La. Horsemen Object to Fair Grounds Bankruptcy Plan

Louisiana horsemen have filed an objection to the Fair Grounds' bankruptcy disclosure statement, alleging that the track misrepresented and omitted key financial information.

On April 19, the Fair Grounds filed the disclosure statement as part of its plan calling for an auction of the historic track through a federal bankruptcy court. The objection was filed by the Louisiana Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. Track attorney Douglas Draper said the move was not unexpected.

"Ultimately, at the end of the day, there must be an auction. When there's a plan confirmation, there must be an auction," Draper said.

The court is scheduled to consider approval of the disclosure statement during a hearing Monday. If the disclosure statement is approved, the track's creditors would have to approve the reorganization plan.

A major issue to the horsemen is the track's video-poker operation, which is run by the company Video Services Inc. Jim Gelpi, a lawyer for the horsemen's group, said the group had not been allowed to see information dealing with video-poker revenue.

In March, a state district court ruled that the Fair Grounds owes the horsemen almost $90 million for improperly withholding video-poker revenue from racing purses. In May, the track filed a suit to have the judgment thrown out. That case is pending.