Pompano Park, the last remaining harness track in Florida, is now officially dead. Last May, you might remember, a bill passed allowing Pompano’s owner, Caesars Entertainment, to “decouple” its casino operation from the racing – i.e., it no longer would be forced to subsidize the horse people. Freed from the shackles of the moribund harness-racing industry, the result was predictable: Caesars said, we’re out (of the racing business, that is; reports have Caesars transforming the property into an upscale retail, dining, office and entertainment hub). The end came Sunday.
This is, of course, the future, not just on the harness end, but at the slew of propped-up flat tracks across the country as well. That future was readily acknowledged by the pro-racing writer Bill Finley of the Thoroughbred Daily News. Sunday, he wrote:
“So, what does this have to do with Thoroughbred racing? Plenty. If it can happen to Pompano Park it can happen to any racetrack running any breed. The threat of decoupling is real and it’s not going to go away. It is a huge and ominous threat.” He added: “Most every casino company that owns a racetrack doesn’t want to be in the horse racing business, and most don’t bother to hide their disdain for the sport.”
And so, Pompano has officially become the 41st U.S. track to close since 2000 – and they’re not opening new ones, folks. I’ll close with this quote from celebrated driver Wally Hennessey (pictured below): “I wouldn’t call it depression to talk about the ending of racing at Pompano, it’s more like a funeral.” One funeral I’m happy to attend.
It’s the best thing that could happen for the horses.
Please the high and mighty in authority,please take a good look at how beneficiary it would be for you to follow suit.
Thats FANTASTIC!!! ..
Prayers for the demise of all race tracks. Let’s hope the people who own and run casinos will continue to reject the disgusting and inhumane abuse and exploitation of horses. When you learn the truth, you cannot continue on the same path.
I will celebrate this victory. For the horses.!
End HORSERACING Now.
This amazing news is the kind that keeps me going, keeps me fighting on behalf of the racehorses because sometimes it becomes just too much for me after years of watching this killing show.
The endless Kill Lists, the intentional mangling due to a disposable mentality fully supported by such things as the “claiming ranks’ where full scale abuse and exploitation is considered normal.
Dumping these beautiful racehorses after they’ve given their all to this business because they are viewed as disposable gambling chips and we know that no amount of money or farms will or can ever provide for their unwanted racehorse mess.
Not only is the killing inherent, but the dying on the slaughterhouse floor is guaranteed.
Unfortunately, it’s not going to be the endless kills, doping, beating and corruption that ends horse racing.
I think the 2 things that will finally shut down this antiquated business model is 1) our elected politicians END the subsides 2) the Las Vegas style corporations, that are moving in to buy up these tracks employ their bevy of high-priced attorneys to find a legal loophole or a way to “decouple” and get rid of the “horsemen groups” and the entire racino model like they did with Pompano.
It’s the politicians that defend and support the “horsemen groups” and even demand that casino buyers include the racino model.
They are cutting deals with the HBPA in their back boardrooms again and they suddenly take a vote with little to no input from residents and taxpayers just as they did recently in Albany, NY.
How sad when the majority of New Yorkers want to end the subsidies and end horse racing.
What I find ODD …. is how NO one in this gambling racket EVER questions “what happened to him,what happened to her(horses). For these shallow scum,it’s like Out of sight out of mind. The blatant fact they NEVER question the well being of the ANIMALS … speaks volumes. It’s like don’t take this meaningless easy job away from me.
Rest in peace to a morbid icon of animal exploitation, but not a thought to the horses who were exploited, abused, and died there. This was a death long overdue, and to anyone with a modicum of decency and conscience, a death celebrated.
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