It has been reported on NorthFulton.com that parimutuel horse racing may be coming to Georgia if House Bill 4 is approved in the Georgia legislature's 2013-2014 session and then approved by the voters. Great I thought, how soon will we see parimutuel harness racing in the state?
Don't expect it that quick. While the legislation does legalize parimutuel racing for thoroughbreds, standardbreds, and quarter horses, the move has a definite thoroughbred flavor. For one thing, if you go to the Georgia Horse Racing Coalition website, you see pictures of thoroughbreds, but nary a standardbred picture. To be fair, there is a reference to harness racing in their FAQ section where they talk about the Hawkinsville Harness Festival, but the site is definitely geared towards thoroughbred racing. In the enabling legislation, the only references to harness racing is the term 'driver' and 'United States Trotting Association'.
It is clear approval of this bill and referendum will bring thoroughbred racing to the state. Whether parimutuel harness racing ever takes place is less certain.
Loyalty Has its Benefits: A look at the condition sheet for the opening night of the Meadowlands finds that management is finally rewarding those who were loyal to the Meadowlands during the spring and summer last year. Certain races (B-2 and lower) give trainers who made at least 60 starts at the Meadowlands during the specified period or made more starts at the Meadowlands than any one track other than Freehold. It is about time those who supported the Meadowlands when completing full fields get preference over those who race at the Meadowlands only when other tracks are closed.