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Court Okay's 'Slow Motion' Races At Hamilton Downs

Palm Beach Post

The First District Court of Appeal is siding with Hamilton Downs, a North Florida pari-mutuel facility, in a legal battle with state regulators.

While a hearing officer described them as “slow motion horse races,” with “tired, reluctant, skittish or disinterested horses,” the three-judge panel ruled they still qualified as races.

The 12-page ruling finds that track owners ultimately met licensing requirements.

Judges noted the races occurred before duly appointed  officials and winners were awarded purses.

State regulators filed a complaint in 2014.

At issue is a requirement that pari-mutuel facilities offer dog or horse racing if they want to sponsor more lucrative forms of gambling, like slots and card games.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.