments in the manner provided by this order is necessary and appropriate for the administration of the authorizing statutes.


   The Commission, acting under the authorizing statutes orders that:

   (a)  The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapters 163 and 165, are amended by amending §§ 163.95, 163.531, 163.532, and 165.118 and deleting §§ 163.533, 163.534 and 163.537 to read as set forth in Annex A.

   (b)  The Commission shall submit this order and Annex A to the Office of General Counsel and to the Office of Attorney General for approval as required by law.

   (c)  The Commission shall certify this order and Annex A and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

   (d)  This order shall be effective upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Executive Secretary

   (Editor's Note:  For the text of the order of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission relating to this document, see 29 Pa.B. 4749 (September 4, 1999).)

   Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 34-63 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.

Annex A





§ 163.95.  Coupled entries.

   (a)  The term ''entry'' means a horse made eligible to run in a race. When starters in a race include two or more horses owned by the same person, they shall be coupled as an entry, with no exceptions. A wager on one horse in the entry shall be a wager on all horses in the entry. If a race is split in two or more divisions, horses in an entry shall be seeded in separate divisions, but the divisions in which they compete and their post positions shall be drawn by lot.

   (b)  Horses owned wholly or in part by the same trainer, person or the spouse of the person shall be coupled and run as an entry.

   (c)  If one horse is scratched after the betting is under way, the remaining horse shall run as a betting entry.

   (d)  Starters in a race which include two horses of different ownership trained by the same person, trained in the same stable or trained by the same management may not be coupled as an entry and shall constitute separate wagering interests. In no case may more than two horses having common trainer ties as defined in this section start in a race.


§ 163.531.  Definitions.

   The following words and terms, when used in this part, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   Breeder--A breeder is the owner of the dam at the time of foaling. When a horse is held under a lease or partnership registered with the jockey club, the lease or partnership will be deemed to be the owner.

   Pennsylvania-bred horse--A Pennsylvania-bred horse is a thoroughbred horse foaled in this Commonwealth, which during the year of foaling, the foal or its dam spent a minimum of 90 days at a facility in this Commonwealth and is subsequently registered with the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association and the Jockey Club.

   Pennsylvania sire--A Pennsylvania sire is a thoroughbred stallion that regularly stands for a breeding season in this Commonwealth and is registered with the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association.

§ 163.532.  Eligibility for Pennsylvania-bred races.

   To be eligible for preferences in races in which registered Pennsylvania-breds are preferred and to be eligible for entry in races which are restricted by condition to registered Pennsylvania-breds, a horse shall be registered as a Pennsylvania-bred with the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association at the time of entry.

§ 163.533.  (Reserved).

§ 163.534. (Reserved).

§ 163.537.  (Reserved).



§ 165.118.  Trifecta.

   (a)  No trifecta wagering may be conducted without permission of the Commission. The only races in which ''trifecta'' type pari-mutuel wagering is permitted, are those races designated by the Commission and a separate pool is established therefor.

   (b)  The trifecta is a form of pari-mutuel wagering in a single race in which the bettor selects a ticket combining in exact finishing order, as officially posted the first, second and third place winner.

   (c)  Trifecta tickets shall be sold only at trifecta windows by the licensee.

   (d)  The trifecta is not a parlay and except as set forth in this section, has no connection with or relation to the win, place and show betting and will be calculated as an entirely separate pool.

   (e)  Trifecta tickets shall be sold in at least $2 denominations or in such denominations as from time to time are approved by the Commission.

   (f)  If no ticket is sold on the winning combination of a trifecta pool, the net pool shall be distributed to the holders of tickets selecting the win and place finishers in that order. If no ticket is sold combining the win and place finish, the net pool will be distributed to the holders of tickets selecting the winner. If less than three horses finish, the payoff will be made to holders of tickets selecting the finishing horses in order, ignoring the balance of the selection.

   (g)  If no ticket is sold that would require distribution of the trifecta pool to a winner defined in this section, the licensee shall make a complete and full refund of the Trifecta Pool.

   (h)  In the event of a dead heat or dead heats, all trifecta tickets selecting the correct order of finish, counting a horse in a dead heat as finishing in either position dead heated, shall be winning tickets. The payoff will be calculated as a place pool by dividing the net trifecta pool by the total purchase price of winning tickets.

   (i)  In the event of a scratch in the trifecta no exchanges will be made. All tickets which include the scratched horse are eliminated from further participation in the trifecta pool and will be refunded.

   (j)  Coupled entries and fields are allowed in trifecta races as set forth in § 163.95 (relating to coupled entries).

   (k)  Trifecta tickets shall be sold only by the licensee through pari-mutuel machines programmed to print all selections on one ticket. Resale of these tickets from one individual to another is prohibited and shall be grounds for ejection.

   (l)  Each association shall print in heavy type in a conspicuous place in its daily printed program all the provisions of this section and post printed copies of this section about the track in places as it deems available.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 99-1665. Filed for public inspection October 1, 1999, 9:00 a.m.]

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