The Keeneland Association and Full House Resorts, a Las Vegas-based gaming company, have filed a letter of intent with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to purchase the racing license of Thunder Ridge Raceway, a small harness-racing track in the Eastern Kentucky town of Prestonsburg that has struggled financially. The purchase would be contingent on judicial or legislative approval of historic racing, according to Julie Balog, speaking on behalf of Keeneland.
Historic racing, currently offered at Kentucky Downs and Ellis Park in Kentucky in the form of Instant Racing machines, has held up to legal challenges, but its opponents have carried the argument to the Kentucky Supreme Court, which will decide the case.
Sources said Keeneland and Full House Resorts would seek to transfer the harness racing license to Quarter horse racing at a facility to be constructed near London or Corbin, Ky. Thunder Ridge has offered low-level standardbred racing and is permitted to take simulcast wagering on Thoroughbred tracks.
Following is a statement from Keeneland on the deal: “Today, the Keeneland Association, along with Full House Resorts, has filed a non-binding letter of intent with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to acquire the assets of Appalachian Racing, Inc. which includes Thunder Ridge Raceway.
“The letter of intent is contingent upon the confirmation—either by legislative or judicial means—of the historical racing administrative regulations already approved by Governor Beshear and the KHRC and whose products already are in place at Kentucky Downs and Ellis Park. We anticipate that legislation will be filed prior to Tuesday's deadline.”
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