Judge tells horse tracks again: Stay closed during shutdown

Minnesota’s two horse tracks, which are arguably collateral damage in the state shutdown, were told again today that they can’t reopen.

Judge Kathleen Gearin rejected another plea from Canterbury Park and Running Aces, which means the tracks will be closed at least another weekend, even if Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislators are working towards ending the 14-day shutdown.

Some owners and trainers have already begun taking their horses to other tracks.

Even though the tracks are private, they are regulated by the state racing commission. More than 1,500 employees at the two tracks have been laid off since July 1.

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Claire Lundgren on 07/15/2011 - 09:03 am.

    Very sad. It would appear that a private company, that was in the same situation as the Zoo, had to be dealt such a blow possibly because The tracks don’t need any money from the government. This judge blew it and probably destroyed a few lives along the way. This last lost weekend might just be too much for families that need to eat. And unless they get a break it is a likely scenerio that out of state horses won’t want to take a risk with Minnesota again.

  2. Submitted by Don Medal on 07/15/2011 - 02:36 pm.

    Lots of people and organizations are hurt financially by the shutdown. The zoo has what’s called a standing appropriation, meaning there’s already a bill on the books authorizing payment. Racing commission staff are paid out of general funds without a standing appropriation. The judiciary has thread a needle between being “activist” (doing what’s “reasonable” here without statute) and being too rigid. She has to go by the laws already on the books.

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