California horsemen and Hollywood Park reached a tentative agreement Oct. 10 that allows the track to operate its 40-day autumn race meet, but a stalemate over host fees to be paid by account wagering companies for interstate bets remains unresolved.
Barring fruitful negotiations -- and that scenario currently doesn't appear possible -- it could be months before decisions on Thoroughbred racing dates in Ohio are made.
Support for reform of the revenue model for advance deposit wagering continues to increase, but as evidenced Sept. 30 during the International Simulcast Conference, it's looking more and more like a long-term project.
Prominent Thoroughbred Owner Mace Siegel, vice president of the Thoroughbred Owners of California, has given $100,000 to support the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group and its efforts to protect live horse racing.
While signal distribution at racetracks continues to be a hot topic in the horse racing industry, that doesn't appear to be the case at Hawthorne Race Course, which opens its meet Sept. 26.
Mike Ziegler, most recently vice president and assistant general manager at Hollywood Park, has been named senior vice president of California-based Youbet.com, the company announced Sept. 16.
Ellis Park ended its annual racing meet Sept. 1 with a 3% drop in daily handle, despite broader signal distribution to advance deposit wagering outlets.
Officials with two Ohio racetracks indicated they hope to offer Thoroughbred meets in 2009 and could be close to a deal with local horsemen on revenue from advance deposit wagering.
Magna Entertainment Corp., in a statement issued the evening of Aug. 28, acknowledged it is having discussions with the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group on what company chairman Frank Stronach called "a new framework" for pari-mutuel economics.
Calder Race Course has asked the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering for permission to hold live racing four days a week, rather than five, during 11 weeks beginning Sept. 1.
Churchill Downs Inc. has fired back at horsemen's groups it has sued over alleged federal antitrust violations, calling their collective actions "price-fixing, pure and simple."
Beulah Park and River Downs, two Ohio Thoroughbred tracks that race more than 200 dates combined, have requested only Quarter Horse dates for 2009, a track official said Aug. 18.
The elimination of exclusive account deposit wagering contracts and meeting the challenges of racetrack closures were among the subjects addressed at the Thoroughbred Owners of California's annual membership meeting Aug. 16 at Del Mar.
Ellis Park, which nearly closed a month ago due to stalled negotiations with horsemen over a new advance deposit wagering contract, announced it will increase purses by 5% beginning Aug. 13 through the close of the current meet Sept. 1.
Churchill Downs Inc. said Aug. 6 it was pleased with its second quarter results despite various challenges that left the company with flat earnings in year-over-year comparison, claiming a high-profile dispute with horsemen had "little impact" on certain aspects of its financial performance.
The Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has formally filed a counterclaim in the federal antitrust lawsuit brought by Churchill Downs Inc. and affiliates, and has joined with other defendants asking for their dismissal from the case.
Wagering has dropped 11% on North American Thoroughbred racing since the end of the Triple Crown series -- at least by one indicator -- a disturbing trend that can likely be attributed to a variety of factors.
The Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group, which advocates a new economic model for pari-mutuel wagering and has been engaged in high-profile battles in the racing industry, isn't going away anytime soon, its president said July 18.
A fan-friendly experiment to share racetracks among California's advance deposit wagering companies has ended with the start of the Del Mar meet July 16.
Oregon horsemen claim they are caught in the middle of a battle between TVG and Magna Entertainment Corp. over source-market fees, a dispute they claim could jeopardize this year's Portland Meadows fall meet.
Handle jumped more than 50% in the first three days of the Ellis Park meet, which started a week late due to a disagreement over revenue sharing.
With the looming expiration of an experiment to share racetracks among account wagering companies in California, representatives continue to meet in hopes of an agreement in time for the start of the Del Mar summer meet July 16.
Calder Race Course resumed sending its signal to racetracks outside Florida July 10, and started receiving its full regular menu of simulcast signals from other tracks.
At least two racetrack operators aren't pleased with recent developments concerning advance deposit wagering revenue, and one indicated closure of his track isn't out of the question should the conflict continue.
Churchill Downs' 52-day spring meet closed July 6 with steep declines in handle and purses, likely results of a well-publicized clash between track officials and horsemen over wagering revenue.
The Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group is calling for a meeting with the Thoroughbred Racing Associations to discuss advance deposit wagering revenue given ongoing conflict between horsemen, racetracks, and ADW providers over equitable revenue splits.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association issued a statement July 8 thanking Calder horsemen who "took the full brunt" of purse cuts during a 2 1/2-month dispute with track owner Churchill Downs Inc.
