Full fields, three graded stakes, and quality horses helped Tampa Bay Downs register record total pari-mutuel handle for one program March 12. More than $12 million was wagered on 12 races.
Beverly Anderson and Edward Seltzer's homebred Surgical Strike appears headed to the Spiral Stakes (gr. III) after a come-from-behind victory in the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes March 12 at Turfway Park.
A strong push to decouple racing from gaming officially hit the wall with the end of this year's Florida legislative session March 11, but a horsemen's coalition said it fully expects the issue to come up again in 2017.
The New York Racing Association board of directors March 10 voted to support federal legislation that would grant USADA authority over equine medication and testing.
Tom LaMarra and Ellis Starr preview the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) featuring Star Hill, Rafting, Destin, Brody's Cause, and Economic Model. Watch Video
Racing returns to Laurel Park March 11 after a more than three-week break as part of a new schedule that will allow the facility to capitalize on its expansive turf course.
The American Quarter Horse Association said it remains committed to addressing misuse of medication in racing but a need for more resources has led it to suspend use of its multiple medication violation system pending review.
Gary Barber's Whatawonderflworld, who thus far has shown an affinity for turf and synthetic surfaces, is among a full field of 3-year-olds entered for the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes March 12 at Turfway Park.
Burning Sands Stables' homebred Awesome Gent, who sat just off two dueling leaders for almost a half-mile, took over in the stretch and pulled away to win the $125,000 Jimmy Winkfield Stakes for 3-year-olds at Aqueduct.
With on- and off-track pari-mutuel wagering both up at the halfway point of its 2016 meet, Oaklawn Park has again raised overnight purses, this time by up to $5,000 a race.
Major gambling bills tied to a $3 billion compact with the Seminole tribe were removed from a Florida Senate committee agenda March 1 and may not be addressed before the current legislative session ends.
Pro-racing lawmakers in West Virginia took part in a March 1 Capitol press conference to discuss the economic impact of Thoroughbred racing and breeding given legislation that would decouple live racing from gaming.
Legislation that would allow most pari-mutuel operations to end live racing and become slot-machine casinos or card rooms with simulcast wagering easily cleared the Florida House Finance and Tax Committee Feb. 29.
Racing interests and their legislative representatives plan a rally March 1 at the West Virginia Capitol in Charleston to combat bills that call for the decoupling of live racing from gaming.
The Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association said it believes it can find common ground with Arlington as it moves into contract negotiations and also work with track officials to better position Illinois racing.
A state group that studies the impact of tax changes in Florida offered a general assessment Feb. 26 that decoupling horse racing from gaming would have minimal effect on pari-mutuel revenue for state government.
The West Virginia Senate Feb. 25 had first reading on legislation that would defund and decouple greyhound racing from gaming but maintain requirements that Thoroughbred racing receive its share of gaming revenue.
The AAEP has identified areas it believes are central to understanding exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage, and it hopes they determine future research into alternative methods of combating EIPH.
Legislation designed to modernize horse racing in Pennsylvania was signed into law Feb. 23 by Gov. Tom Wolf, who last fall threatened to shut down the industry because it couldn't pay for regulation.
The Maryland Racing Commission Feb. 22 gave the go-ahead to the Maryland Jockey Club to operate an off-track betting parlor at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium.
It remains to be seen whether the connections of Shogood will attempt to stretch him out around two turns for his next start, but on Feb. 20 he had little trouble winning the 6 1/2-furlong WEBN Stakes at Turfway Park.
Trainer Wesley Ward continued his roll at the Turfway Park winter/spring meet the evening of Feb. 19 with three victories, including the returning group II-winning filly Acapulco.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium Feb. 19 issued an overview of its procedures in setting withdrawal times and drug-testing threshold levels after the National HBPA said it would pursue its own research.
The Kentucky Thoroughbred Breeders' Incentive Fund paid out more than $10.5 million to eligible horses based on 2015 races, and the number of mares nominated to the program continues to increase.
Though Gainesway stands Tapit, the leading sire who commands the highest North American stud fee, and brought Empire Maker back from Japan for 2016, the farm is all in on Karakontie, who shares several ties with Kingmambo.
