The Pennsylvania horse racing and breeding industry, currently concerned about a steady decline in the revenue it gets from slot machines, got some surprise public relations May 3 courtesy of the grade I Kentucky Oaks.
Churchill Downs set a record for its May 3 Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) program when more than $45.8 million was wagered on a 12-race card.
Atlantic City Race Course ended its six-day all turf meet May 1 with total pari-mutuel handle in excess of $1 million for a seven-race program.
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races set another pari-mutuel handle record in April when it reported average daily handle of $1,367,336, up 1% from the same month in 2012.
Federal intervention is the only way horse racing can resolve issues surrounding equine medication use, drug testing, and sufficient investigatory programs, said an attorney, also a Kentucky racing commissioner, May 2.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said it revoked simulcast approval for Calder Casino & Race Course April 30 when the two parties failed to agree on a purse contract.
Fletcher and Carolyn Gray's Icon Ike, two-for-two this year with stakes wins in turf sprints, will face seven foes in the $125,000 Churchill Downs Turf Sprint (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs May 4.
- By Tom LaMarra
As predicted by horsemen earlier this year, members of Congress are again preparing to introduce legislation that would regulate the use of medication in racehorses.
After months of negotiations that held up regulatory approval, the Ohio State Racing Commission May 1 signed off on plans for River Downs to move its 2013 live racing dates to Beulah Park.
Game On Dude earned $1 million the evening of April 20, but he had to work hard for it in the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic (gr. II) at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
Lucy's Bob Boy didn't give the bridge-jumpers a scare when he took the early lead and coasted in workout-like fashion to win the $50,000 Confucius Say Stakes at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races April 20.
The Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission April 17 upheld the ban of trainer Burton Sipp by Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, and also agreed that Parx Racing has the right to exclude the trainer if it sees fit.
Game On Dude and Ron the Greek, two of the top older horses in training, are among the seven horses entered in the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic (gr. II) April 20.
Significant Bling, bred and owned by Blazing Meadows Farm, is the first 2-year-old filly to be voted Ohio horse of the year in the 49 years of the award.
The West Virginia Racing Commission April 16 approved the expenditure of more than $2 million for projects and promotions at two racetracks.
The West Virginia Racing Commission April 16 deferred action on a controversial agreement that would place the commission and other agencies under the West Virginia Lottery Commission.
The Ohio State Racing Commission April 16 once again deferred action on a proposal to transfer the River Downs meet to Beulah Park because horsemen and Penn National Gaming Inc. have no contract for the meet.
- By Tom LaMarra
Blue Grass winner Java's War is the latest horse to go last to first during the Keeneland spring meet. read blog
Zayat Stables' Justin Phillip rallied in the stretch to win the $250,000 Count Fleet Sprint Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park April 13.
St. George Farm Racing's Last Full Measure, a winner in her only start at Keeneland, ran her record to two-for-two at the Kentucky racetrack with an upset victory in the $300,000 Madison Stakes (gr. I) April 13.
Though total pari-mutuel handle during the recent winter/spring meet at Turfway Park fell almost 30% from the same meet in 2012, average daily handle was down 4% because of 11 fewer live racing days.
Tom LaMarra and Pete Denk are on location at Keeneland to handicap the Blue Grass Stakes and Arkansas Derby. watch video
Lightly raced and undefeated Gentlemen's Bet will add some intrigue when he faces several tough competitors in the $250,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park April 13.
Delaware Park and the Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association said April 10 they have signed a contract for 2013 for 81 days of racing, down from the originally scheduled 100 days.
The 2013 Thoroughbred racing season in New Jersey begins April 25 with the first of six days of all-turf racing at Atlantic City Race Course, which officials said has been upgraded a bit in response to requests from patrons.
Treatment of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage by non-medicinal means was discussed April 9 during a seminar that focused on use of FLAIR Nasal Strips.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has informed Thistledown it won't grant the track approval to export its signal when live racing begins April 19 because it has no deal with horsemen on VLT revenue.
Tom LaMarra and Pete Denk handicap the Wood Memorial Stakes and Santa Anita Derby. Can anyone beat Verrazano? watch video
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance will soon release its 2013 code of standards and expects to re-accredit 16 racetracks this year.
- By Tom LaMarra
Commingled pari-mutuel handle for March was $983,428,969, down only 0.11% from the same month in 2012, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released by Equibase April 4.
- By Tom LaMarra
Tom LaMarra talks with Keeneland president Bill Thomason on the spring meet. Bill talks about how Keeneland is working to create lifetime fans and ways to engage the younger patrons. watch video
- By Tom LaMarra
A look at who's who and what's going on at Keeneland for the spring meet. read blog
As the first Thoroughbred track in Ohio prepares to open its video lottery terminal facility, purses are up. But some longtime horsemen in the state are on a waiting list for stalls.
The Salzman family will attempt to pad its gaudy record when the first 2-year-old race of 2013 in Maryland is held at Laurel Park closing day, March 30.
Tom LaMarra and Pete Denk handicap the Florida Derby and Louisiana Derby. watch video
- By Tom LaMarra
The horse racing industry is taking a closer look at a relaxant that produces optimum results when administered within a few hours of a race. The prevalence of GABA, a supplement, is open to speculation.
A plan to shift the 2013 River Downs meet to Beulah Park remains on hold, and developers of new racetrack gaming facilities in Ohio were told to go back to the drawing board in terms of indoor seating for racing patrons.
Purses paid at six racetracks in Pennsylvania in 2012 increased 1% while wagering on the live product was up 12% from the previous year, according to the latest benchmark report prepared by regulators.
The Ontario government said March 26 it has reached "tentative transition funding agreements" with Fort Erie and two harness tracks, Flamboro Downs and Georgian Downs.
Keeneland and Cross Gate Gallery of Lexington have formed a new company that will hold its first sporting art auction in November of this year.
Legislation creating the Kansas Agriculture Opportunity Act would lower the tax rate on electronic gaming machines in an effort to get racetracks to install them, and also increase the amount of revenue for purses.
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Tanourin Stable's Silsita upset heavily favored Pure Fun and survived a stretch duel with 31-1 shot Marathon Lady to take the $100,000 Fathead Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway Park March 23.
Team Valor International's Crop Report, third in his United States debut in February, found the Polytrack at Turfway Park to his liking with a last-to-first victory in the $75,000 Team Valor Rushaway Stakes March 23.
The Alabama Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and Jefferson County Racing Association have struck a deal on a one-year contract that could lead to a return of live horse racing to the state.
Companies that plan to construct new racetrack gaming facilities in Ohio have been summoned to appear before the Ohio State Racing Commission for a third time March 27.
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra handicap the Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park this weekend. Is there a Kentucky Derby winner in this field? watch video
A 2012 agreement that will pump $75 million into purses at Canterbury Park over 10 years continues to have a positive impact on the racing and breeding industry in the state.
A West Virginia-based trainer has been deemed ineligible for a license, and three others were suspended in connection with alleged use of "program trainers" at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
Trainer Patty Burns, banned from Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races since early 2008, has won her appeal of the ejection.
Penn National Gaming Inc. has updated its guide for horsemen to reflect sanctions against those involved with racehorses that test positive for illegal medications.
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