Court Backs Kentucky Panel's Ruling to Deny Track License

The Circuit Court in Franklin, Ky., has affirmed a Kentucky Racing Commission decision not to grant a license to Southern Bluegrass Racing, which wants to build a Quarter Horse track in the southeast portion of the state near the Tennessee border.

Testimony on the racetrack proposal was taken during hearings June 25 and Sept. 24, 2002. The commission voted 7-1, with one abstention, to deny the license request Oct. 28. Southern Bluegrass Racing then appealed the order on the argument the commission's final order wasn't supported by substantial evidence on the record.

Judge Roger Crittenden, in his order, cited testimony from racetrack executives who said a new racetrack would erode business at other tracks, particularly through an off-track betting network operated by the state's racetracks. Two of the OTB parlors are located near the site of the proposed track in Williamsburg.

Southern Bluegrass Racing cited a need for Quarter Horse racing in the state. The facility would cost $20 million.

The Circuit Court's order is final and open to appeal.