March 18, 2009

Report: Racing permit approved for Hialeah

The historic Hialeah Park horse racing venue has been given has a new racing permit, The Miami Herald reported.

The permit was approved Wednesday by Florida gaming regulators.

When it reopens, the national historic landmark will be allowed to host quarter horse races that resemble a quick sprint.

The permit was approved with Florida's real estate market in shambles, but gambling is on the rise, and prevents the 220-acre landscaped facility from being demolished, the report said.

It's just a shorter race, said Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina. 'It's the start of the beginning of getting us back to where we were.

He also told the newspaper that he sees a revitalized racetrack being joined by a retail, town-center type development, with movie theaters, restaurants and the like. Robaina said such development, if it happens, would occur on the outskirts of the track, not in its historic center.

The track must prove the facility is in good enough condition for the public to show up and place bets.