Enhancing what already is American racing's most lucrative daily purse program, Kentucky Downs will pump an additional $600,000-plus into its 2016 overnight races and stakes for its five-date, all-turf meet in September.
Historical wagering at the Red Mile in Lexington, conducted in partnership with Keeneland, enjoyed a fast start in its initial months of operation in 2015.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Dec. 1 approved Turfway Park to add historical racing, although track officials did not put a timetable on when such gaming would become reality at the Northern Kentucky track.
Kentucky Downs and Churchill Downs will have no overlapping dates next year under a schedule approved Oct. 26 by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. Kentucky Downs had requested seven days, up from five this year.
Regulators, as well as potentially affected track officials, had no easy answer Oct. 6 for Kentucky Downs' request to add two days to its short, successful September meet.
The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance announced Sept. 29 that Ellis Park and Turfway Park in Kentucky have both signed on to match contributions made by owners at each track.
Kentucky Downs, which was rebuffed last year in its attempt to add racing days to its 2015 schedule, will try again for 2016, track president Corey Johnsen said Sept. 16.
Ellis Park concluded its 93rd race meet Monday, Sept. 7, with sizable increases in handle and field sizes as the track's purses have been boosted by gaming revenues from historical racing at the Henderson, Ky., operation.
Having surpassed the $1.1 billion wagering mark and coming off the best month since it was introduced in September 2011, historical racing in Kentucky is poised to soar as it enters the Lexington market.
Miller Racing's Call Pat and Joe Rocco Jr. unleashed a huge move late in the middle of the track to catch pacesetting longshot Fioretti for a half-length victory in the Groupie Doll Stakes (gr. III) at Ellis Park.
Preston Stables' Flashy American, who last raced in the grade I Delaware Handicap, and the lightly raced but ultra-consistent Willow Hills are among those entered for the $100,000 Groupie Doll Stakes (gr. II) Aug. 8.
Three-year-old Limousine Liberal blitzed to an Ellis Park track record for six furlongs in winning the sixth race July 18.
The Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association is giving away nine laptops to college students during the July 19 card at Ellis Park.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on June 29 delayed taking a vote on proposed rules on medication testing, withdrawal guidelines, and disciplinary measures and penalties that included rules on the mineral cobalt.
Ellis Park and RaceTech have extended their existing licensing agreement for historical racing games at the Henderson, Ky., racetrack. The new agreement runs through Dec. 31, 2016.
In a year that has seen total handle on historical racing in Kentucky surpass $1 billion since its September 2011 launch, interest continues to be strong.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Monday, March 23, approved changes that will allow more flexibility in the use of Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund purse money generated by wagering on historical races.
Trainer Tevis McCauley will have to answer to multiple charges, including allegations of "milkshaking" and medication rule violations, following an investigation by Kentucky Horse Racing Commission staff.
In April Kentucky Downs plans to change its current historical racing machines, currently the Cella family's Instant Racing games, to a new player in the market called Encore Gaming.
Officials are crediting a collaborative effort after Kentucky delivered its safest year on record in 2014 in terms of both number of equine breakdowns in races and rate of equine breakdowns.
Historical race wagering at two Kentucky racetracks registered healthy increases in October versus the same month in 2013, according to statistics released by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
At its regular Oct. 21 meeting at the Kentucky Horse Park, the KHRC approved race dates for next season that kept in place an agreement on September dates made by Churchill Downs, Kentucky Downs, and Ellis Park.
Trainer Dale Romans has had success keeping his 2-year-olds in western Kentucky during July and August rather than upstate New York -- and it has nothing to do with purse money.
Under a plan approved Oct. 15 by the tracks involved, Kentucky Downs will continue to offer just five race days in 2015 but the Franklin, Ky., track will pick up an additional Saturday.
Representatives from Kentucky Downs, Churchill Downs, and Ellis Park failed to hammer out an agreement on 2015 September race dates in a Tuesday, Oct. 14, meeting facilitated by a KHRC committee.
