Push to Shut Down Running Aces Horse Track Intensifies

Updated: 03/07/2013 11:26 PM KSTP.com By: Jay Kolls

The petition to revoke the gambling license at Running Aces horse track got emotional at Minnesota Racing Commission hearing.

It brings in $24 million between harness racing and card tables, but now Running Aces is fighting to stay open. John Derus sits on the Board of Directors at Running Aces, "I don't know how much time this is going to take, but you're talking about 600 jobs, millions of dollars in tax base, and just by holding this meeting, you're sullying our reputation."  We first told you last month, 1,500 thoroughbred race horse owners petitioned the Racing Commission to revoke the gambling license at Running Aces.

The thoroughbred race horse owners attorney told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the state gave Running Aces a gambling license with the stipulation they share a portion of their revenue with Canterbury Park race horse owners to increase purses. Last August, Running Aces stopped making those payments which total $347,000 and climbing.

Running Aces says it stopped making those payments after the owners of Mystic Lake gave Canterbury Park $75 million to increase purses in exchange for dropping a push to add slot machines at the race tracks. Running Aces says that deal, effectively, voided their contract with Canterbury Park. The Racing Commission did not make a decision and did not indicate when it would rule on the petition to revoke the gambling license at Running Aces.