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Horse breeders want more money from race track purses

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A group of horsemen on Thursday called for state Senate approval of a bill that would increase the amount of pari-mutuel horse racing proceeds that go to breeders and for purses.

An amendment approved by the state House on a 97-3 vote would provide an extra $5 million for the Oklahoma breeding program and increase money going to purses by $250,000, said Ivan Holmes, horse owner from Oklahoma City.

The bill is headed for the state Senate, where Holmes said an effort to kill it is being made by Remington Park and others involved in the horse racing industry.

Don Reamy, another Oklahoma City horseman, said the current arrangement in state law does not provide trainers and owners with enough money to stay in business.

Horsemen attending a news conference at the state Capitol said more money should go to the breeding program now that a state question has been approved permitting Remington Park to operate electronic gaming devices now allowed in Indian casinos.

Remington officials say the race track in Oklahoma City has lost money for several years and they are hoping the gaming devices will allow them to keep the track operating in the future.
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