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Wagers on horse races could help competitors later in life

The breeders fund gets its money, in part, from fees, taxes, and set-asides on race track and card club activity, including a tax on the live racing handle at Canterbury Park and Running Aces and a fee on wagers by Minnesota residents with an advance deposit wagering provider.

The Minnesota Racing Commission manages the fund that Rep. Ami Wazlawik (DFL-White Bear Township) said has a balance of just under $500,000.

Funds are used to cover costs associated with regulating horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering in the state. Sponsored by Wazlawik, HF3545 would allow fund dollars to also be used to support the adoption, retirement and repurposing of racehorses.

“This will help ensure that retired racehorses are taken care of after their racing careers are over,” Wazlawik said before the bill was passed 101-30 by the House Thursday. It now goes to the Senate where Sen. Zach Duckworth (R-Lakeville) is the sponsor.

Because the bill is permissive, not mandatory, Wazlawik emphasized it would not increase fees or taxes on the horse racing industry, nor cost the state anything.

Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) called the plan a “bill on a bad track,” in part because he said it would subsidize wealthy owners who do not want to care for the horses once their racing career is done.


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