LEXINGTON, KY — “The continuing institutional, societal, moral and cultural damage caused by an unelected Kentucky Horse Racing Commission working in common interest with the race tracks must be stopped now,” said Martin Cothran, senior policy analyst for The Family Foundation. “That’s why we’ve filed a motion to transfer our appeal to the highest court in the Commonwealth – the Kentucky Supreme Court.”
“When first before the Kentucky Supreme Court in 2013-14, historical horse racing was described as nothing more than betting on a video of an old horse race. Because the trial court had barred all discovery about how the gambling device worked, the Kentucky Supreme Court remanded for evidence to be taken. The evidentiary record shows that the Racing Commission’s description of the gaming was inaccurate. What a difference a little discovery makes,” said Cothran. “Even a previous Supreme Court Justice who heard the initial appeal has said the Court was ‘misled’, asserting ‘If we (the Court) had been standing at Kentucky Downs, that day, looking at those machines, and they’d told us that, we’d probably have thrown them out of court.’”
Cothran believes that if ever a case satisfies the criteria for immediate transfer to the Supreme Court, this case does. “From the beginning, the Kentucky Supreme Court was misled about the real intentions of the race tracks in what a respected horseman, lawyer, and Racing Commission Member generally characterized as a ‘charade’ and ‘sham’.”
“After having once accepted discretionary review in 2013, a decision not to transfer this case, now with the benefit of a court record, will have the effect of rewarding the race tracks for one of the darkest periods in Kentucky jurisprudence,” said Cothran. “For the Court, this case should be about reaching the correct outcome and the unassailable integrity of the process.”
“The unelected Horse Racing Commission has facilitated an unprecedented expansion of gambling in Kentucky without a law change — not a single vote from the people or from their duly-elected representatives,” said Cothran. “This surely demonstrates the lengths to which the gambling industry will go to manipulate and corrupt government to have their way.”
“One can only imagine what this kind of manipulative policy-making process will do to the poor and defenseless,” warned Cothran.