The following is a trenchant opinion from one of the blog’s readers who is also a breeder, owner, and patron of the sport. He does not live in Kentucky but has kept horses there for decades.
Why has Kentucky not passed the slots at the racetrack legislation? Oh yes, there is this one senator who continues to block it. But should we try to look at the more obvious political reasons? Here are a few.
In Lexington, for the last 40 years or more, the breeding farm owners have been (to put it mildly) a bit pompous and arrogant towards the rest of the non-horse population of Kentucky. The amount of goodwill towards them (political goodwill) is very small at best, and they must bear the blame or credit themselves.
Their only interest was in promoting the million-dollar yearlings and broodmares, etc.
Next they have failed to see the coming of the freight train of slots at the racetracks as a savior, and in fact many of them actually opposed it in the beginning.
They have failed to educate the common man about the economics of the multi billion-dollar industry on a grass-roots level.
Now we have a situation where the industry is in the doldrums, and the one thing that could save it appears to be in the hands of someone who is blocking the passage of slots for unknown reasons.
Add to that the replacement of the working horsemen (grooms, hot walkers, riders, etc.) from a local ethnic group with the undocumented and illegal Hispanic workers who do not have a political voice (to speak of), and the current lot of politicians are deaf to what they might think in reference to their jobs in the horse industry.
For that matter, these workers are the new Helots, who make the glory of the Kentucky (like the old Spartan) horse industry possible.
Now if the bigwigs of the horse industry in Kentucky had treated the downtrodden with grace and respect, they would, at least, have voted to get the senator out of his job.