|Manor Gets Reprieve; Agreements Allow
Purse Money To Be Distributed Elsewhere
Manor Downs has once again been given a reprieve and a new deadline
of July 1 by which they must complete all construction to bring the Austin
area track into compliance with the Racing Act and the Texas Rules of
After an on-again-off-again Quarter Horse meet, officials at Manor Downs
came to the realization that the final construction necessary to conduct
a timely Thoroughbred meet was not possible. Installation of a safety
rail, repairs to the video equipment and towers, drainage, and other issues
which were impossible to complete in the timeframe necessary forced Manor
to cancel the meet, which was scheduled to begin on April 21, 2001.
The Texas Racing Commission held a meeting at its office to determine
a solution to the numerous problems at hand. Present were representatives
from Manor Downs, the TRC and the horsemen's organizations.
The foremost concerns of the horsemen were the lost racing opportunities
for all horsemen and use of the accrued purse money that was supposed
to be paid out at Manor Downs. It was immediately determined that Manor
was not able to comply with a rule which mandates that all purse money
generated from simulcast wagering be paid out within the twelve months
in which it was generated. Therefore alternative plans were necessary.
Leaders of the horsemen's organizations negotiated for the immediate
authorization to transfer the purse money to other Texas racetracks in
order to get the money in the hands of the horsemen for which it was earned.
Additionally, to compensate the Quarter Horse industry for the economic
hardships inflicted upon them, horsemen's representatives negotiated to
have Manor pay an additional $140,000 into the Quarter Horse purse account
over the next three years.
The Texas Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, which represents
Quarter Horse and minor breed horsemen, voted to move Quarter Horse purse
money in the amount of $438,011.78 to Retama Park as well as $334,502.94
to Sam Houston Race Park. This money is to be paid out as soon as possible,
and Sam Houston Race Park agreed to offer an additional three days of
live Quarter Horse racing. No determination has yet been made for the
minor breed purse fund.
The Texas Thoroughbred HBPA, Inc., which represents Thoroughbred horsemen,
voted to move approximately $350,000.00 to Lone Star Park and $250,000.00
to Retama Park for additional racing opportunities. Lone Star Park has
committed to running 13 additional races for Texas-breds during the current
meet, and Retama Park will card an additional four races during each of
the Monday night Thoroughbred cards beginning on May 7. Any left over
purse money at Retama Park will be added to the existing purse structure
at Retama Park in the fall.
These agreements with Lone Star Park, Retama Park and Sam Houston Race
Park will allow Manor Downs until July 1, 2001, to complete all repairs
necessary to comply with the Act and Rules.
July 1 is the date on which all Texas racetracks must submit their requests
for live race dates the following year. If Manor Downs is not finished
with construction on or before July 1, the track will not be permitted
to simulcast or receive dates for next year until they come into compliance.