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Nevada Racebooks Sue Santa Anita Over Signal

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Thirteen racebooks in Nevada have filed a breach-of-contract suit against Santa Anita.

The suit, filed in Nevada, says Santa Anita has not honored a multiyear contract that it signed with the Nevada Pari-Mutuel Assn. in 1995. This past season, there was a blackout of the television signal, which prohibited the the Nevada books from carrying the Santa Anita races.

Cliff Goodrich, Santa Anita’s president, has said that the track was unable to supply the signal for the the second year of the contract because the Thoroughbred Owners of California wouldn’t approve the agreement. The owners’ group, whose authority comes from the Federal Interstate Horse Racing Act, has said that it will not approve multiyear contracts.

The signal from California has been missing in Nevada since last November. Hollywood Park, seeking a higher commission on betting, has been without a contract for the last two meetings it has run.

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The racebooks suing Santa Anita include those from Bally’s, Circus Circus, Luxor, Excalibur and three Hilton properties in Las Vegas and Reno. The pari-mutuel association represents about 50 racebooks in Nevada.

Both Goodrich and Don Driscoll, executive director of the pari-mutuel association, declined comment on the suit.

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