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Horsemen take Remington Park bankruptcy of track’s owner in stride

BY STEVE LACKMEYER Modified: March 7, 2009 at 8:30 am •  Published: March 7, 2009
"It’s a Lucky Day” still melodically greets visitors as they arrive at Remington Park, and inside the racetrack and casino on Friday there was no hint that its owner had filed for bankruptcy the day before.

The only apparent urgency was inside the entrance to the racetrack, where workers were busy hanging up posters and making last-minute preparations for the start of the American Quarter Horse and Mixed-breed season.

Scott Wells, president and general manager, said he heard just a few questions about the bankruptcy filing and saw no impact on the races, which started Friday night.

"We’re starting out with the most races ever for an opening night card because horse racing in Oklahoma is thriving as never before,” Wells said. "Horsemen have steadily invested their money in futurity payments, training expenses, and so much more.”

Trainer Heath Taylor, racing two horses, Fast Prize Dash and Send Me a Perry, was among those unfazed by the bad news the day before.

"Obviously any time a major contributor to racing industry faces difficulty, it’s concerning,” Taylor said. "That said, Remington Park is going to be a jam-up meet this weekend. We’ve got a tremendous gathering of horses and a great purse structure.”

Taylor was among several at the racetrack Friday who agreed the addition of a casino two years ago helped revive Remington Park’s fortunes.

"It’s not time to panic — we need to wait and see how they restructure,” Taylor said. "I think Remington Park is uniquely positioned to do very well.”

Gary, who would not let his last name be used, said he had been betting at the track since the early 1990s.


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