12/10/2014 4:25PM

Amarillo simulcast facility closing


Saddle Brook Jockey Club, an Amarillo, Texas, facility that has conducted simulcasting since December 2012, will close down Friday night, said co-owner Lynn Alexander.

Alexander and his brother, Drew, had planned to build a racetrack in the county and had been authorized to simulcast from the 6,300-square-foot center for up to two years before the track opened.

The brothers hold a Class 2 racing license for the area but ultimately did not build a track because they believe the racing climate has deteriorated in Texas.

“We’re taking a wait-and-see attitude to see if anything develops that makes it more economically feasible to build a racetrack,” said Lynn Alexander.

The Alexanders have been monitoring the prospects in Texas of “historical racing,” which is a slot-machine-like game that awards prizes based on the results of past races. The men were also hoping a proposed amendment providing for two additional years of pre-opening simulcasting would go through earlier this year.

Alexander said Saddle Brook Jockey Club had about $5 million in simulcast handle over the past two years and raised about $500,000 in purses for other tracks in the state.

“We had grown a lot,” he said. “It was great. We were growing every month.”

Alexander said the simulcast center property would be put up for sale, and that they plan to maintain the racing license.