With Pompano’s Impending Demise (Corporate Welfare Cut Off), Florida Will Be Left With Just Two Tracks

It looks as though harness racing in Florida is soon to be dead. A bill that will decouple – free the track owner from having to hold and subsidize horse races – Pompano Park has now passed the legislature and awaits the governor’s signature. Harness Link put it succinctly: “[This bill] will most likely end pari-mutuel harness racing in the state of Florida, thus bringing an end to Pompano Park after 57 year of harness racing.” In other words, Florida harness people, the jig is up. Your (lucrative) spigot – gaming revenue that should have been going back to the state for education and the like – has been cut off. And that, my friends, is progress. Now, on to the Thoroughbreds.

(The SunSentinel says that a redevelopment plan from Pompano’s owner, Caesars Entertainment, “calls for transforming the Pompano Park property into an upscale retail, dining, office and entertainment hub.” Now doesn’t that sound a mite better than a dirty, seedy racetrack that abuses and kills horses?)

27 Comments

  1. Great Wonderful news. Shut horse racing down. It is NOT for the horse, it is for the almighty dollar that the dirt bag trainers get. Horse gets nothing. STOP BREEDING. You killed Drosselmagic, my heart still broken. Shut down horse racing, shut down PARX RACE TRACK. Check out Klaatu. He is on his way out to the same fate Drosselmagic faced. By the same dirt bag owners and trainer. ROY HOUGHTON! Stop him, stop them all.
    FOR THE SAKE OF THE HORSE.

  2. Here in MI the sport is also on its deathbed. Hazel Park Track is now an Amazon Facility, Amazon is building a new one on what was a former track and Northville Track has a questionable future, still racing because deal to turn it into housing got delayed because of COVID and other factors.

    • Oh, Gary, they are making an attempt at a big comeback! Check out this link: https://nbc25news.com/news/local/senate-approves-bill-package-to-bring-back-horse-racing-in-michigan
      I live in Michigan as it sounds like you do. With the help of Horseracing Wrongs (already on it!), other organizations and individuals that care, we will strive to make sure this brutal maiming and killing arena will not resume.

      Anyone in Michigan who might like to work with me to visit our representatives and senators, call, email, submit newspaper editorials, please, contact me at normilejw@aol.com

      I have the names and details of the thousands of MI Thoroughbreds that suffered injury or death when racing at just one track here and we will not have their agony be in vain. Thank you!

      • It won’t go anywhere Jo Anne. Both statewide and local voter approval is required for expansion of gaming. Video lottery terminals aren’t going to draw anyone when they can just pop into the corner store and play Keno. Historical racing is illegal. Multiple courts have already ruled that historical races are just slot machines with odds pre-determined. In order to qualify as part-mutuel, the only wagering allowed at horse tracks in Michigan, the odds must be determined by the betting pool so historical races are illegal. Not to mention that every governor has vetoed every bill presented and that the Detroit casino lobby is way too powerful to let that happen. They make a lot of campaign contributions.

        • I was hands on active with this years ago and casinos were definitely the power but this allows them a piece of the action. I am too cynical because of handouts MI has already given to racing to get it back — Pinnacle got a boatload of money — taxpayer dollars and then didn’t even pay taxes for the years they operated and nothing was done til they themselves gave it up.
          Just can’t sit back. It’s my nature and experience with MI racing,

          • Casinos aren’t interested in simulcasting. Costly endeavor that couldn’t save any of the tracks that went out of business.

            Anyway, I’m in Ann Arbor so if you need help you can ask Patrick for my email. I don’t want my name on anything, I remember broken legs at DRC and bullet holes through windshields at Hazel Park and my wife and I have a nice life now away from racing. I’m certainly willing to stick stamps on envelopes or anything else you need.

  3. Prime real estate in South Florida. Please Governor make it happen..and then let your constituents in NJ,NY,Maryland and beyond know how fantastic a plan this will be to help your state!

  4. Progress and I celebrate this news.
    Hundreds of Standardbred horses will not be abused and killed due to this shutdown.
    So now we can expect to hear the apologists favorite line: “where are all of these horses going to go?”
    Well, where do most of them go now?
    That’s right – the slaughterhouse floor.
    Why didn’t your “horsemen groups” put aside money when they were getting millions in handouts?
    Don’t you think it’s about time for you to take care of your horses instead of expecting everybody else to clean up and pay for your unwanted horse mess?

  5. Harness racing has never been lucrative for anybody Patrick. Harness horses are good horses but its hard to train them and get them fit. And the competion is declining because fewer people are going into it. And for some reason the caliber of horses seems lower than when Niatross and Tar Heel were racing. I wonder what will happen to the horses that race there. I hope the rescue groups are ready. That is the side effect of closing a track. And I won’t ever support something like that. Are you ready to absorb horses that are not worth shipping and won’t race at Pompano, Patrick? I doubt it. If tracks close like you want them to, too rapidly, horses will be dumped. Do you want that? You are upset when horses die on the racetrack. Is that better or worse than dying in a kill pen or on the way to Ontario or Mexico or being shipped to a dry lot with no food or water to starve? Before advocating for tracks to close, get busy and find places for the horses. Is that too much work? Its easier to propose getting rid of racetracks. Its alot more difficult to find nice homes for the displaced horses. Why don’t you work as hard on that as you do killing horseracing? You don’t have horses, do you? If you do, would you like to take in another 100? More horses are abandoned in Florida than anywhere else. With Pompano closing, do you think that will increase? Be careful what you wish for. It could be worse than Pompano staying open until people find places for the horses that run there.

    • Here we go again.
      The proverbial apologist line:” I wonder what will happen to the horses that race there. I hope the rescue groups are ready.”
      Or this:” Are you ready to absorb horses that are not worth shipping and won’t race at Pompano, Patrick?”
      How about this: “Before advocating for tracks to close, get busy and find places for the horses. Is that too much work?”
      So Mary where do all the unwanted Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds go now?
      That’s right about 90% end up on the slaughterhouse floor, with 5% recycled back into the respective industries for another round of exploitation such as breeding.
      There are 2 types of horse rescues. There are industry-funded rescues such as TAA and there are private rescues. The industry-funded rescues require their recipients to not expose the truth about the industry. The private rescues financially pay-for the unwanted racehorse mess out of their own pockets and take the only position appropriate: to SHUT DOWN the business. In other words, shut down the never ending unwanted racehorse mess.
      The majority of TAA rescues don’t have any room now and haven’t for a long time or if they have room they don’t have the required funding to take in more horses since they get a fixed amount of money from industry-funded groups.
      In fact, just last week I contacted 3 TAA funded groups since we found another 3 Thoroughbreds and 6 Standardbreds in the kill pens last week, most of which, made over $100,000.
      Despite the fact that I left no less than 10 voice mail messages, 20 emails NOT ONE returned my call.
      The turn around time now for TB’s and ST’s is 24 hours holding in a kill pen before they ship to slaughter.
      The rescues know this and they deliberately delay responding knowing that they can’t help anyways.
      So I would suggest that you go directly to the exploiters (that would be industry members such as sales auctions houses like Keeeland/Fasig-Tipton who make BILLIONS on selling horses or the former connections of these horses who reaped the financial rewards of their earnings, or the “horsemen groups” who get millions every time a horse runs and also casino/government handouts and see what they can do.
      Take your concerns and questions directly to the exploiters, not to people like us who don’t exploit them and advocate for the shut down of this business.
      It’s about time that the industry increases their funding to these rescue groups, STOP discriminating against the private rescue groups who rescue and give them funding, STOP requiring groups who receive money to keep their mouths shut about this industry, provide a 1-800 number that people can call to get a racehorse out of harms way, provide emergency funding such as van transportation for horses to name a few.
      Now, just to let you know. this is something that myself and others requested for years when I lived in Kentucky.
      Nothing ever happened, people refused to help, and every apologist passes the buck, nobody wants to take financial responsibility for these horses when they are done flipping a buck – neither the connections nor the industry.
      Incidentally, last week I rescued a Standardbred out of the kill pen in horrendous condition – long term neglect.
      He was a walking skeleton with a bad abscess.
      We had him for 4 days while we did everything we could to prevent him from going down in the stall.
      When we could get him to stand both the farrier and vet discovered that his hoof was completely GONE, no hoof capsule, no sole and it was so severe they recommended humane euthanasia.
      That was on his rear right and the rear left was just as bad.
      This industry left this horse with not a healthy leg to stand on and you have the audacity to come on this site and ask people like me what I’m doing?
      You can take your attitude and your questions to those who DESTROY them and you can send me the thousands that I spent ensuring that this poor gelding had a peaceful ending not one going down on the slaughter bound floor.
      I showed him some kindness something that neither this industry nor people like you would do.
      How dare you?

