To exacerbate the mockery of yesterday’s “opening” at Creek Gretna Entertainment, only 8 horses and 50 people showed up for the “pari-mutuel barrel racing” farce. Compare this with typical opening day crowds of 25,000 or more people and 2,000 horses at Gulfstream Park, which combine to produce thousands of jobs normally expected with legitimate horse racing.
Normal opening day on-track wagering handle for legitimate horse racing is usually $1 million, whereas Gretna Racing’s sham operation was accorded a generous estimate of only several thousand dollars, which was not known to be officially reported or recorded.
Even more alarming, it was reported in major news sources that one competitor bet on her own horse, which believed to be illegal. State pari-mutuel regulators were not known to be on hand yesterday to police or publicly report these types of highly questionable activities.
“After Florida’s Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering has fought so hard to protect its evasive actions, we have no way of knowing whether anyone was even working to ensure the riders were licensed, whether the horses were drug-tested, or whether any other normal pari-mutuel regulations were applied and upheld,” said Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association Executive Director Kent Stirling.