Bruce Quade will take over as chairman of the Maryland Racing Commission, it has been announced. His first public meeting as chair will take place on July 17.
Quade, a retired federal employee, has served on the Commission for just over a year and has garnered a reputation as a committed and energetic Commissioner. Among other accomplishments, he helped to broker the agreement among standardbred interests and Ocean Downs owner William Rickman that has helped promote longer term stability in that industry.
Quade had glowing remarks for outgoing chairman Louis Ulman. “I appreciate Lou’s leadership,” Quade said. “He has been very gracious to me, very welcoming of me on the Commission. And he made a tough job look easy as the Chairman.”
Quade takes the reins at an important juncture in the state’s Thoroughbred racing history. As the state considers expanding gaming, there are unanswered questions as to how that might affect racing; and some in the state legislature would like to reduce or eliminate racing’s share of slots revenue. In addition, the Commission has attempted — thus far unsuccessfully — to broker a longer-term agreement among the state’s Thoroughbred interests and the Maryland Jockey Club, which owns Maryland’s two primary racetracks. In each of the past two years, that process has led to bitter standoffs and last-minute, stopgap resolution.
“The first thing on the docket,” Quade said, “is to figure out a long-term agreement on the Thoroughbred side.” He said that the Commission’s goal is for the sides to reach general agreement on a term sheet by Labor Day.