Racing Commission Vote Opens Way for Historical Racing

- AMARILLO -- The Saddle Brook Jockey Club has new life.

    The Texas Racing Commission (TRC) voted on two big issues this week that could help the state's only off-site parimutuel wagering facility as well as the struggling horse and dog racing industries as a whole

    The TRC voted 7-1 for the right to extend temporary licenses like the one held by Amarillo's Saddle Brook Jockey Club.

    The vote was also 7-1 in favor of moving forward with a controversial new style of horse racing:  Historical racing.

    The TRC says it's another form of racing they have the right to regulate.

    But, critics call it a nothing more than legalized slot machines with a horse racing theme.

    The commission's vote allows for the posting of rules on historical racing for a 30-day public review.

    Historical racing works like this:  Past races are posted on video terminals similar to slot machines.  All or most identifying information is removed.

    Wagers are then placed on the outcome like any other race.

    Lynn Alexander, the CEO of the Saddle Brook Jockey Club, says the passage of historical racing could help expedite the construction of Saddle Brook park.

    "They have the full support of all the horsemen.  Every breed is behind this issue and all the major race tracks so, there is a very united front in the horse industry behind this and we're behind the racing commission 100 percent for this."  Alexander said.

           Alexander says the passage of the temporary license extension will also help his jockey club.  Their current temporary license is set to expire this fall.

           Alexander was given the temporary license in 2012, but it was contingent on the construction of a horse racing facility that offers live racing.

          The TRC will vote again on this issue in August.

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