02/12/2004 12:00AM

Kentucky tracks in slots compromise

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Kentucky's racetracks tentatively have agreed to a proposal by one of the state's leading Democrats, giving their blessing for gaming at sites other than the tracks.

A proposal by Larry Clark, pro tem speaker of the state House, would create a bill to allow gaming at four tracks and four high-traffic sites elsewhere in the state. The compromise was reached Wednesday.

Bob Elliston, president of Turfway Park, speaking on behalf of the tracks, said Thursday that "progress was made, but I don't know how far we can get."

Elliston, along with representatives of several racetracks, most notably Churchill Downs and Keeneland, and two state horsemen's organizations, met Wednesday with Clark in the state capital.

If Clark's bill makes it to the House floor, it would have to pass that chamber and then pass the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans who are on record as opposing any expansion of gaming.