Updated on 09/15/2011 1:09PM

Hoosier must split riverboat cash


The Indiana Horse Racing Commission Monday lifted a $6.8 million cap on riverboat revenues that tracks can receive, but mandated that Hoosier Park split the revenues equally with Indianapolis Downs, a harness track that is expected to begin operations early in 2003.

Hoosier, which is owned by a partnership headed by Churchill Downs Inc., received the full $6.8 million subsidy in 2001. Although Hoosier will get nearly $10 million in subsidies from the riverboats next year because it will be the only track operating, general manager Rick Moore said Hoosier expects to get only $4.8 million in 2003 and beyond under the new formula.

Hoosier Park officials said Wednesday that the ruling could put the track into the red. "We had $1.7 million in net income last year, and with the new numbers, they're taking out $2 million from us," Moore said. "So potentially it could put us in a losing position."

Despite objections from Churchill officials, Indianapolis Downs was licensed earlier this year by the commission. Developers of the track have said that they plan to run a short Standardbred meet, but they have said that they will consider installing a turf course for a Thoroughbred meet.