National Racing License Plans Move Forward

With the criteria for those who wish to apply for a national owners' license having been set by the National Racing Compact, officials will take applications, fingerprints, and photographs from owners who attend the Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs as part of the launch of the licensing project.

The first licenses will be issued in January, 2001.

Jon McKinnie, a Louisiana racing commissioner and executive director of the licensing project, said applicants can't have any felony convictions, can't have two misdemeanor convinctions (excluding traffic violations) in the past five years, and can't have a cumulative total of more than $1,000 in fines or 30 days in suspensions in a 12-month period.

Currently, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Virginia, and West Virginia are compact members. McKinnie said recently he hopes to get more states on board in the near future, though in California, Gov. Gray Davis vetoed legislation that would have put the state in the compact.

Non-member states have the option to recognize the license. The compact expects 16 states to be in the program by June, 2001.

Robin Williams, who chairs the Virginia Racing Commission, was elected chairman of the compact. Dr. Paul Kirsch, director of the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, will serve as vice chairman, and Bernard Daney, chairman of the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission, is treasurer.

The compact's Web address is The site is accessible, but was under construction as of Monday.