On December 14, 2012, horse racing fans in Amarillo and West Texas will, for the first time ever, be able to legally wager on horse races at the new Saddle Brook Jockey Club, a temporary simulcasting facility in Amarillo.
Meet the Saddle Brook Jockey Club owners Drew Alexander and his brother Lynn Alexander in this Q&A. Drew, President and Lynn, CEO, are native West Texans from Phillips, north of Amarillo.
Q: How did Saddle Brook Jockey Club come to be in Amarillo?
A: Drew: We acquired the license to build the first horse racing facility in West Texas (Saddle Brook Park) and the Texas Racing Commission has approved live race dates for us in 2014. Texas law permits us to simulcast for two years before opening for live racing, so we are opening a temporary simulcast facility in Amarillo called Saddle Brook Jockey Club on Friday, December 14, 2012.
Q: Tell us about Saddle Brook Jockey Club.
A: Drew: We have taken an empty building in Amarillo on SW 45th, just south of I-40, and we are turning it into an exciting sports bar and restaurant where you can watch and wager on horse races from tracks across America. We promise a lively atmosphere, non-stop horse racing action and great food. Saddle Brook Jockey Club will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The facility will also be open on holiday Mondays. Parking and admission are free.
Q: What race tracks will racing fans be able to bet on at Saddle Brook Jockey Club?
A: Drew: We select the tracks we will be simulcasting races from. For example, in support of Texas racing, Lone Star Park, Retama and Sam Houston will always be featured, as will regional favorites like Remington Park and Ruidoso Downs. Other major tracks like Churchill Downs, Keeneland, Saratoga, Belmont, Santa Anita, Del Mar, Gulfstream, Arlington Park, Louisiana Downs and Oaklawn Park; we will have them all! And just think, now when the big race days like Kentucky Derby, Breeders’ Cup and the All-American Derby and Futurity come around, West Texans will be able to drop by, put down a bet and be a part of the action. A quick glance at our December calendar shows we will be simulcasting races from more than 25 tracks. There will be a lot of exciting horse racing seen here.
Q: Who owns Saddle Brook Jockey Club?
A: Lynn: The simulcast operation is owned by Saddle Brook Park dba Saddle Brook Jockey Club. Drew is President, I function as C.E.O and the two of us are the majority owners. Other key players are Corey Johnsen, the former president of Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie and now a part-owner of Kentucky Downs. Corey and his company Magellan Gaming are the operators and managers of Saddle Brook Jockey Club. They are the best in the business. The other is Monte Griffin, General Manager of Saddle Brook Jockey Club, who is also a stock holder and board member.
Q: You mentioned that Saddle Brook Jockey Club is good for Texas racing. How so?
A: Lynn: For several reasons. First, for every dollar wagered at Saddle Brook Jockey Club, a percentage is shared with the Texas race tracks to build purses. We are going generate a substantial amount of purse money that will help horse racing in Texas. Bigger purses attract better horses and better horses bring out more fans. Additionally, we are introducing horse racing to a brand new market in Texas. We are helping to expand the fan base of horse racing.
Q: Lynn, have you been involved in horse racing and the Texas racing industry prior to Saddle Brook Jockey Club?
A: Lynn: Yes, very much so. Drew and I bought our first race horse about 25 years ago. I have been racing Thoroughbreds for the last 25 years at tracks across the United States. Right now, I have a great Thoroughbred on track named Tahoe Lake who has placed in multiple stakes and graded stakes races. I have also raced a few really nice Quarter Horses through a partnership with Johnny T. L. Jones, Jr. Recently I purchased a horse farm in Lexington, Kentucky called Alastar Thoroughbred Company. Here we breed, raise and race Thoroughbreds. Both Drew and I have a great love for horses and horse racing and we are driven to make a positive impact on Texas racing. We feel what we are bringing to Amarillo will do just this, help Texas racing.