As of Thursday, March 21, 2013
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Gwinnett Daily Post
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.