Almost $2 million of Downs purse money missing

By TONY TAGLAVORE, Journal Sports

Multiple sources have told the Journal that close to $2 million is unaccounted for from the Louisiana Downs horseman’s purse fund.

“The HBPA (Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association) has reported a purse issue to the Louisiana State Racing Commission (LSRC) and the Attorney General’s Office,” said Ed Fenasci, Executive Director of the Louisiana HBPA. Because it is a legal issue, that is the only comment Fenasci could make.

Charlie Gardiner III, Executive Director of the LSRC, did not return a request for comment.

The Journal reached out to the Attorney General’s office and was told the person who could provide details was unavailable.

Kevin Preston, President of Rubico Acquisition Corporation, which owns Louisiana Downs Casino and Racetrack, did not respond to a request for comment.

The Journal spoke with several sources who requested anonymity. The Journal was told the issue in question involves the transition of purse money when the sale of Louisiana Downs Casino and Racetrack was closed last February. Caesars Entertainment sold what was then Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Casino, Racing and Entertainment, to Rubico.

The Journal was told that each day, purse money is generated from several sources, including
slot machines and pari-mutual wagering. At issue is if all of the appropriate purse money was
transferred from Caesars Entertainment to Rubico.