Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bill Farish Is Right On Slots

I went to the first day of Keeneland's Yearling sale last week, and it was a blood bath. Not a single horse sold for a million dollars. Most final bids did not meet the minimum reserve; many did not even cover the cost of the stud fee.

Kentucky's horse industry is dying, and our leadership in Frankfort -- including Sen. Dave Williams -- is preventing the solution: video lottery terminals at the tracks.

Joe Arnold links up a letter from Bill Farish that underscores the unity within the horse industry on the need for VLTs:

The horse industry is as united as it has never been in the past. Opponents of VLTs have always relied on our discord to defeat the efforts to compete on a level playing field. Now that the industry has formed a united front, opponents seek to break us apart again. They will be unsuccessful in their efforts to do so. Kentucky breeders recognize that we must have a healthy horse economy in this state in order to run successful breeding operations. A healthy horse economy includes buyers willing to invest in our product and take their investment to the racetracks in the hopes of recouping their investment. Owners recognize that they need healthy racetracks offering good purses, so that they can attempt to win back some of their initial investment. Racetrack operators understand that they need breeders to produce and owners to race their horses at their tracks.

We are all in this together, and the attempt to break us into factions is disheartening. A fractured industry cannot survive, and a failed horse industry would be catastrophic for Kentucky's economy. Sadly, Sen. Williams seems less concerned about helping our industry, and more concerned about maintaining control over his Senate fiefdom.

Farish also has harsh words for Williams:

Sen. Williams and several members of his caucus are currently advocating that the government should stand in the way of our signature industry, and prevent it from being able to compete. Government interference with Kentucky businesses and job creation does not sound like a Republican philosophy I am familiar with. But regardless, saving 100,000 jobs and the industry that identifies our state all over the world does not rest in the domain of any political party. It should be the stated goal of all Kentuckians--regardless of political registration.

Well said, Mr. Farish.

No comments: