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Settlement hearing being held on Rosecroft bankruptcy

A hearing is being held Thursday to approve a settlement filed by the trustee of Rosecroft Raceway between the bankrupt race track and the Maryland Jockey Club and various horse and racing associations as part of the harness track’s Chapter 11 proceedings.

Rosecroft trustee James. J. Murphy filed a motion that would have Rosecroft pay the Maryland Jockey Club, the Maryland Horse Breeders Association Inc. and Maryland Thoroughbred Horse Association Inc. $200,000, and would dismiss lawsuits filed against the parties in 2009 and 2010.

The Maryland Jockey Club and other racing associations were the largest creditors in the case, with more than $1.7 million owed to them.

Murphy also would assign Rosecroft’s interest in an off-track betting entity to the jockey club and the thoroughbred industry.

The Maryland Jockey Club and Laurel Racing Association LP filed a claim for $1.7 million after Rosecroft’s owners filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June 2009. The Maryland Thoroughbred Horse Association Inc. filed a claim for $828,159 and the Maryland Horse Breeders Association Inc. filed for $105,722.

Cloverleaf Enterprises Inc., Rosecroft’s former owner, had filed an antitrust suit against the jockey club and the thoroughbred industry in 2009, seeking damages in excess of $10 million, and a suit against Maryland OTB Facilities LLC and New Maryland OTB Facilities LLC in 2010, entities in which the jockey club owns a majority interest, according to the motion.

Cloverleaf also filed in November 2009 a lawsuit against jockey club President Tom Chuckas, a former employee of Rosecroft, asserting breach of contract and tortuous interference.

The Prince George’s harness track was bought at auction in February for $11 million by Prince George’s Racing Ventures LLC, a subsidiary of Penn National Gaming Inc.

Penn National is trying to sell the 49 percent of the jockey club, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course it owns. The company also owns the Hollywood Casino Perryville in Cecil County.

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