    • There are two stupid arguments made by the racing industry Mary. “What about the jobs.” and “what will happen to the horses?” They are born to be slaughtered in the first place, not to be adopted. That doesn’t change by closing a track, it just happens sooner. The point is that fewer horses will be bred to be abused and slaughtered in the future. Oh yeah, and what Gina said.

    • What does the industry to with its horses now? Slaughters them. If they love their horses so much THEY will work on finding good home or they can keep them and feed and house and keep “loving” them for 25 years. That’s what should be done. Will it?

        • Couldn’t help it. I’ve always lived in areas heavily populated by the Amish and they are one of the largest growing populations in the US. That’s a lot of buggies. And therefore, a lot of Standardbreds. In my area they also have “Amish hi-wheel cart races”. Many Amish in this area also breed to race and are avid supporters of racing. They are starting to creep into racing Tbs more also. Any way to make some money!

    • Marymbaggaley- Congratulations. In one single post, you have tipped me over the edge from casual racing fan to someone who will welcome all tracks being closed.

    • marymbaggaley – to the broken record you are and to the racing industry that is and has been for years, this…

      In addition to the thousands of racehorses killed while training & racing, countless others are sent to auctions/slaughter after they are used up racing…while the industry exclaims they care.

      Industry members, so you love your “athletes”? – prove it. Have a hotline for every racing jurisdiction…a phone number where you can be reached immediately when one of your microchipped or tattooed TB’s is found at auction/with the kill buyer. When you receive that call, YOU send a trailer & YOU pay the bail & YOU bring that discarded horse to one of YOUR safe farms…and YOU place that horse into one of YOUR industry-funded organizations where the horse will reside the remainder of his/her life – at YOUR expense. YOU bred him/her for your industry, used him/her for YOUR industry, so YOU be responsible for him/her for LIFE.

      Put your multi-billions of dollars made on the backs of these horses where your collective mouths are. You love them? They’re your priority? Then stop putting the responsibility of their very lives on those who didn’t put them on this earth, didn’t pocket their earnings, didn’t sell them again and again, didn’t breed them and sell their foals…didn’t make one dime off their bodies and stolen lives.

      Until your dying, unnecessary, profit-driven gambling industry takes its last breath and no more of your horses endure horrific deaths on tracks and in slaughterhouses, this will be…a START. You care? – let’s see. YOUR horses are waiting.

    • Yes, Mary, “you hope the rescue groups are ready”!!!!
      Your gall and that of the racing industry is astounding. Why is it up to the overextended rescue groups, the volunteers, the generous individuals who contribute what they can and the many who personally care for as many of these horses as they can.
      The racing industry is responsible for overbreeding horses, using them to make money util they are done with them and that is when racing suspends its responsibility.
      What is wrong with that picture !?

  6. One less racetrack open means less demand for breeding more Standardbred horses to supply the demand.
    Marymbaggaley has stated in the past that she would not spend any money to save or rescue a horse from being shipped to slaughter. That is not her thing. She criticizes Patrick for wanting horseracing to end and brings up the possibility that there could be a bunch of Standardbred horses being sold and shipped to slaughter for a lack of homes for the horses, as if the task of finding homes for unwanted racehorses is Patrick’s responsibility. Marymbaggaley could not care less what happens to the horses. She defends the industry’s breeding and producing of more horses for RACING; an activity, a business where the horses will be subject to constant daily ABUSE by racing degenerates for profit. At the end of the horse’s usefulness as a gambling chip, the horse will be discarded and Marymbaggaley won’t be there to spend one dime to help rescue the victim of horseracing degenerates.

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