Thunder Ridge To Lose Licence?

Published: October 24, 2014 12:56 pm EDT

Officials from Keeneland have announced that they have a financial deal in place to acquire the racing licence for Standardbred track Thunder Ridge.

According to a report by The Lexington Herald-Leader, Keeneland is planning to transfer the licence in order to build a track in Corbin and race Quarter Horses. If the proposal goes through, Standardbred representatives in the state are looking for some sort of compensation.

The article has quoted Kentucky Horse Racing Commission member Alan Leavitt as saying that if the licence is transferred, Kentucky Standardbred horsepeople should be entitled to some “benefit.”

The report cites Kentucky Harness Horsemen's Association spokesman Gabe Prewitt as saying that the KHHA has given Thunder Ridge roughly $180,000 a year for 12 years in order for the track to retain its racing licence. Additionally, Thunder Ridge has been granted race dates for the 2015 season.

At a KHRC meeting on Tuesday (October 21), Leavitt said, "That license, in all probability, wouldn't be alive today so that Keeneland could be buying it, and I'm not sure you're willing to make us part of the deal.”

He went on to say, "But to be fair to us, when that license is transferred, (Kentucky harness horsemen) should continue to get some benefit from the new track because if we hadn't supported that track, you'd have no license to buy. ... We should not be totally forgotten."

(With files from The Lexington Herald-Leader)