04/19/2009 11:00PM

SunRay signal held back


SunRay Park in Farmington, N.M., has been unable to send its signal to out-of-state tracks since its mixed meet for Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses opened on April 17 because of a dispute with horsemen. Both parties were hopeful the situation would be resolved soon.

It s nothing to do with any simulcast issue, said Lonnie Barber, the director of racing for SunRay.

Instead, horsemen want resolutions or assurances on a couple of different operations-related issues, said Pat Bingham, the executive director of the New Mexico Horsemen s Association. Among the topics are racing surface maintenance.

They re not enormous issues, Bingham said. They re all resolvable. We are not intending to harm our fans, the racetrack, or anybody connected with our sport. We just have some outstanding issues that need to be addressed. The Interstate Horseracing Act does give us some leverage in doing that.

Bingham said SunRay last week sought an injunction against horsemen for withholding the signal, and a hearing was held Monday in Albuquerque. He said the judge has not yet issued a ruling in the case, but he believes she could have a decision before the next SunRay raceday, which is on Thursday.

SunRay, in the northern part of the state, also operates a slot-machine casino.