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Keeneland-Red Mile: Simulcast Partners

Published: May 5, 2015 4:55 pm ET

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Keeneland Race Course has filed a request with the state's Horse Racing Commission to move its simulcasting to The Red Mile. There has been no Thoroughbred simulcasting at The Red Mile since the late 1990s, when ownership sold the Thoroughbred rights to Keeneland for $4 million.

The request is on the May 6 agenda of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission meeting that will take place at Keeneland. In a letter to the commission, Keeneland vice president and CEO Vince Gabbert stated the Thoroughbred racetrack does not plan to offer pari-mutuel wagering on its property "except on days when there are horse sales, live racing, and significant racing events such as the Kentucky Derby.”

Keeneland is technically amending its racing license to designate a portion of The Red Mile as part of Keeneland's site.

The Red Mile is currently undergoing renovations for the introduction of Historical Racing machines sometime this summer. Keeneland had also originally received approval to build a parlor for the slot-like machines, but an agreement was later reached with The Red Mile to be 50-50 partners on the site located on the historic grounds of The Red Mile. The Historical Racing machines will be located in a building that is being constructed in front of the grandstand, which itself is being renovated for simulcasting on the second floor. A video posted in late April by Red Mile track photographer Nigel Soult shows the progress on the addition that will house the historical racing terminals.

Latest Video of the Construction at the Red Mile on 4/23/15

Posted by Nigel Soult Photography - Harness Racing on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

"Keeneland believes that offering pari-mutuel wagering on Thoroughbred races at The Red Mile will create a destination for both Thoroughbred and Standardbred patrons and will increase fans' interest in all breeds, which will positively impact the horse racing industry as a whole as well as boost the local economy," noted Gabbert in the letter.

There is no specific date for the merging of simulcasts at The Red Mile, and also to be worked out is that while Keeneland employs mutuel clerks who are unionized, The Red Mile does not. It also calls into question the future of the extremely popular handicapping contests that Keeneland hosts during the wintertime and on occasional days through the year.

(with files from harnessracing.com)


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