Churchill Downs Inc. announced July 7 that it has signed contracts with the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association on 2008 purses and on potential future slot machine revenue at CDI-owned Calder Race Course.
Negotiations between Ellis Park and the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association continued July 5 in an effort to resolve a dispute that led the western Kentucky racing to shut down the day before its summer meet was to begin.
Sixty-three horses, including IEAH Stable's Benny the Bull, have been nominated.
Two advance deposit wagering companies operating through the hub system in Oregon recently had their annual license renewals tabled by the state's racing commission, but will be able to rectify the situation at an upcoming July 17 meeting.
California's advance deposit wagering truce may be coming to an end.
The owner of Ellis Park said he is willing to work with horsemen on revenue-sharing plans for wagering signals, but hasn't ruled out eventually closing the Kentucky track if an equitable long-term agreement isn't reached.
A leading executive of Churchill Downs Inc. told a gathering of shareholders June 19 that he didn't know when a nasty revenue-sharing dispute with horsemen would be resolved, but promised the company would do its part in reaching a satisfactory conclusion for all.
A federal judge in Louisville on June 16 denied the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association's request for a preliminary injunction to require Churchill Downs Inc. to consult with it before cutting purses at Churchill Downs.
The Thoroughbred Owners of California board of directors has unanimously endorsed the negotiating model created by the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group, and has authorized the THG to represent the TOC in future simulcast negotiations, including in advance deposit wagering negotiations.
As the popularity of advance deposit wagering increases, states need to take action to protect their horseracing industry, the president of the Thoroughbred Owners of California told a group of legislators meeting June 13 in Northern California.
Following a June 9 meeting, officials of the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and Churchill Downs Inc. plan to meet again June 10 in an effort to resolve a costly contracts dispute at CDI-owned Calder Race Course.
The Colonial Downs signal will be barred to at least three wagering outlets for its upcoming live meet. The Virginia racetrack joins the list of tracks whose betting options have been curtailed by disputes with horsemen's groups over revenue sharing.
In a flurry of responses filed recently in federal court, Kentucky horsemen claim Churchill Downs Inc. owes purse funds upwards to $3 million in unpaid fees from wagering revenues, and have asked a judge to force the racetrack company to pay out funds lost from a 20% purse cut.
After four straight years of handle topping $87 million, wagering on the Preakness program declined 15.8% in a year-over-year comparison with the 2007 card.
Churchill Downs Inc. has amended its lawsuit against Florida horsemen and the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group to include certain Kentucky horsemen associations and officers, an action in which all defendants are charged with violating federal antitrust laws.
Players involved in the fractious negotiations with Churchill Downs over revenue sharing on the evening of May 13 exhorted a gathering of more than 150 horsemen to stay the course in the standoff and support their efforts.
Officials with Magna Entertainment Corp. and the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group have met twice recently to discuss the ongoing conflict over revenue splits for advance deposit wagering, though the sides aren't close to striking a deal.
Calder Race Course on May 9 announced it will cut purses for eight upcoming stakes, including six on its July 12 Summit of Speed card.
The head of a Kentucky horsemen's association said his group withheld approval for the Churchill Downs signal to go out to a pair of offshore rebate shops for the undercards of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), and is aggravated that the track is blaming horsemen for a decline in handle on the two programs.
All-sources handle dropped nearly 2% on the May 3 card of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), a result a Churchill Downs official blamed on the fallout from an ongoing dispute with horsemen over signal distribution.
Churchill Downs Inc. has invested $100 million in advance deposit wagering for a reason: The company believes it's the major growth channel for pari-mutuel wagering, as well as a means to drive traffic to the racetrack, CDI president and chief executive officer Bob Evans said.
Hurt by its early-season cancellation of 11 racing days, Santa Anita concluded its winter/spring meet April 20 with decreases in overall handle and attendance. But officials were breathing a sigh of relief that it wasn't worse.
Churchill Downs Inc. filed a lawsuit April 24 asking a federal court to dissolve the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group. In a suit filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, CDI, CDI-owned Calder Race Course, and Churchill Downs Technology Initiatives Co. also are seeking an injunction to prevent the THG and the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association from "agreeing on uniform terms for the sale of signals, boycotting racetracks and ADW operators that do not comply with their demands."
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