Horse, dog breeders to get checks soon

By John Stearns
The Arizona Republic
Dec. 12, 2002

The checks are almost in the mail for breeders of Arizona racehorses and racing dogs, whose quarterly payments are six weeks late.

Breeders should receive their checks from the state, "hopefully, by no later than next week," Wade Turner, director of the Arizona Racing Department, told the Arizona Racing Commission on Wednesday.

The payments, funded by revenues from racing wagers and state sales of unclaimed property, are paid to encourage the breeding of winning animals in Arizona and support the industry and related businesses. Payments go to breeders of winning animals.

Payments for the quarter ended Sept. 30 have been delayed by a Racing Department staffing shortage that has been exaggerated by state budget reductions, Turner said. The department has not calculated how much is due breeders, but it paid $55,827 in the same quarter last year, he said.

"Better late than never," Frank Covello, president of the 425-member Arizona Thoroughbred Breeders Association, said when told checks are coming. "It's appreciated because we need them."

Many breeders are small and struggling and count on the quarterly returns, he said.

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