Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced on Thursday that the state's four historical horse racing (HHR) facilities can re-open Monday, June 8 after having been shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) released the following statement in response:
“KEEP applauds Governor Beshear's announcement that historical horse racing (HHR) facilities can reopen on June 8, 2020. KEEP commends the Governor and the horse industry for working together on this solution, which will allow the facilities to operate at one-third capacity and provide a safe environment for the fans of this unique entertainment experience.
“HHR has single-handedly transformed the horse racing industry in Kentucky. HHR's impact on the industry has set it apart from competing states by creating a magnet that is drawing horse operations from around the country to the Commonwealth. HHR alone has contributed more than $52 million to racing purses, more than $50 million to breeders and has contributed tens of millions of dollars to the Kentucky General Fund, as well as other state programs.
“With incentive structures in Kentucky that benefit breeders, trainers and owners who keep their horses in Kentucky, HHR is responsible for the positive growth in the health of the industry and its more than $3.4 billion economic impact on the Commonwealth.”
For more on how HHR revenues fund purses in Kentucky, see KTDF in 'Fragile' State; Ellis 'Moving Heaven and Earth' to Have Race Meet.