MRC to hear license revocation response in Running Aces-Canterbury dispute

  • Article by: RACHEL BLOUNT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 6, 2013 - 11:42 PM

Running Aces will be answering to a request from Canterbury horsemen to yank license over money dispute.

hide

DAVID JOLES • Star Tribune file Lawyer Thomas A. Keller III will represent Running Aces before the MRC on Thursday.

 

The group that operates Running Aces Harness Park will go before the Minnesota Racing Commission on Thursday to respond to a request that its operating license be revoked.

The request was made last month by the Minnesota Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, which represents horsemen at Canterbury Park. It claims that North Metro Harness Initiative, operator of Running Aces, has failed to honor the terms of its license application by halting payments to Canterbury’s purse fund. NMHI stopped the payments last August and has sued the HBPA and Canterbury, seeking to end its financial obligation.

Running Aces also has stopped simulcasting thoroughbred and quarter horse racing after canceling a contract with Canterbury that allowed it to take wagers on those races. Without a contract, state law allows each track to simulcast only the breeds it runs during its live racing season.

Attorney Thomas A. Keller III will represent Running Aces at Thursday’s racing commission meeting. He sent a letter to the commission this week, arguing that the dispute is a private matter that should be resolved in court and that NMHI has not failed to live up to representations made in its license application, as the HBPA alleges.

“North Metro performed exactly as it represented it would,” the letter states. “North Metro made all required payments under the agreement for more than seven years. This is not a case in which North Metro misled or deceived the MRC. … The MRC should give no serious consideration to the HBPA’s request that the MRC revoke North Metro’s license.”

When Running Aces applied for its operating license in 2005, it agreed to pay a portion of its card-club revenues to help fund purses at Canterbury. The HBPA, in turn, dropped its opposition to licensing the harness track. The payments were to continue until legislation was passed to allow the tracks to install slot machines.

Last summer, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community cut a deal with Canterbury to contribute $75 million to purses over 10 years. In exchange, Canterbury agreed to drop its pursuit of slots and to oppose such legislation in the future. That deal, Running Aces contends, will make it impossible to end its payments to the purse fund — and it filed suit to end the agreement, claiming breach of contract. Hennepin County ­District Judge Ronald L. Abrams is expected to rule on the matter soon.

At a racing commission meeting last month, HBPA attorney Cort Holten cited a Minnesota law that says a license can be revoked for “failure to perform material covenants or representations made in a license application.” He said ceasing the purse-fund payments constitutes such a failure. Keller’s rebuttal letter said it does not, because the payment agreement was not finalized until after the license application was approved.

Canterbury Park President Randy Sampson said there have been no talks between the tracks to resolve the simulcast issue. Since Running Aces canceled that contract on Feb. 19, it has been unable to simulcast thoroughbred or quarter horse races, and Canterbury cannot simulcast harness races.

Running Aces said in a statement that it wants to eliminate a payment of approximately $150,000 per year to Canterbury, saying it has paid “almost all of its simulcast profitability to Canterbury Park over the past five years.”

Sampson said the interruption of all-breed simulcasting has not significantly affected Canterbury’s purse fund or its finances, though he added that purses at both tracks will be impacted and that the situation “isn’t good for the horse industry.” While harness racing represents a small portion of Canterbury’s simulcast offerings, the majority of simulcast wagering at Running Aces is placed on thoroughbred and quarter horse races.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 99 FINAL
LA Lakers 87
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
NJIT 72 FINAL
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
UCF 61 FINAL
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
UCLA 57
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close