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Action Moves From Track to Courtroom

23 August 2004

VERNON – As reported by the Oneida Daily Dispatch: "A harness racing track's fate still hangs in the balance.

"Track officials at Vernon Downs and Raceway Ventures are still focused on one man to financially revive the track: Eric Spector.

"A trio of investors known as Raceway Ventures has been ordered by the state to sell its stock by Monday. Steven Cohen, the lead investor in the group, was denied racing licenses by the state Racing and Wagering Board.

"They own 52 percent of stock in Mid-State, the public parent of Vernon Downs.

"Spector, owner of Pioneer Resources based in Carlsbad, Calif., was named CEO of Mid-State Raceway, the parent company of Vernon Downs, last week. Pioneer Resources is a company that provides simulcasting signals for racing signals conducted at other tracks that race-goers can bet on.

"Track debts include $26 million mortgage held with Vestin Mortgage in Las Vegas, and about $2.5 million in unpaid bills.

"…On Wednesday, a motion was filed on behalf of Vestin in the United States Bankruptcy Court in Utica seeks a judge to appoint a trustee to run Mid-State Raceway.

"The motion cites "gross mismanaging" of Mid-Sate Raceway in order to drive off interested potential buyers who would have paid more (than Spector) for the track…"

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