Florida HBPA Files Suit vs. Hialeah

The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Association filed a lawsuit against Hialeah alleging the track breached purse agreements with the horsemen's group for the 2000 and 2001 race meets. The suit filed in circuit court in Miami, seeks money damages under the revenue sharing provision of the purse agreement for the 2000 meeting.

According to a release from the HBPA, breach of the purse agreement can render its conditions null and void. In that case, the FHBPA could revoke Hialeah's permission to simulcast the live meet.

"The FHBPA expects Hialeah to fulfill its obligations under the purse agreement," said FHBPA counsel Joseph DeMaria in the release. "If Hialeah does not remit the money it owes to the FHBPA, the FHBPA will have no choice but to declare the purse agreement void and to withdraw its consent to simulcast."

DeMaria said the exact amount in dispute is not known because the HBPA has not been able to inspect Hialeah's books to determine the track's revenues and how much should accrue to horsemen's purses. He said the FHBPA estimates a purse underpayment of about $500,000. The suit notes that in its contract with the FHBPA, Hialeah agreed to make its books and other business records concerning horsemen's accounts and purses available for inspection.