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posted: 11/19/2013 5:00 AM

Jobs will be lost with no year-round racing

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Thousands of jobs literally are going to be gone in Illinois come January, and no one seems to know or care. Horse racing is a huge business, from the farmers that grow hay and grain, to blacksmiths who put shoes on horses, to tack men that make equipment, to veterinarians, grooms, hot walkers, outriders, jock agents, jockeys, trainers, valets and parking attendants. As an auxiliary there are the electricians and the maintenance people both at the tracks and farms. Training centers, local food suppliers.

Until now there has always been the opportunity to race year round in Illinois, raise a family, support local communities, pay taxes. We cannot stay in a "shop" that's only allowed to be open forty-something days a year. The horsemen are being handcuffed both by politicians and corporations over gambling dollars.

When families leave they don't come back Some $90 million was taken by the state from the horsemen, I believe. Just the tip of the iceberg. We need public support before it is too late.

Penny Heyes


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