Section 550.5251, Florida Statutes 2003
550.5251 Florida thoroughbred racing; certain permits; operating days.--
(1) Each thoroughbred permitholder under whose permit thoroughbred racing was conducted in this state at any time between January 1, 1987, and January 1, 1988, shall annually be entitled to apply for and annually receive thoroughbred racing days and dates as set forth in this section. As regards such permitholders, the annual thoroughbred racing season shall be from June 1 of any year through May 31 of the following year and shall be known as the "Florida Thoroughbred Racing Season."
(2) Each permitholder referred to in subsection (1) shall annually, during the period commencing December 15 of each year and ending January 4 of the following year, file in writing with the division its application to conduct one or more thoroughbred racing meetings during the thoroughbred racing season commencing on the following June 1. Each application shall specify the number and dates of all performances that the permitholder intends to conduct during that thoroughbred racing season. On or before February 15 of each year, the division shall issue a license authorizing each permitholder to conduct performances on the dates specified in its application. Up to March 31 of each year, each permitholder may request and shall be granted changes in its authorized performances; but thereafter, as a condition precedent to the validity of its license and its right to retain its permit, each permitholder must operate the full number of days authorized on each of the dates set forth in its license.
(3) Each thoroughbred permit referred to in subsection (1), including, but not limited to, any permit originally issued as a summer thoroughbred horse racing permit, is hereby validated and shall continue in full force and effect.
(4) A thoroughbred racing permitholder may not begin any race later than 7 p.m. Any thoroughbred permitholder in a county in which the authority for cardrooms has been approved by the board of county commissioners may operate a cardroom and, when conducting live races during its current race meet, may receive and rebroadcast out-of-state races after the hour of 7 p.m. on any day during which the permitholder conducts live races.
(5)(a) Each licensed thoroughbred permitholder in this state must run an average of one race per racing day in which horses bred in this state and duly registered with the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' Association have preference as entries over non-Florida-bred horses. All licensed thoroughbred racetracks shall write the conditions for such races in which Florida-bred horses are preferred so as to assure that all Florida-bred horses available for racing at such tracks are given full opportunity to run in the class of races for which they are qualified. The opportunity of running must be afforded to each class of horses in the proportion that the number of horses in this class bears to the total number of Florida-bred horses available. A track is not required to write conditions for a race to accommodate a class of horses for which a race would otherwise not be run at the track during its meeting.
(b) Each licensed thoroughbred permitholder in this state may run one additional race per racing day composed exclusively of Arabian horses registered with the Arabian Horse Registry of America. Any licensed thoroughbred permitholder that elects to run one additional race per racing day composed exclusively of Arabian horses registered with the Arabian Horse Registry of America is not required to provide stables for the Arabian horses racing under this paragraph.
(c) Each licensed thoroughbred permitholder in this state may run up to three additional races per racing day composed exclusively of quarter horses registered with the American Quarter Horse Association.
(6) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2), a thoroughbred permitholder who fails to operate all performances on its 2001-2002 license does not lose its right to retain its permit. Such thoroughbred permitholder is eligible for issuance of an annual license pursuant to s. 550.0115 for subsequent thoroughbred racing seasons. The division shall take no disciplinary action against such thoroughbred permitholder for failure to operate all licensed performances for the 2001-2002 license pursuant to this section or s. 550.01215. This section may not be interpreted to prohibit the division from taking disciplinary action against a thoroughbred permitholder for failure to pay taxes on performances operated pursuant to its 2001-2002 license. This subsection expires July 1, 2003.
(7) A thoroughbred permitholder shall file an amendment with the division no later than July 1, 2002, that indicates that it will not be able to operate the performances scheduled on its 2002-2003 license without imposition of any penalty for failure to operate all licensed performances provided in this chapter. This subsection expires July 1, 2003.
History.--s. 46, ch. 92-348; s. 6, ch. 93-123; s. 14, ch. 96-364; s. 7, ch. 98-190; s. 39, ch. 2002-402; s. 3, ch. 2003-295.