Articles posted March 30, 2001

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Tornado Kills Stakes Winner in Ocala

Multiple stakes winner Lucky Lady Lauren was killed by a toppled tree when a thunderstorm and tornado blasted through the Ocala, Fla., area March 29, according to the Ocala Star-Banner. Four other horses were reported killed by the twister.

OBS March Select Sale: Ridin' High

Rubbing his eyes, Randy Hartley tried to stop the tears from flowing. His voice cracked with emotion as he described what it was like to sell a son of Dehere for $1,050,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March select auction of 2-year-olds in training.

The Bottom Line: Slot Machine Gaming Boosts Purses

Slot machines and card tables had an undeniable influence on the 8% growth seen in North American purses in 2000. Out of the top 10 racetracks in the United States and Canada, ranked by growth in total purses, seven offer slot and/or video poker machines and one offers card games. Leading the list is Sunland Park, the New Mexico racetrack nestled against the Texas border town of El Paso. Gross purses at Sunland Park grew 160%, from $1.69 million in 1999 to $4.4 million last year.

Maryland Jockey Club Rejoins NTRA

With a Saturday deadline to land a seat on the National Thoroughbred Racing Association board of directors fast approaching, the Maryland Jockey Club has rejoined the NTRA, and its president, Joe De Francis, will take a seat on the NTRA board.

Jersey Purse Supplements Await Signature

A bill that would pump $11.7 million into the New Jersey Thoroughbred racing industry passed the state Assembly Thursday by a vote of 70-3 and has gone to ccting Gov. Donald DiFrancesco's desk to be signed into law. The money would be used for purses at Monmouth Park and Meadowlands this year.

Street Cry: Pedigree Lacking in Stamina

Though the signals are mixed, on the face of pedigree alone it is hard to see many reasons why Street Cry should be able to handle 1 1/4 miles on the first Saturday in May. His sire was a sprinter on grass, albeit a good one; his dam, though a group I winner in Ireland going 12 furlongs, has yet to pass that distance ability on to her offspring; he has a Dosage Index and profile slanted toward speed; and he has yet to win around two turns.

Indiana Riverboats Lose Effort to Get Dockside Gambling

Efforts by Indiana riverboat casino interests to get approval of dockside gambling fell short when the Senate Rules Committee voted 5-3 against the legislation. According to published reports, one factor in the bill's failure was an amendment that deleted authorization for pull-tab gaming at Churchill Downs-managed Hoosier Park and off-track betting sites in the state. The amendment also did away with a proposed OTB site in the resort area of French Lick.

Dollar Bill Bucks The Web

For those who want to get their information straight from the horse's mouth, Dollar Bill has started his own website. Well, maybe there was human intervention somewhere in there, but Mary and Gary West's 3-year-old classic contender writes in the first-person on the site, which is aimed at his fans, known as 'Billsters.'

Senate Researches Racetrack VLTs in Ohio

The Ohio Senate has begun research to see whether the question of racetrack video lottery terminals can be put on the ballot in the seven counties that have tracks. The state needs money to fund its education program and, as the newspaper reported Thursday, also needs revenue to offset a decline in tax receipts. Income from taxes is expected to be $850 million short of projections through early 2003.

Proposed Maryland Track Hits Another Snag

The Maryland Racing Commission on Thursday abruptly cut off testimony concerning construction of a racetrack in the western part of the state so opposing sides could work on an agreement to expedite the tedious process. William Rickman Jr., who wants to build the track in remote Allegany County, offered to write a letter of credit to guarantee its financial viability and stability. Rickman, who owns and Delaware Park and Ocean Downs, a Maryland harness track, is the only applicant for the license to construct the track.

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