And they're off!

A bill to allow parimutuel horse racing - and to create a commission to govern the betting - was filed Monday in the Utah House.HB306, which is sponsored by Rep. Max Young, D-Murray, would divide the state into five districts, each of which would have a member on the Utah Horse Racing Commission.

The intent of the bill is to "encourage breeding of thoroughbred, purebred and registered horses in Utah." At least one race each day at each track would be limited to Utah-bred horses.

The bill also specifies how the money from parimutuel betting would be distributed: 80 percent to the winning horses, 1 percent to the county, 21/2 percent to the state General Fund, 4 percent to the Uniform School Fund and assorted other small percentages to the race track, sponsor of the race, racing commission and horsemen organizations.

The bill further states that parimutuel betting will not be allowed in a given county unless the majority of registered voters in that county have voted in favor of the proposal.