The state's highest court has rejected a challenge by dog track owners who wanted to eliminate a November ballot question in Massachusetts that will ask voters whether to ban dog racing.

The track owners argued the proposed ban could not be put to a statewide ballot vote because it is aimed exclusively at the two places where dog racing currently exists: Wonderland Greyhound Park in Revere and the Raynham-Taunton Dog Track in Raynham.

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But the state Supreme Judicial Court ruled Tuesday that dog racing amounts to a matter of statewide concern, the Boston Herald reported.

The court said the Legislature and the people have the power - through the initiative process - to abolish animal racing that involves betting. If voters approve it,the ban on dog racing would go into effect Jan. 1, 2010.

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