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Instant Racing Partnership In Kentucky

Published: October 22, 2014 1:55 pm ET

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It has been announced that the Red Mile and the Keeneland Association have agreed, through a new joint venture, to consolidate their efforts around historical racing in Fayette County into the development of a single facility.

The Red Mile said via release that wagering on historical racing will be housed exclusively at the Red Mile. A total of 1,000 terminals are proposed to offer historical racing wagers beginning with a projected opening date of September 2015.

The new venture will request a review of facility and historical racing offering by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

“This is an exciting announcement for The Horse Capital of the World and for the ongoing growth of Lexington,” said Joe Costa of the Red Mile. “By making this pari-mutuel wager available in Fayette County, our state’s signature industry can enjoy the financial benefits of a crucial new revenue stream for not just owners and breeders, but also the entire horse industry.”

Keeneland Association Chief Operating Officer Vince Gabbert also commented on the venture.

“There have always been two driving considerations behind decisions made by Keeneland,” said Gabbert. “And that is the health of the Thoroughbred industry and our local community. We feel the best course of action for both our key constituencies is a facility at the Red Mile. Our belief is that the benefits of a more centrally-located and fully-dedicated facility outweighs locating this wagering option on our property.”

The construction on the new $30 million project will begin soon, initially supplying 100 construction jobs, and eventually 150 jobs are projected when the facility is completed and fully operational in 2015.

Construction of the physical plant has been awarded to DW Wilburn, Inc. of Lexington, Ky.

“There is no question that new revenue streams have already made a difference to the Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries,” continued Costa. “Here in Kentucky we’ve already seen what a difference historical wagering can mean to our owners and horsemen.”

Revenues from the new wager will be split between the two partners for use in support of live racing, particularly purses.

An operator has not been hired, but will be in place well before the new facility is open in early fall of 2015. Research and interviews are ongoing at this time.

(With files from the Red Mile)


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