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Suwanee couple takes horse racing pitch to Capitol

SUWANEE -- A Suwanee couple took the fight for horse racing in Georgia directly to the Capitol Thursday.

Patti and Dean Reeves -- Suwanee residents and owners of Mucho Macho Man, who finished third in the 2011 Kentucky Derby -- are directors of the Georgia Horse Racing Coalition. On Thursday, the coalition kicked off a nine-month lobbying campaign by parking a decked-out RV outside of the Capitol building in Atlanta.

"We just invited people to come in and tour the bus and talk to us," Patti Reeves said, "and try to educate them about the sport and how it works."

Reeves said the group is working to get a bill proposing legalized horse racing (and wagering) in front of the legislature by spring 2014, and to have it voted on later that year. Proponents of the movement say it could bring as much as $50 million a year to the state, money Reeves said would be directed at the struggling HOPE Scholarship.

"It would have a great economic impact for the state," Reeves said. "It would create jobs, and the money (to build a major track) -- it would be built with private funds so it wouldn't cost the public anything."

The Reeves burst onto the racing scene in 2011 when their first big-time thoroughbred, Mucho Macho Man, qualified for the Kentucky Derby and then took third place in the sport's most prestigious race. The Suwanee residents own nine racehorses (stabled in other states) and are "looking for that next Kentucky Derby horse all the time," Patti Reeves said.

For more information on the Georgia Horse Racing Coalition, visit gahorseracing.org.

Comments

kayak 1 year ago

While I appreciate the athletic beauty of a good horse race and know that a lot of effort goes into raising and training a thoroughbred race horse, the unfortunate joined-at-the-hip 'other side' of this industry involves the very shady gambling industry, not known to attract honest, upstanding individuals. Too bad you can't separate the two. Why is it (think 'tax structure' and 'big government') we can't work on attracting honest businesses to employ and solve our state's thirst for income; instead we have to consider gambling as our saviour - video gaming at old AT&T site @ Jimmy Carter / 85S, lottery in all forms, or now horse race gambling..... pitiful state of affairs.

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kevin 1 year ago

Great sport. This is something that is missing in the State to make it even a more popular place to visit. Too many States have low-life casino operations that basically feed off the low-income folks, not counting the fact the casino has a huge "take." Time for some real fun in Georgia, thoroughbred horse racing. I'll go for that. It is a lot more fun to be at a race track all day then at a casino for 1 hr and lose it all. We are losing a lot of money to other states. Many in Georgia travel for those annual big races.

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kayak 1 year ago

Don't romanticize it. You're talking about the big 3 national horse races that everyone knows about. That doesn't compare with the dozens? (a hundred or so?) of the smaller, lesser known horse racing tracks around the country that no one but locals have ever heard about. Day in, day out they run races with mostly empty stands and the same general seediness. Just because we build a new track here in Georgia doesn't somehow catapult us into national prominence like the hosts of the Triple Crown.

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kevin 1 year ago

We won't know until they build it.

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JohninSuwanee 1 year ago

I'm all for it. If the facilities are going to be built with private funds and the state can benefit from it through special taxes, I think it's a great idea. Besides, people should be allowed to gamble if they want...actually, they WILL gamble if they want, so why not regulate it and collect taxes from it instead of allowing all of this tax money to go to surrounding states?

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kevin 1 year ago

I am sure many people go to a "bookie" to bet on horses and other things.

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SurelyNot 1 year ago

Would love to see GC atract horse racing and the ensuing farms that develop contenders. Would be an economic boost, not to mention a better use of land than strip shopping that comes and goes ...to...an unsightly death.

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SurelyNot 1 year ago

@kayak: my Tenn and Ky friends don't see it that way at all. And they aren't gamblers.

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