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Lone Star Park Welcomes Back Track Fans

Gus Contreras / KERA News

After a quiet day, the buzz was back at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie. Bettors were happily cashing simulcast tickets once again.

On Tuesday, track goers across Texas were forced to sit out as legislators jockeyed over funding for the racing commission. They finally settled on a deal that will keep things open for at least 90-days.

It’s not exactly a jackpot. Still, Robert Andrews of Fort Worth was happy to have two fistfuls of tickets.

"Sometimes legislatures are stuck on their issues," Andrews said. "They should’ve gotten some feedback from the public before even shutting any of this down. Because a lot of people really come out and support Lone Star Track."

It’s the latest development in the battle over proposed machines that would allow bets on what’s known as “historical racing.” Some legislators consider that illicit gambling. And when the racing commission approved it, they held up the money.

The suspension didn’t stop a few hardcore horseplayers.

"There were some friends of mine, since this place was shut down, they went to Winstar and some went to Louisiana to the various casinos there," Andrews said. "So it’s a loss of revenue for the state of Texas. It’d be a great blow."

The folks who returned to Lone Star have just two weeks of long-distance betting left. The quarter-horses start running live on Sept. 18