08/14/2012 6:12PM

Texas Racing Commission gives yet-to-be-built track the right to open simulcast facility

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The Texas Racing Commission on Tuesday granted Saddle Brook Park, a yet-to-be-constructed racetrack in Amarillo, Texas, the right to simulcast for two years before its opening.

In paperwork submitted to the commission, Saddle Brook listed an Oct. 15 target date to begin simulcasting at a temporary location six miles from where the racetrack is to be built. Texas statutes provide for such simulcasting if certain provisions are met, including simulcasting in a temporary facility only in the county in which the track is to be built. Back in 1996, the Dallas area-Lone Star Park did have pre-opening simulcasting before launching live racing in April 1997. Corey Johnsen, the former president of Lone Star and now a part-owner of Kentucky Downs, is track/simulcast operator for the Saddle Brook team led by Drew Alexander and Lynn Alexander.

In a letter to the commission, Johnsen said Saddle Brook is "interested in applying for live race dates in October/November 2014."

Saddle Brook holds a Class 2 license from the Texas Racing Commission. In documents submitted to the panel, simulcast handle is projected to be $10.3 million a year. Saddle Brook plans to simulcast on Wednesdays through Sundays and on holiday Mondays. The temporary site is a 6,300-square foot building at 4332 Southwest 45th Ave.

As for the track, it is to be located on a 286-acre site just south of Interstate 40. It is proposed to be a seven-furlong oval with 200 stalls and a 15,000 square-foot "anchor building." 

** Race date allocations for 2013 were also on the agenda Tuesday, but the item was tabled until October.