A conflict over 2015 dates' requests for Churchill Downs and Kentucky Downs arose Sept. 30 when the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission's dates committee held the first of several meetings to consider the state's calendar.
Kentucky Downs, which just wrapped up its 2014 meet with record pari-mutuel handle and average field size in excess of 10 horses per race, will request two additional racing days for September 2015.
The Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund Advisory Committee Sept. 5 approved formation of a subcommittee to explore possible purse bonuses or races for horses sired by Kentucky-based stallions.
Serena's Song, Animal Kingdom Foal, Saratoga, Ellis Park, Monmouth, Del Mar & More. view slideshow
Serena's Song, Animal Kingdom Foal, Saratoga, Ellis Park, Monmouth, Del Mar & More
Bill Cubbedge's Molly Morgan took to a class drop and eked out a victory Aug. 9 in the $100,000 Gardenia Stakes (gr. III), staving off the late run of Tapit's World to claim the Ellis Park test by a head.
Bill Cubbedge's Molly Morgan, a lackluster fifth in the Delaware Handicap (gr. I) last time out, will try to add a second graded win to her record Aug. 9 in the $100,000 Gardenia Stakes (gr. III) at Ellis Park.
Churchill Downs is finalizing a five-year contract to manage the Saratoga Casino and Raceway and another casino in Colorado owned by Saratoga Harness Racing Inc. CDI is pursuing a 25% equity stake in Saratoga Harness Racing.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has approved a plan to distribute an additional $1 million in purse money from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund in 2014 and 2015.
Lexie Lou, Shared Belief, Itsmyluckyday, Irish You Well, Clearly Now, and more! view slideshow
Los Alamitos, Woodbine, Belmont Park, Monmouth, Europe, Ellis Park, Delaware & More
Since putting a new marketing plan in place for its Instant Racing games, Ellis Park has seen improvement in the business. The Kentucky track registered record monthly handle for the games at $3,024,776 in May.
Kentucky horsemen expected backlash from Churchill Downs' decision to charge the maximum takeout rates allowed by state law, but they hope positives follow from increased purses that improve the racing product.
In what it says is an effort to maintain daily purses and its stakes schedule, Churchill Downs plans to increase its takeout rate on win, place, and show bets as well as exotic wagers in 2014.
The number of historical race gaming machines in operation at Kentucky racetracks would increase substantially if the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approves requests from Keeneland Racecourse and The Red Mile.
Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky., is seeking to make changes in its historical racing operations, including removal of 50 terminals that will be sent to Kentucky Downs in Franklin.
If the monthly average holds, total wagering on historical races in Kentucky will top $600 million by the end of February. The devices have been operating in the state for 29 months.
Instant Racing may not be ideal, but it may be all Kentucky gets.
Casinos at five racetracks in Kentucky would generate about $86 million a year for the horse industry, a sponsor of expanded gambling legislation told the House Licensing and Occupations Committee Jan. 15.
A panel of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has deferred action on 2014 racing dates for Churchill Downs and Kentucky Downs to give those two tracks an opportunity to work out overlapping requests for three dates.
As a result of Turfway's decision not to seek September dates, the 2014 calendar requests filed by Kentucky's Thoroughbred tracks maintain the status quo of 2013, with 193 total days of racing and 13 optional dates requests.
Regulatory veterinarians in Kentucky say there is no explanation for a spike in the number of fatalities during the recently concluded meet at Ellis Park in Henderson.
Champion female sprinter Groupie Doll tightened the screws for her title defense in the Sept. 9 Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes (gr. II) on Sept. 3, going a half in :47 3/5 at Churchill Downs.
Compared with 2012, average all-sources handle declined 17% at the recently completed Ellis Park summer meet, a decrease the track attributes to new competition and fewer off-track outlets in the state.
Proponents and opponents of historical race wagering expressed optimism that their respective sides will prevail following a lengthy hearing before the Kentucky Supreme Court Aug. 21.
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