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Failed Track Deal Could Hurt KY County

Published: January 26, 2017 11:59 am ET

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It has been reported that Floyd County officials in Kentucky are worried that a failed deal between Thunder Ridge Raceway owners Appalachian Racing Inc. and Keeneland could bankrupt the county.

As an article by the Lexington Herald-Leader explains, talks between the two companies have been going on for years. The talks were centered around Keeneland purchasing Thunder Ridge’s racing licence and then turning around and using the licence for a Quarter Horse track to be built in Corbin.

Keeneland’s plans have now changed, according to the article, as it no longer plans to go after the Thunder Ridge licence, but is looking to set its sights on the state’s ninth racing licence, which is not tied to any particular track.

In 1993, Floyd County issued a $2.7 million bond to help the Thunder Ridge project. Floyd County officials were hoping that a potential deal between Keeneland and ARI would pay off the remaining bond debt. Now that the deal appears to be dead, Floyd County is worried that ARI will not be able to keep up its annual payments towards the debt.

“A $2 million hit at this point would essentially bankrupt the county,” Floyd County Attorney Keith Bartley was quoted as saying.

Bartley did state, though, that the county would make other arrangments to pay the debt rather than declare bankruptcy.

(With files from the Lexington Herald-Leader)

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