A Churchill Downs Inc. official said May 7 purses at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., could be cut the week of May 11, while Calder Race Course in South Florida could face another reduction in purses.
Churchill Downs Inc. posted net earnings of about $800,000 in the first quarter of 2008, compared with a net loss of $8.4 million for the same period a year ago, the company announced May 6.
The Florida Legislature ended its annual two-month session May 2 without passing two slot machine bills that were sought by the Thoroughbred industry.
Because of the dispute over simulcast fees and revenue, Calder Race Course will not offer wagering on the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), as well as all other races on the two programs.
It's difficult to gauge the immediate effect of the ongoing dispute with Kentucky horsemen on the Churchill Downs' spring meet, as handle on racing from the opening weekend at the Louisville track was down only slightly from 2007, according to one data source.
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."
Jon and Sarah Kelly's Sporting Art and Peachtree Stable's Flying Dismount, the one-two finishers in the March 29 Palm Beach Stakes (gr. IIIT), will meet again April 26 in the $400,000 Calder Derby (gr. IIIT), as the rivals top a full field of 3-year-olds on the Calder Race Course turf.
TrackNet Media Group said April 22 it doesn't like a proposal from horsemen that would allow advance deposit wagering companies the cards of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), locking in place a stalemate over broader revenue sharing models.
Calder Race Course announced April 21 due to the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association's refusal to approve the distribution of Calder races to out-of-state wagering outlets, including advance deposit wagering companies, the racetrack has been forced to cut purses by 30%, effective April 27. The purse reductions will affect a variety of race conditions, including stakes races.
Horsemen at odds with TrackNet Media Group over advance deposit wagering revenue sharing plans are suggesting a plan that would allow all ADWs to carry programs of both the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
After the start of Calder Race Course's opening-day card of nine races April 21, the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association agreed to permit the racetrack to send its signal to New York's off-track betting companies. Six OTB outlets in that state received the signal for the last three races.
Horsemen at odds with TrackNet Media Group over advance deposit wagering revenue sharing plans are proposing an arrangement that would allow all ADWs to carry programs of both the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Consider this chilling scenario: Customers of several advance deposit wagering companies - and possibly some large off-shore rebate shops - won't be able to place wagers on the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) through those entities.
Calder Race Course will open its 38th season April 21 with a schedule that again focuses on what it calls "big event day" Saturdays with multiple stakes. Calder's first highlight will be its inaugural Turf Million April 26, with four turf stakes with total purses of $1.15 million.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said April 16 though advance deposit wagering remains a major issue, it believes there has been progress in other areas of contract talks for the Calder Race Course meet that begins April 21.
The Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group claims it wants advance deposit wagering entities to pay a fairer share into purse coffers, but those on the other side of the negotiating table claim the math simply doesn't add up.
Florida horsemen and officials at Calder Race Course and parent company Churchill Downs Inc. met April 14 but did not agree on contracts for the Calder meet that begins April 21.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has given the new national Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group authority to negotiate terms with advance deposit wagering companies for betting on races at South Florida Thoroughbred racetracks. Also, Florida horsemen want an agreement on slots revenue with Calder before any contracts are signed.
As Calder Race Course prepares to open its 2008 meet April 21, the question of how to divide any future slot-machine revenue is holding up contract talks between the Miami Gardens, Fla., track and the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protection Association.
C. Kenneth Dunn, who since April 1999 has served as senior vice president of Florida operations for Churchill Downs Inc. and has spent 18 years at Calder Race Course, is stepping down, the company announced April 9. Dunn will continue to serve as an adviser for Calder through Aug. 1.
Churchill Downs Inc. is asking for patience in seeing financial rewards from what it termed an $80 million investment into the advance deposit wagering industry in 2007, and promises to act on opportunities for the company's progress in 2008.
Gulfstream Park reported its all-sources pari-mutuel handle is down about 5% and on-track handle off 30% year-to-date through early March.
Participants discuss the Fasig-Tipton select juvenile auction, which suffered downturns.
