Racing Services Inc. was denied a renewal of its North Dakota simulcasting license, amid worries about the future of a business that is facing federal felony charges and the possible seizure of its property.
Licensing problems have delayed, for possibly well into 2004, the opening of Vernon Downs, which was to become the first racetrack in New York with video lottery terminals. That honor will now go to Saratoga Raceway, which is scheduled to open its VLT operation in mid-January.
Three Valleys , winner of the Shadwell Stud Middle Park Stakes (Eng-I) at Newmarket, England, will almost definitely lose the six-furlong race after the British Jockey Club confirmed that the 2-year-old has failed a post-race drug test.
The Stable Lads Associations request for a 15% increase in minimum pay rates for Britain's stable staff was ruled out by trainers who did concede a maximum 6% rise.
Tough times and uncertainty mark the passing of one year and the beginning of another in Maryland racing. Joe De Francis, president and CEO of the Maryland Jockey Club, calls 2003 "the toughest year we've had in the last decade." And the battle for relief in the form of slot machines has taken more unexpected twists and turns.
Joe Taylor, the legendary Kentucky farm manager who literally wrote the book on how to breed and raise racehorses, was killed in a two-car accident on an ice-slickened Tates Creek Road on the south side of Lexington early Friday evening.
The 30-day autumn meet at Hollywood Park ended Sunday with a moderate increase in attendance and slight declines in wagering numbers.
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