The Texas Racing Commission has renewed its drug-testing contract with Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, and also approved some changes in the racing schedule at Manor Downs for 2003.
The El Primero Fair Association, backed by Cash, Marilyn, and Keith Asmussen
and the Laredo National Bank, still has to clear some hurdles before it can open a non-profit Class 3 racetrack near Laredo, Texas.
An agreement transferring the master lease on Lone Star Park from the city of Grand Prairie, Texas to Magna Entertainment (MEC) was unanimously approved by the Grand Prairie Sports Facilities Development Corporation (GPSFD), the seven-member board appointed by the city of Grand Prairie to serve as landlord of the track. The transfer is pending approval by the Texas Racing Commission.
Magna Entertainment Corp. is still waiting for the green light from the Texas Racing Commission to acquire ownership of Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie. A background check by the Texas Department of Public Safety is under way.
The Texas Racing Commission has approved the live racing calendar for all Texas racetracks in 2003. Prior to TRC approval of the calendar, Retama Park and Sam Houston Race Park agreed during a private discussion to hold concurrent dates for live racing on Oct. 25 and Oct. 26 next year.
The Saddle Brook Corp. of Amarillo, Texas, is blazing a new trail on undeveloped land expected to be home to a new racetrack in the Lone Star State.
Groundbreaking ceremonies for Saddle Brook Park, a proposed racetrack and entertainment center in Amarillo, Texas, are set for June 19. Plans call for Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing.
Stewards at Sam Houston Race Park ruled Feb. 23 that Chauffe au Rouge was ineligible for two stakes he won last year that were restricted to Texas-accredited horses.
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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