At the request of owner and breeder Keith Asmussen, the Texas Racing Commission on June 27 voted to take applications to construct a Class 2 or Class 3 track in the Laredo area. The Asmussens, in partnership with Sam Houston Race Park, hope to convert their El Primero Training Center into a racetrack and simulcasting facility.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry vetoed a bill that would have, among other things, increased the amount racetracks receive from the simulcasting of Greyhound races. The veto is expected to have some impact on horsemen.
A joint statement released Tuesday by Manor Downs, the Texas Racing Commission, horsemen, and breed associations said the 2001 Thoroughbred meet at Manor Downs has been canned because construction that would allow the Austin-area track to hold the April meet couldn't be completed.
On the eve of its annual convention, the Association of Racing Commissioners International is again faced with a mass exodus that could threaten its viability. As of Thursday, up to 10 jurisdictions had informed the Lexington-based organization they had defected or would withhold dues pending changes at RCI. At issue is president Tony Chamblin's handling of the organization and its finances, in particular a $50,000 check he is said to have written himself last year. In December, Chamblin's salary and benefits package for the remaining two years of his contract was reduced.
Stakes purses for Texas-breds should increase measurably beginning in 2001 given the Texas Racing Commission's approval of a rule that diverts a portion of racetracks' export simulcasting fees back to the state breed associations.
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