Horse racing industry sees emerging markets south of the border (US)

By VIVIAN GRANT

Oh, look. American horse racing, that noble industry that loves to kill its horses in slaughterhouses when they are through with them, wants to welcome into their fold fellow horse murderers … Mexico and Puerto Rico!

What a great idea.

Why is this bunch hotter than a jalapeno about getting it all together? So a bunch of loser gamblers have even more horse racing to shoot their wads on.

Ed DeRosa reports for The Thoroughbred Times:

Horses, jockeys, and trainers already have proven that South American and Latin American athletes can compete throughout the world, and a movement is under way to prove that the South American and Latin American racing industries can compete in an international marketplace for simulcasting as well.

Discussion of developing the racing from South America and Latin America as a wagering product in North America was the opening discussion on the final day of the International Simulcast Conference on Wednesday in St. Petersburg, Florida.

“The potential and opportunity is there,” said Chris Scherf, executive vice president of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations. “The Latin American and South American markets are emerging in our country. The races are in a similar time zone, and they use the same tote vendors, which is a huge advantage. We still have problems with wagering when dealing with foreign tote vendors.”

The Maryland Jockey Club began importing and distributing signals from South America in December 2006, and Pablo Kavulakian of the Latin American Racing Channel said that his group would seek an expansion in the number of wagering opportunities available to North American bettors on races from his region of the world.

DeRosa reports further:

Santiago Gonzalez de Cosio, the director of gaming and simulcasting services for MIR International Services Inc., which represents Agua Caliente in Mexico, said that he has worked with the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau to give North American operators peace of mind that his Aqua Caliente operates with integrity.

Ah, yes, Mexico … where thousands of our racehorses end up in abattoirs, stabbed repeatedly in the neck and back until their spinal cords are severed so they can be butchered for their meat.

And how about that friendly sounding Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau? Hmmm, based in Maryland, its “mandate is to expose and investigate all activity prejudicial to horse racing and to maintain public confidence in …” blah blah blah.

DeRosa then goes on to tell us about horse racing in Puerto Rico:

Lionel Muller, vice president of the Hipodromo Camarero in Puerto Rico, said that he hopes to export Camarero wagering opportunities to the U.S. and Canada too. The track offers a Poolpote [Big Pool] wager, which is a pick-six wager for 25 cents that pays the jackpot when there is just a single winner. Prizes have been as high as $14.2-million in 2007 and $6-million this year.

Puerto Rico — that island paradise — unless you are a race horse having an off day.

When horses fail to win in Puerto Rico they kill them right there at the track. Puerto Rican racehorse owners don’t even wait until horses are so injured they are running on three legs or less like their compadres in America do before getting rid of them. No, they destroy young, fit, healthy horses simply because they are pissed off the horse did not run fast enough that day.

I commend the handful of great folks in the racing industry fighting and scratching to reform the way its racehorses are treated. The odds of them being successful, however, are highly stacked against them.

Source: >> Full article here.

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