With the conclusion of training hours at noon Aug. 10, Philadelphia Park closed its main track for racing and training for 14 to 16 days, weather permitting, for renovation of the surface.
An altercation in the Delaware Park jockeys' room after the eighth race July 19 has resulted in the 60-day suspension of the racetrack's second-leading rider.
Philadelphia Park's leading trainer, Scott Lake, and owners Eric and Gregg Fral, who race under the banner E & G Stables, were involved in an altercation June 19 in the trainer's viewing stand near the paddock.
A worker on the starting gate crew was killed at Penn National Race Course shortly after the start of the fourth race the evening of June 8.
Amid reports of a sale to a major outdoors retailer and use of its mostly vacant grandstand by homeless people, Atlantic City Race Course is prepared for four days of live turf racing beginning April 29 with a steeplechase program.
Delaware Park, which was the early proving ground last season for four probable contenders in the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I)--Afleet Alex, Bellamy Road, Closing Argument, and High Limit--will offer its first $1-million race during a 135-day meet that kicked off April 30.
The New Jersey Racing Commission and New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association made official March 31 a legal settlement that allows the state racing industry to proceed with plans to host the 2007 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Monmouth Park.
Racing officials have expressed little hope a conflict between regulators and horsemen can be resolved in time to salvage the plan for Monmouth Park to become the first New Jersey racetrack to host a Breeders' Cup.
Longtime Northern California racing steward Charlie Dougherty died March 25 at his home in Burlingame, Calif., because of congestive heart failure.
If Smarty Jones wins the June 5 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and the Visa Triple Crown Challenge, it may be because he has had a little extra help from the "Man upstairs."
Trainer John Servis revealed at a press conference at Philadelphia Park Wednesday that Someday Farm's undefeated Smarty Jones suffered a foot bruise before the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), but it quickly cleared up and the colt was able to maintain a normal training schedule.
The New Jersey breeding program will benefit from a four-year agreement reached between New Jersey's Thoroughbred and Standardbred horsemen, as well as its casino industry, officials announced May 25 at a press luncheon at Monmouth Park to celebrate the May 29 opening of the 2004 racing season.
Vincent Papandrea's Little Matth Man, eighth in the May 15 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), came out of the race with a chip fracture of his left front knee and could be out for at least six months.
A "master participation agreement" between the three entities that operate racetracks in New Jersey as to how they intend to divide the 15 potential off-track wagering sites in the state will be considered at the Feb. 18 meeting of the New Jersey Racing Commission. Approval of the deal is seen as the first step toward jump-starting the process of getting OTB parlors operational, perhaps by the end of the year.
Under a plan being considered by the New Jersey legislature, the governor's office, and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, Thoroughbred and Standardbred purses could be supplemented by revenue from Atlantic City casinos, possibly this year.
New Jersey Superior Court Judge Alexander Lehrer ruled Jan. 5 that the New Jersey Racing Commission's allegations of fiscal mismanagement against the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association were without legal merit, and that the commission cannot amend its complaint to include a claim against New Jersey THA counsel Dennis Drazin, specifically for the legal fees paid to him.
Live racing went on at Philadelphia Park as scheduled Dec. 30 even though management and jockeys are still at odds over how the riders are paid.
Jockeys at Philadelphia Park voted not to ride the 10-race card Dec. 29 after they were unable to resolve payroll issues with management.
The Pennsylvania legislature may be close to passing both a budget and slot machine legislation, perhaps by the end of the week of Dec. 15.
Philadelphia Park jockey Kendrick Carmouche, 19, was charged this week in Pennsylvania with sexual assault involving a 14-year-old girl.
Although the New Jersey Racing Commission has asked a state court judge to levy a large fine against the state's Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, and for permission to take over the finances of the organization because of gross mismanagement, one of its top officers said he is confident that the complaint will be dismissed.
Industry officials, during a preliminary meeting Dec. 2 at Philadelphia Park, discussed testing for erythropoietin antibodies that could be implemented in Pennsylvania and perhaps a few other Mid-Atlantic states in 2004.
High-ranking New Jersey politicians and members of the horse racing industry will meet Nov. 12 in Trenton to discuss issues vital to the health of the racing and breeding industry, including the uncertain future of Monmouth Park and Meadowlands.
Pennsylvania Sen. Robert "Tommy" Tomlinson, whose district includes Philadelphia Park in Bensalem, is planning to reintroduce a slot-machine bill as early as the week of Oct. 20, according to a report in the Bucks County Courier Times.
New Jersey-breds will be in the spotlight Sept. 20 at Monmouth Park as the first New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival takes center stage.
Hal Handel, chief executive officer of Philadelphia Park, confirmed Thursday the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. III), set for Labor Day, will have its purse increased from $500,000 to $750,000 "no matter who runs."
The Republican-controlled Pennsylvania Senate returned to a brief session July 28 but didn't consider racetrack slots legislation. It previously had buried a bill passed by the House, and it had predicted it would be after Labor Day before it considers the topic again.
At a meeting of the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association at Monmouth Park Wednesday night, horsemen opposed a proposal to cut September dates at the Oceanport track to 3 days per week in order to keep purses at the current $300,000 level.
Two new members were recently appointed to the Pennsylvania State Racing Commission by Gov. Ed Rendell, replacing one whose term had expired and another who resigned.
With the Pennsylvania legislature set to return June 2, it will be pressured to act on one of two measures that would place slot machines at racetracks. Gov. Ed Rendell wants a bill passed before summer recess commences June 30.
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