- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 28, 2014

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - Several horse racing tracks in Kentucky have suspended simulcast signals to Dubuque, months after a group representing horse owners in Iowa raised concerns about recent greyhound racing legislation.

It’s unclear what led to the suspension about two months ago of simulcast signals to Mystique Casino. The racetracks include Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington and Churchill Downs in Louisville, the Telegraph Herald reported (https://bit.ly/1waOTEZ ).

The Iowa Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, which oversees thoroughbred racing in the state, has expressed concerns about greyhound racing legislation in the state that passed earlier this year. The Iowa Greyhound Association’s ability to negotiate simulcasting contracts with other casinos would make them the sole beneficiaries of expanded agreements, the group argued.

“The new legislation will allow the greyhounds a ‘soft landing’ and (allow them to) continue a much smaller form of dog racing in the state of Iowa,” HBPA officials wrote in a May press release. “However, during all the wheeling and dealing, the Iowa horsemen were left out of the final draft that passed both the House and Senate.”

As part of the legislation, the greyhound association is expected to run the Dubuque Greyhound Park next year. Mystique Casino will no longer be expected to support the industry.

Gov. Terry Branstand told the Telegraph Herald in an editorial board meeting earlier this month that he was disappointed that the Iowa horsemen’s concerns weren’t addressed in the bill. He expressed an interest in changing that through the Legislature.

“The deal was basically made outside of government and then the Legislature just approved it, but the horsemen were left out,” he said. “I don’t think it’s fair because (the greyhound association) is using simulcasting from the horse races.”

Jerry Crawford, an attorney for the greyhound association, said concerns from horse owners are one of several issues still being discussed.

“I have confidence we will have the horse signal when the time comes,” he said in an email.

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, https://www.thonline.com

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