Gulfstream Park Draws Ire From Horsemen for Running Last-Minute Quarter-Horse Race
Two major horse owners' associations are once again miffed by a local casino giant's efforts to conduct races in order to keep a second gambling permit under Florida's twisted rules for pari-mutuel casinos.
FHBPA, along with a sister organization that organizes quarter-horse races, calls the Easter Sunday race "illegal," saying that law requires all quarter-horse events (in which horses dash along a straight 400m track) to be overseen by the association.
Gulfstream Park has been advised by counsel to exercise our second permit on closing day, April 8, or face the consequence of revocation of the permit in the future. Since December we have worked in good faith with the horsemen on this subject. We will continue to work with the horsemen and will continue welcoming their input and suggestions.
The contract for the barrel racers, whose main purview is the loopdy-loop sprint of rodeo fame, was written by David Romanik. Romanik recently teamed up with Ron Bergeron to apply for a jai-alai permit in Broward (no more quarter-horse racing permits were available); he also operates a barrel racing facility in Gretna that's drawn jeers from the horsemen's association.
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