The Kentucky House of Representatives on Monday passed a measure to make permanent the Breeders' Cup incentive, a move aimed at permanently attracting one of horse racing's biggest annual events to the Horse Capital of the World.
“Passage of this measure will place Kentucky on competitive ground with other states and venues,” said bill sponsor David Osborne, a Republican from Oldham County who is a Thoroughbred owner and breeder. “Churchill Downs has the opportunity to possibly be named to a permanent rotation of locations, and they have made more than $100 million in investments to secure the Breeders' Cup. A permanent incentive from Kentucky will send the right message.”
The Breeders' Cup World Championships is horse racing's end-of-year championships, which features two days of racing and the best horses from around the globe. Currently, the Breeders' Cup World Championships moves around the country each year. In 2015, Keeneland in Lexington hosted the event for the first time, and Churchill Downs is set to host the 2018 version. This year marks the ninth time Churchill Downs will have hosted the Breeders' Cup, most recently in 2011.
The incentive, which has been passed for previous Breeders' Cups in Kentucky and in other states, is an exemption of the state's pari-mutuel tax on live racing for the event and considered a key element in hosting the Breeders' Cup.
The current Breeders Cup incentive in Kentucky ended at the end of 2017.
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