The Fasig-Tipton select juvenile auction has lost momentum following a glorious run that peaked with a series of world records in 2006 and 2007.
A strapping son of Street Cry was the early standout Tuesday at the Fasig-Tipton Calder select sale of 2-year-olds in training, bringing $2.1 million from Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock manager John Ferguson at Calder Race Course.
Offspring by Speightstown attracting attention at Fasig-Tipton juvenile sale.
Consignors are busier than usual heading into Fasig-Tipton Calder juvenile sale.
Consignors say new rubber mat helps keep Fasig-Tipton Calder sale horses sounder.
Colts by Sky Mesa and Pulpit post fastest workout times for Fasig-Tipton Calder sale.
The only under tack show for Calder sale will be held Friday.
Isle Racing & Casino at Pompano Park will cut race purses about 35% starting Feb. 22, and will not hold harness racing on Monday and Wednesday nights during most of March and April.
Calder Race Course has announced a new event to be held April 26, the first Saturday of the 2008 season at Calder: the "Turf Million." Four turf stakes totaling $1.15 million will be contested over the grass, including the Calder Derby (gr. IIIT), whose purse has been doubled to $400,000. The Calder Derby will also be the first half of a new national wager, the "Calder Derby / Kentucky Derby Double."
Voters in Miami-Dade County, Fla., approved slot machines for Calder Race Course and the county's two other pari-mutuel facilities in a Jan. 29 referendum. They passed the ballot issue by a 63%-37% margin--a decisive victory in a race many observers expected would be close.
Calder Race Course president Ken Dunn expects "a tough race" during the last days before Miami-Dade County's Jan. 29 vote on slot machines for Calder and two other pari-mutuel facilities.
The catalog for the Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training has 270 horses.
On-track handle at Calder Race Course fell 24% during the 2007 portion of its Tropical meet, according to data obtained from the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering. Calder's simulcast handle fell 26% compared with the same period in 2006.
Cowboy Cal, a 3-year-old Giant's Causeway colt, captured his first graded stakes win Jan. 1 at Calder Race Course.
Bsharpsonata rallied on the final turn to take the Tropical Park Oaks Jan. 1.
After cutting its daily purses about 7% in early November, Calder Race Course quietly restored the money during the final weeks of its meet that ends Jan. 2. But questions concerning Calder and other South Florida tracks linger into the new year.
The Pulpit filly will have to defeat 11 rivals Jan. 1 in the Tropical Park Oaks at Calder Race Course.
The 3-year-old colt Wise Answer will make his turf debut in the Jan. 1 Tropical Park Derby.
The 3-year-old filly prevailed in a three-way photo Dec. 29 at Calder, winning for the fifth time this season.
The four-year-old filly outdueled Amazing Speed to win for the first time in nearly a year.
Virginia Kraft Payson's multiple graded stakes-winning homebred Rutherienne looks to bounce back from a three-month layoff, as the Pulpit filly headlines a full field of 12 in the $100,000 Frances A. Genter Stakes (gr. IIIT) Dec. 29 at Calder Race Course.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association is spreading some holiday cheer.
South Florida training stalwart Frank Gomez died Dec. 23 at his home in Pembroke Pines, Fla. He was 78.
Padua Stables' homebred Electrify scored his fourth stakes of the season, taking over at the top of the stretch and then pulling away for a 2-length victory in the $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap (gr. III) Dec. 15 at Calder Race Course.
Paradise Dancer stalked the pace, took a short lead in mid-stretch and then held off a game challenge from Finallymadeit to capture the $100,000 Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap (gr. III) by a neck Dec. 15 on the main track at Calder Race Course.
Equivine Farm homebred Redaspen made a bold, rail-skimming move in the final furlong under Eddie Castro, rallying from well off the pace to take the $200,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. IIT) by a length Dec. 15 on the Calder Race Course turf.
A deal struck between TVG and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority extends the network's previous agreement for rights to signals from Monmouth Park and Meadowlands, but allows the NJSEA to separately negotiate with entities affiliated with TrackNet Media Group.
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