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Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Magna Tracks to Cut Free Video Streaming

As of Jan. 12, fans used to watching those grainy images of races from the Web sites of Magna Entertainment Corporation-owned Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park will be unable to do so without paying for streaming video service.

Strapped NYRA Raises Saratoga Ticket Prices

Strapped NYRA Raises Saratoga Ticket Prices

Two weeks after agreeing to pay a $3 million settlement with the federal government, the New York Racing Association has raised the price for some reserved seats at Saratoga Race Course in 2004 by 25%.

Seabiscuit Video Roars out of Gate with $80 Million in Sales

Seabiscuit Video Roars out of Gate with $80 Million in Sales

Riding the crest of the holiday shopping season, the Seabiscuit DVD and VHS burst out of the gate with over $80 million in sales in its first week, making it the year's best-selling drama released on DVD and VHS. Released on December 16, the title sold 5 million units in its first six days of release.

A Complete Guide to Living

A Complete Guide to Living

By Ray Paulick -- As legacies go, few people will have one as prodigious as Joe Taylor, the master horseman and farm manager who died in a Dec. 19 automobile accident. Overshadowed by the death of Taylor was the Dec. 14 passing of Jeanne Vance, who with husband Milton J. "Laddie" Dance Jr. raced champion Lemon Drop Kid.

Consummate Teacher

By James B. Keogh -- December 19, 2003, was a cold, wintry day in Central Kentucky, and a very dark day for the horse industry. It marked the death of Joseph L. Taylor, co-owner of Taylor Made Farm and former manager of Gainesway Farm.

Retired Maryland Trainer George Mohr Dead

Retired trainer George Mohr, whose role of unofficial Maryland racing historian was a product of his close proximity to Pimlico, died the second week in December at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center after breaking a hip.

Racing Services Denied Simulcast License

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.

New York Racino Stalled by Licensing Difficulties

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.

Purse Cuts Possible In Maryland After Difficult Year

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, Longtime Gainesway Manager, Dies in Auto Accident

Joe Taylor, Longtime Gainesway Manager, Dies in Auto Accident

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.

Hollywood Story Steals Starlet Script

Hollywood Story Steals Starlet Script

Patrick Valenzuela became the first jockey in 20 years to sweep all five major Southern California riding titles in the same year when he brought a maiden, 6-1 shot Hollywood Story, from behind to win the $349,500 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies. In typical P. Val fashion, he survived a stewards' inquiry to do it.

'Shake' Rattles, Rolls in Gravesend

'Shake' Rattles, Rolls in Gravesend

Roger L. Coles Jr.'s Shake You Down had too much class and speed for his six opponents in Saturday's $109,000 Gravesend Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct, and that easily translated to a front-running victory over Way to the Top for the multiple graded stakes winner.

Savedbythelight Shows Way in Ladies 'Cap

Earle I. Mack's Savedbythelight ended a four-race losing streak and became a graded stakes winner in the process Saturday, winning the 134th running of the $112,100 Ladies Handicap (gr. III) by three lengths over Queen's Triomphe.

Genter Stakes Belongs to Changing World

Samuel H. Rogers' 3-year-old filly Changing World won the $100,000 Frances A. Genter Stakes at Tropical for 3-year-old fillies at Calder Race Course on Saturday, notching her first stakes victory for trainer Barclay Tagg.

Valenzuela Close to 2003 Southern Cal Sweep

Valenzuela Close to 2003 Southern Cal Sweep

Jockey Patrick Valenzuela enters the closing weekend of the Hollywood Park Autumn Meet with added motivation. A riding crown at the 30-day session that concludes Sunday would give Valenzuela a rare sweep of the five major meets on the Southern California circuit in the same year.

Evangeline Downs Gets Early Christmas Present

The slot machines parlor at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, La., opened Dec. 19 even though the facility won't offer live horse racing until 2005. The 2004 meet will be held at the existing Evangeline Downs in Carencro, about 10 miles south of the new site.

Ohio Horsemen Force Issue on Account Wagering

A two-month shutdown of Beulah Park was averted Dec. 18 when the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and track management agreed to at least negotiate revenue splits from account wagering. If no deal is in place by Feb. 10, horsemen will withdraw permission for Ohio's live racing product to be sent to account-betting providers.

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