Ocala Company Plans to Run QH Race

Ocala Breeders' Sales Company plans to run Quarter Horse race December 11.

October 27, 2012

Generic Racing Photo

Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company in Marion County, Florida, plans to run a Quarter Horse race and a Thoroughbred race on Dec. 11 to activate a 25-year-old permit for Quarter Horse racing that would allow the track to pursue a card room or other forms of gambling that might one day be legalized for permit holders, officials of the company confirmed on Thursday.

Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company officials said on Thursday that they would hold the Dec. 11 races only with the sanction of the Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association, said Tom Ventura, the president of the company. Still, OBS is seeking to activate the permit to keep its options open should the Florida legislature authorize additional forms of gambling, Ventura said.

“What lies ahead is still uncertain other than that we wanted to activate the permit, run the races, and leave the door open for anything that might come in the future, whether that’s card rooms or whatever else,” Ventura said.

That goal is also the hope for a variety of other companies – many of which have shared ownership – seeking Quarter Horse permits, which are currently held by 12 entities in Florida, including Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred Aftercare Racing Program. The Gulfstream Park Aftercare group received its permit after running a single Quarter Horse race on April 8 at Gulfstream that was organized by the track and run over the objections of the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.

Including the Gulfstream Park Aftercare group, none of the companies that has activated the permits has contacted the Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association about an agreement governing the racing, and they have instead enlisted independent Quarter Horse trainers to provide runners for races that are held under conditions that strain the boundaries of legitimate racing.