The Texas Thoroughbred Association, on behalf of the owners and breeders it represents in the state, commends Lone Star Park for a number of significant improvements recently announced at the track in Grand Prairie.
On Nov. 4, Lone Star Park management and the Grand Prairie Sports Facilities and Development Corporation reached an initial agreement to share in the costs of major improvements to the track's facilities, with a focus on items requested by horsemen. The enhancements will focus on amenities for horsemen on the backside and the safety of racehorses and jockeys.
The impetus for these projects comes from the passage of HB 2463 during the last Texas legislative session that directs up to $25 million annually to the state's horse racing industry through the diversion of sales taxes on horse feed, tack and other equine-related items and services.
“With the passage of this bill, we are hopeful that Texas can once again be a leader in the horse racing industry,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the TTA. “We are excited about not only raising the bar for purses and incentives for breeding and racing Accredited Texas-breds, but also raising the bar for the health and welfare of our racehorses. These improvements at Lone Star Park will go a long way in accomplishing that goal.”
Among the approved enhancements are:
- A cooling down area for horses, located about 100 yards beyond the finish line, with fans, cool water, etc. where horses can be bathed and cooled down just moments after unsaddling;
- Video surveillance cameras in all barns;
- A new state of the art Duralock moveable turf rail;
- Construction of round pens (as space permits) for horses to spend time outdoors;
- Replacement of damaged stalls (to be done in phases);
- Landscaping, dorm renovations, beautification (to be done in stages).
“The City of Grand Prairie has been an integral part of Lone Star Park's success from the track's inception,” noted Scott Wells, president and general manager of Lone Star Park. “Their leadership has enabled us to make much needed renovations on the frontside in areas open to the public, from the suites levels to the ground floor. This move toward improving conditions for horsemen and horses is just another example of our mutual commitment to keeping Lone Star Park a truly world class facility.”
Ron Jensen, the mayor of Grand Prairie, added: “The City of Grand Prairie and Lone Star Park management have a unique and productive partnership. Thanks to the actions of the Texas Legislature this past session, horse racing in Texas is back on an upward trajectory. We want Lone Star Park to lead the way in providing the best and safest facilities for our customers, our horsemen and their horses.”
Lone Star Park's next Thoroughbred meet, which is expected to feature a boost in purses compared to last year, will commence this spring.
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