A large carrot is dangling in front of next year’s Legislature – but only if state lawmakers agree to a statewide referendum to permit horse racing.
A member of the board of directors of the Breeders’ Cup says the annual event would consider coming to Atlanta – permanently or otherwise – should Georgia make pari-mutuel betting legal.
Each year, the Breeders’ Cup marks the end of the thoroughbred horse-racing season in the United States. It has no home, but migrates from track to track – Los Angeles, Kentucky, sometimes New York. But pass H.R. 186, sponsored by state Rep. Harry Geisinger, R-Roswell, and Breeders’ Cup board member Bill Farish Jr. told Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM) that Atlanta could find itself in the mix:
”I’ve felt that way for a long time, actually. Atlanta as a city has so many of the things a major sporting event like the Breeder’s Cup would look for in a potential host site.
“It’s an international event. People come in from all around the world, as well as all around the country. And as we all know Atlanta’s awfully easy to get to. It also has a tremendous climate, which is a key thing for the Breeders’ Cup….
“The Breeders’ Cup, in its long-term planning process, has looked at the idea of eventually locating at one permanent site, as well as continuing to rotate — and then a kind of third option of narrowing it down to two sites that you go to every other year.”
Los Angeles has the weather but not the facilities, Farish said. Churchill Downs in Kentucky – the site of last week’s Cup – has the facilities, but the weather can be dicey this time of year. Same for New York.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider