Santa Is Coming!

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 24, 2009 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

This is the shout of every child under 9 years of age… This could also be the cry of every person involved in the racing industry. Hope springs eternal, and possibly common sense will prevail.

We are looking towards the state governments of every state reaching down and finding an answer. But, as of late, it seems more of a fairy tale.

If a star could be wished upon, or if anyone has a pocket full of pennies for the wishing well, get them out now. It seems that the stall tactics have been put in place. The lifetime politicians want to etch an answer of sorts that solves portions of the problems. The tracks need and want to make money. If that is a surprise, also know that they vote when it comes time for reelection. Get your heads out of the sand and quit pretending that tracks do not need the money.

Here is the scoop. Casinos take all of the money wagered and put it all in a big hopper. They pay taxes, insurance, and payrolls. They make so much money, that they have paved every alley in local townships they call home.

Now, let us go to the track. They pay all of the above minus being able to refurbish local townships. They take 17% out of every dollar wagered. This is called parimutuel. It means “betting amongst yourselves.”

Out of every 17 cents, half goes to the horsemen for purses. Now, they pay all of the above out of 8.5 cents from every dollar. Do the math…. They just want to compete. They have promised wonderful facilities, and every model in the country has revived racing. Some have had to tweak out problems, but the opportunity is there… The state governments have turned this down. Why? Do they want to create more unemployment? The loss of tax revenues? The death of a sport that goes back over a hundred years? What is the problem? If it is your moral compass, then leave it in the car and do what is right. If you doubt me, just watch the next year in Kentucky. They have cut back dates, which hurts horsemen and smashes the folks who have worked in the industry with pay cuts and job losses.

Common sense has been ruled out. If they want the cushy jobs, and the chair that has an imprint of their butts, do the right thing. We are not asking for Vegas, but just a chance to make some money and rejuvenate the sport. Every rag in the industry is tearing them up and down. Can you believe they still stand on Mount Pius and say NO????

Racing needs Santa. We need help, and we need it now…. For the first time ever, Kentucky racing has cut dates to three days a week. This is round one…. Let the tracks breathe, and allow them to make money and expand the sport: more jobs, and growth with promise. Not just wishful thinking, and the cheap promises of government.

Santa, where are you?  We have been waiting, and hopefully you will come soon…..