KENNEWICK -- The Washington State Horse Racing Commission on Friday awarded Sun Downs Race Track of Kennewick six racing dates for the 2012 season -- likely the last two weekends of April and the first weekend of May.
But that doesn't necessarily mean there's going to be horse racing here.
A substantial increase in jockey insurance might make it hard for the Tri-City Horse Racing Association to operate the six-day meet.
TCHRA board member Nancy Sorick said her group paid about $3,800 a day for jockey insurance last year.
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This year, it has gone up to $11,000 a day. That's an extra $42,000 for the meet.
"There has been a substantial increase in jockey insurance nationwide, not just here," said Sorick. "But we were hit the hardest by it. Then main thing is figuring out how to pay for that."
Cliff Schellinger, another board member, said that's the key.
"We've got to come up with the money or a different insurance provider," he said.
Sorick said the board would meet with Shorty Martin, the racing secretary for Sun Downs, next week to determine what they can do.
"Next week we'll get together and get everything organized," Sorick said.
Meanwhile, Martin will stay busy putting together the Challenge races, the Pot O'Gold Futurity, and other big races for the meet.
This is the second straight year the state commission has awarded Sun Downs the only dates for a Class C track in the state.
Last year, Dayton, Waitsburg and Walla Walla stepped aside to let Sun Downs have the racing dates.
This year, Sorick said the jockey insurance costs made it hard for the other Class C tracks to operate.
"The rest of them put in dates, then pulled them out," Sorick said.