Present Kentucky Opinion of Mutuels, Daily Racing Form, 1908-10-11


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PRESENT KENTUCKY OPINION OF MTJTUELS. Lexington. Ky., October 10. Whether or. not the State Racing Commission will see lit to alter its attitude with reference to the betting system on the Kentucky race tracks remains to be seen, but it has been amply demonstrated that under present financial conditions In this state the tracks cannot be maintained with pari-mutuels and auction pooling. The attitude of the racing commission is that the mutuels and the auctions have been declared legal by the Kentucky Court of Appeals, while bookmaking has not. and that the mutuels and the auctions arc productive of fairer odds and cleaner racing. The majority of the people who know racing from all of Its angles concur iu the opinion of the racing commission. but at the same time a very great many of these people are now of the opinion that if the tracks are to live the bookmakers must be restored, for a time at least, and the general sentiment here at this time is that there should be no opposition to the decision of the Latonia management to return to the slates. There is. however, a well-defined notion that In giving its sanction to the change the racing commission should demand that there be no field books In operation. Prior to the opening of the Kentucky Associations fall . meeting here on September 19 there was scarcelv a man In this section who was not of the opinion that the Latonia Jockey Club management had deliberately set about to discourage mutuel and auction betting in the .spring and that the statements of loss at the spring meeting at that track were not true. The results of the seven days racing here and the sho.wing at the present meeting at Louisville produced an entire reversal .of opinion. The chief trouble was the scarcity Qf money in the hands of the people Who support racing, and the pamo condition prevails at Louisville and will prevail at Latonia. The local track lost about 500 on its seven days and that after curtailing expenses bv reducing the purses and limiting the number of races to five dally. The revenue was derived from only three sources the gate, the commissions on the betting vnd the sale of privileges. The gate did not average S700 per day. In other words, the attendance barely paid the daily expenses of the track other than the nurses. The commissions on the betting and the revenue from the privileges combined were S4.500 short of the amount necessary to pav the purses. With conditions in the east as they arc and the Canadian tracks only affording occupation for book-aiakers. it stands to reason that had the ring here been open to them, as many as a dozen, possibly 3f teen or twenty, would have come here, paid 00 er day each and the pro rata In addition for the sixth or extra race. With them would have come a following which likewise would have increased the rate receipts and, Instead of a loss of 54,000. the worst the Kentucky Association could have had would have been about a stand-off. By suspending its rule against bookmaking. the State Kaclng Commission would, under, the existing conditions, detract nothing from its dignity and In all fairness to the horsemen and the track managers ;lt seems that It should grant tho appeal of the La tonia Jockey Club, with the understanding that .with a restoration of good times rand a return of turf affairs to a uormal. condition, the alates will caln be displaced by themachlrj-

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