by Kathy Parker
As a bill that would likely lead to the end of harness racing at Pompano Park works its way through the Florida legislative process, the Florida Breeders and Owners Association (FSBOA) has taken upon itself to set up an account on GoFundMe.com to raise money for legal fees to oppose its passage. Anyone who wishes to donate may also make a check payable to the Florida Breeders and Owners Association.
Already passed by a state House and Senate committee, the legislative session has until March 11 to pass the proposed “Seminole Pact.” If approved, the bill provides in part that the Florida racetracks could continue to operate its casinos and cease live racing. Management at Pompano Park would be able to then stop racing harness cards for one year, and then after asking for a second year, the agreement would become permanent. FSBOA executive director Joe Pennacchio recently told harnessracing.com that the bill as written would then preclude harness racing from ever being conducted in Florida again.
According to FSBOA board of director Jerry Glantz, the FSBOA and its lawyers believe “that this is blatantly unconstitutional and that they need money “to fight the corruption within the political system.”
Glantz said if Florida approves decoupling, he expects other jurisdictions to soon follow.
“The battle starts here and if Florida falls and they manage to decouple, there will be a domino effect,” Glantz told harnessracing.com Tuesday afternoon. “It may not be tomorrow, but all the other states will fall in line and it could spell the end of harness racing. This isn’t just about saving Pompano.”
To donate money for the FSBOA’s cause against decoupling, go their GoFundMe page. Checks may also be directly sent to the FSBOA at: 1800 S.W. 3rd Street, Pompano Beach, Fla. 33069. Put in the memo STOP HARNESS DECOUPLING.