KHHA Information Regarding Sale of Thunder Ridge
It has been an eventful couple of days around these parts, and unfortunately at this point we still have a lot more questions than we do answers. Here is what we know at this point:
-Keeneland w/Full House Gaming has entered into an agreement to acquire Appalachian Racing's License (Thunder Ridge) contingent on Instant Racing's approval either legislatively or judicially.
-New ownership has filed paperwork with the KHRC with plans to apply for a Quarter Horse license and move the track near London/Corbin
-Appalachian Racing continues to operate at this point and the KHHA has been instructed the 2013 racing season will continue as planned
Those are the facts of the matter at this point regarding the recent developments that you have probably read about from some of the media outlets. Although rumors have swirled for many years now, it was still fairly shocking to learn of the deal especially with no form of expanded gaming/instant racing having been passed to this point.
The KHHA was never approached by Keeneland/Full House Gaming about the possibility of the new facility remaining a harness license, which is very unfortunate and an opportunity that we would have obviously been extremely interested in.
At this point, it appears that racing will go on as scheduled for the 2013 season as those dates have already been applied for and approved by the KHRC.
If Instant Racing is approved and the deal moves forward, we are in hopes that the harness horsemen's purse account will get to share in the revenue of the new facility. With all of the variables at play, it would be unwise to speculate about anything further at this point and we will keep you updated with any and all new information.
You may be wondering, where does Instant Racing stand at this point? There are essentially two avenues that could secure it's passage in the near future. The KY Supreme Court has agreed to make a ruling on the Instant Racing appeal and they are expected to do so by the end of 2013. However, there has also been a push to get Instant Racing pushed through in the state legislature which would deem it 'legal' and would basically make the Supreme Court case meaningless. An Instant Racing bill is expected to be dropped tomorrow (Friday) in the senate. The Thunder Ridge deal is contingent on Instant Racing being deemed legal through either avenue.
Speaking of the 2013 season at Thunder Ridge, the horsemen's purse account is actually tracking much better than in 2012 and I was extremely pleased with what appeared to be a promising season ahead. Obviously the new information has dampened excitement.
We currently have a Standardbred Breeding Bill introduced by Senator Thayer that is expected to be voted on shortly regarding the new changes with the Kentucky Sires Stakes. This bill would make the new Sires Stakes changes official, which would allow a mare residency component beginning in the 2014 breeding season. For the upcoming 2013 breeding season, check out new stallions Butler Hall & Tequila Spur which have been added to the KHHA stallion directory.
I am pleased to announce that we have a new KHHA Board Member as Ken Terpenning has been appointed by President Bob Stewart to a one-year term on the KHHA Board. We look forward to having Ken's knowledge and ideas in the organization, and want to welcome him to the team.
Please keep in mind that we are utilizing the full resources of the KHHA to do whatever is necessary to ensure a future for our industry in the state.
Stay tuned to the website for updates which should be coming fairly often moving forward.