NM horse-racing license delayed - Albuquerque Journal

NM horse-racing license delayed

The New Mexico Racing Commission has 90 days to accept or reject a request for a racing license for a track and casino in Tucumcari. (Albuquerque Journal file)

The New Mexico Racing Commission during its Aug. 25 meeting in Albuquerque declined to take action on Coronado Partners’ application for a horse-racing license, but there was no urgency to do so because both sides recently agreed to an extension on the decision.

Warren Frost, a Logan-based lawyer for Coronado and one of its principals, said his investor group and the racing commission mutually agreed on an extension for a decision on the application.

The deadline for the commission to act now is Nov. 2, Frost said.

The latest the commission could act on the application and not violate a court’s order is during its regular meeting on Oct. 20, barring a special meeting after that date.

Coronado Partners proposes a horse-racing track and casino on Tucumcari’s east side that would employ at least 500 people and generate up to $55 million in revenue by 2025.

Judge Nancy Franchini

Albuquerque District Judge Nancy Franchini on June 3 ordered the racing commission to act within 90 days on whether to accept or reject Coronado Partners’ request for a license that would allow it to build the Tucumcari facility.

Franchini affirmed Frost’s request for a writ of mandamus against the commission. A writ of mandamus asks a court to compel another entity to perform its official duties. Coronado Partners has sought such a license for years.

She rejected arguments from commission director Ismael “Izzy” Trejo during a hearing where he claimed the commission could not award the sixth and last remaining horse-racing license because of a variety of issues, including the fragility of the thoroughbred and racing industries in New Mexico.

The commission placed “Coronado Partners vs. NMRC” on its agenda for a closed executive session during its regular meeting Thursday but took no action on it when open session resumed.

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