Tim Skubick: Horse racing supporters look to Snyder - KMSP-TV

Tim Skubick: Horse racing supporters look to Snyder

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

It was a thriving industry until all those casinos started popping up all over the joint.  Now hanging on by a thread, the horse racing folks are hoping Gov. Rick Snyder will toss them a rope.  He had a chance to do it once before but did not.

Rep. Kevin Daley (R-Attica) is hopping a Kentucky court can help.

The tracks wanted to add "instant horse racing" to their gaming menu but when the governor vetoed the bill because it was an expansion of gaming and therefore against the law, there went that hope.

IHR is a machine that runs historic races.  While track patrons are mulling around waiting for another live race, they can put their moola in these machines and make money that way. ..or not.   

A Blue-Grass state court ruled this was just another form of pari-mutal betting and therefore, according to Mr. Daley, not an extension of gaming.

When the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review the case, horse racing concerns could hardly wait to revisit the governor hoping he would sign the bill this time since his reason for nixing it was gone.

"Now we've got a case to take to the governor," the lawmaker advises.

The unsuspecting governor the other day while touring a farming exhibit near the capitol rotunda walked right into the arms of Larry Julian, the former GOP lawmaker turned lobbyist for all his horse racing buddies.

Julian quickly got the governor to pose for pictures with industry supporters while over against the wall stood a person dressed-up like a horse with a T-Shirt pleading for lawmakers to save the industry.

An astute reporter, sensing a Michael Dukakis moment (you remember the helmet in a tank picture) motioned his TV cameraperson to get ready for the shot of the governor and the guy decked out in a horse-head.

But alas the non-career politician, acting like a career politician and sensing photographic danger lurking just around the corner, turned and walked away.

The reporter tagged along with him.  "You know I wanted that picture with you and the horse."

The governor smiles, "Yeah, I knew you did" which is why he was walking in the opposite direction.

The horse racing folks missed that photo-op but would gladly attend another one when and if the governor signs their bill.

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