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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Abusing the System in Florida

Well, at least they actually will be racing quarter horse races at this new track to be built in Marion County, Florida unlike 'pari-mutuel'  barrel racing in Gretna, Florida.  That being said, the Florida rules regarding the licensing of tracks is being abused greatly and nothing seems to be getting done in the Sunshine State to stop such abuse.

Plans for this new track is to race 20 days of racing a year with each card having 8 races.  Why would anyone build a track to race a mere 160 races a year?  The reason behind building and opening this yet un-named track is to establish a card room.  The beauty of opening a card room with a quarter horse track is obvious, where 50% of the profits of a card room goes to thoroughbred purses, there is no requirement as to how much of the card room profits go to quarter horse racing.  Then of course, there is the eventual hope of casino gambling being expanded in the state to the Northern Florida tracks.

Oh, don't get me wrong, anyone interested in building a track in a racino state is most likely doing it for establishing a casino of some sort.  Given an easier path, they would skip the racing completely.  However, if these investors in racing licenses are going to use racing as a path to a card room or slots, they should not only be required to race more than a token meet, but be required to pay a certain percentage of  the money derived from alternative gaming into purse accounts.

Obviously the current regulators lack the power or will to stop the abuse of their licensing powers.  Hopefully, the Florida legislature will revamp the rules to stop this abuse.

HRU talks about the impending demise of harness racing in Michigan.  It seems like it is a question of when, not if.

Also in today's HRU, Dean Towers has a Brush and Crush column on how great horses seem to lay and egg in eliminations and come back in the finals, hurting the sport.  It is a must read article.  figuring out blindly if a horse is going to try or race easily is not something a gambler should have to factor in a race.

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