The Breeders' Cup World Championships at Keeneland last year fueled double-digit tourism growth in Lexington in 2015, VisitLEX said Feb. 17.
The Florida Senate Regulated Industries Committee Feb. 17 passed two pieces of legislation, one authorizing a compact with the Seminole tribe and another that would allow decoupling at most racetracks in the state.
- By Tom LaMarra
- Triple Crown, Thoroughbred Racing, Southeast Region, Midwest Region, Southwest Region
Trainer Tom Amoss said the field for the Feb. 20 Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) at Fair Grounds is one of the deepest he has seen at the Louisiana track, and he believes that's good for Mo Tom, who he trains for G M B Racing.
- By Tom LaMarra
- Thoroughbred Racing, Triple Crown, Midwest Region, Southeast Region, Southwest Region
Samuel Henderson's Suddenbreakingnews, last of 14 heading into the far turn, rallied strongly in the stretch to win the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 15 at Oaklawn Park.
Green Gratto, who has become a force in the New York sprinter ranks in the fall and winter, is among nine horses entered for the $250,000 General George Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 15 at Laurel Park.
Legislation that would remove the requirement that racetracks with gaming also offer live racing has been introduced in the West Virginia Senate.
Two prominent employees of the New York Racing Association are leaving their positions in February. Director of communications John Durso Jr. and chief security officer George Venizelos have taken private-sector jobs.
Tom LaMarra recaps Day 2 of the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Winter Mixed Sale, including comments from Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning and Gainesway manager Neil Howard. Sponsored by Taylor Made Sales Agency. Watch Video
Florida horse racing and breeding interests made their case against decoupling Feb. 9 during a House Regulatory Affairs Committee meeting, but lawmakers voted to move the legislation forward.
An organization formed to represent the interests of racetrack veterinarians has become proactive in the area of research into therapeutic medications and continues to make its case that vets should be part of drug reform.
The National HBPA Feb. 6 said it plans to help fund research to develop administration and testing guidelines that could be incorporated into the Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule.
In the wake of bills introduced in the Florida legislature, horsemen have reiterated their opposition to any measure that would permit pari-mutuel facilities to end live racing but maintain gaming operations.
Achieving true uniformity in equine medication and testing goes well beyond basic adoption of model rules, according to attorneys, horsemen, and veterinarians who picked apart the current system Feb. 5.
The ARCI plans an industry congress for the end of this year to develop consensus on equine medication and testing given its belief Congress won't be anywhere close to acting on legislation introduced last year.
An anti-doping task force in Ireland has issued recommendations designed to combat use of illegal drugs in racing and breeding and strengthen testing programs.
The impact big bettors have on pari-mutuel handle and the resulting revenue, as well as the need to recognize that horse owners are bettors, too, was the focus of a Feb. 4 forum during the National HBPA convention in Florida.
Calls for unity in moving the horseracing industry forward kicked off the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association convention Feb. 4 in Clearwater Beach, Fla.
Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, in comments that helped kick off the Consignors and Commercial Breeders Association symposium Feb. 2, said horse racing and breeding in the state is strong, but challenges remain.
Melissa Cantacuzene's The Pickett Factor, winner of the Louisiana Classic Stakes in his last start, returns to action Feb. 6 for the $200,000 Louisiana-bred Premier Night Championship Stakes at Delta Downs.
Legislation that would restore video lottery terminal-generated purse funds that have been diverted to pay down a workers' compensation debt has been introduced in the West Virginia House of Delegates.
The 2016 Ohio Thoroughbred Race Fund will be worth $5.79 million, up 4.2% from last year under a proposal approved by the Ohio State Racing Commission Jan. 26.
Production of quality horse feed has evolved into a combination of natural ingredients and science. And just because a product is widely accepted doesn't mean it's not under regular review.
Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort has released its 2016 racing schedule and, as was the case last year, the West Virginia track will offer 160 programs.
The Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association Jan. 24 said proposed changes in state racing regulations, as well as another rule that allows racetracks to "recapture" purse money, "threaten to crush" horse racing.
Laurel Park has canceled its live racing program for Jan. 25, but not because of the about 30 inches of snow that fell on the racing surface over the weekend.
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