Churchill Downs Inc. reported Tuesday that earnings tumbled in the third quarter, as the year-ago period benefited from a hefty gain on the sale of assets.
- By Tom LaMarra
Expanded gambling in Kentucky isn't a front-burner topic right now, but it will be next year when the state holds elections for governor and other top posts, a racetrack official said Nov. 3 during the "Thoroughbred Industry Forum" at Churchill Downs on the eve of the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Churchill Downs' anticipated sale of Ellis Park to a company headed by Kentucky businessman Ron Geary is complete, finalizing a deal that was announced in July.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority unanimously voted to deny a waiver of the state's new helmet rule for international riders participating in the Breeders' Cup World Championships Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs.
Ron Geary, who is expected to close on his purchase of Ellis Park in late September, will discuss his vision for the western Kentucky racetrack at an Oct. 2 meeting of the Louisville Thoroughbred Club.
Kentucky will host its first Claiming Crown in 2007 when the event moves to Ellis Park, the western Kentucky racetrack whose sale to businessman Ron Geary is expected to close in late September.
Two Churchill Downs Inc.-owned racetracks - Churchill Downs and Fair Grounds - have named Ben Huffman and Sam Abbey as their respective racing secretaries.
Ellis Park posted gains in average daily on-track wagering and attendance for its 36-day meet that ended Sept. 4, its first effort since a tornado damaged the Henderson, Ky., complex last November.
Churchill Downs, Inc. reported net earnings from continuing operations for the second quarter of $33.4 million, or $2.45 per diluted share, significantly higher than the $22.7 million, or $1.69 per diluted share, earned during the same period in 2005.
Ellis Park and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association will sponsor a Scholarship Day Aug. 6th at the Western Kentucky oval.
Mjaka Stables' Junior College, making his stakes debut, set an Ellis Park track record for 6 1/2 furlongs en route to winning the $50,000 Don Bernhardt Saturday.
Jockeys and their mounts escaped injury Thursday afternoon when a large umbrella, apparently from the trackside picnic area at Ellis Park, blew onto the main track as the field charged down the stretch in fifth race on the program.
Ellis Park was forced to cancel the second half of Friday's race card after a strong line of thunderstorms containing straight-line winds caused the track as well as a large portion of the City of Henderson, Ky., to lose power.
- By Tom LaMarra
Kentucky racing in the summer months hasn't gotten much attention over the years, but that could change if Ron Geary has his way.
Churchill Downs Inc. has reached a definite agreement to sell Ellis Park in western Kentucky to a company owned by Ron Geary, a horse owner who recently retired as president and chief executive officer of ResCare, a Louisville, Ky., based, publicly-held provider of training services and services to persons with developmental and other disabilities.
A rebuilt Ellis Park reopens for live racing July 19, only eight months after one of the deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history damaged the racetrack facility and its stable area. The Henderson, Ky., track will conduct a 36-day race meet from July 19 through Labor Day, Sept. 4.
Ellis Park has adopted a new schedule for accepting entries 72 hours in advance of its races during the meeting that begins July 19.
Former National Thoroughbred Racing Association executive Terry Meyocks said he is working with a group interested in purchasing Ellis Park from Churchill Downs Inc.
Ellis Park, the western Kentucky racetrack hit by a tornado last fall, will take a major step forward in its recovery when it reopens for training June 1.
Five months after a tornado ripped through Ellis Park, efforts to repair and rebuild storm-battered areas of the track are making significant progress as the Henderson, Ky., track prepares to open its 83rd racing season on July 19.
- By Ron Mitchell
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority has requested the state auditor conduct an audit of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund after it discovered two shortfalls as a result of overpayments during meets conducted at Ellis Park.
- By Ron Mitchell
Despite a very trying year in which its company-owned tracks were negatively impacted by two hurricanes, one tornado, and two disease outbreaks, Churchill Downs Inc. on Tuesday reported positive financial results for 2005.
- By Tom LaMarra
Legislation to be considered by the Indiana Senate would mandate that incoming simulcasts be made available to all wagering outlets in the state or not be available at all. The bill was reported out of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Utilities, and Public Policy Jan. 24.
The $150,000 Gardenia Handicap (gr. III) tops the 2006 Ellis Park stakes schedule for the track's 36-day 2006 meet that includes 10 stakes races with total purses of $650,000.
Brian Elmore, an administrator at Hoosier Park for the past 10 years, has been appointed vice president and general manager at Ellis Park, Churchill Downs announced Jan. 11.
- By Tom LaMarra
Though repairs to damage from a Nov. 6 tornado won't be completed by summer, Ellis Park in western Kentucky will conduct its 36-day meet in 2006, parent company Churchill Downs Inc. announced Dec. 28.
Ellis Park reopened its clubhouse for simulcast wagering on Wednesday for the first time since a tornado ripped through the Henderson, Ky. track in the early morning hours of Nov. 5.
No call at 2 a.m. is good. Rodney Leibring, DVM, received one of those calls on Nov. 6. Leibring, a Thoroughbred racetrack practitioner, was asked by the male caller if he was at Ellis Park yet. Leibring, confused because he wasn't expected there until after 8 a.m., replied, "No why?" The man told Leibring that he needed to get there right away. A tornado had just hit the racetrack's stables, and it didn't look good.
- By James Platz
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission voted unanimously Thursday, Nov. 10 on a proposed 110-day calendar for the state's Thoroughbred horsemen in 2006. The schedule calls for a 61-day meeting at Hoosier Park in the fall and a revised 49-day program at Indiana Downs next spring.
Churchill Downs will be the scene of a charitable fundraising roast and salute to legendary jockey Pat Day this Saturday.
Clean-up efforts were underway at Ellis Park Wednesday to reopen the storm-battered track for simulcasting operations tentatively on Nov. 16.
- By Tom LaMarra
Insurance adjusters were at Ellis Park Nov. 7 assessing the damage wrought by a tornado that struck the western Kentucky racetrack early in the morning the previous day.
Churchill Downs Inc. reported net earnings of $71.6 million for the third quarter of 2005, up from a loss of $3.8 million for the same period last year, thanks to the sale of Hollywood Park in Southern California.
Veteran trainer Bernie Flint is a native of New Orleans who has spent most of his racing career based at Churchill Downs, but the 65-year-old has a soft spot in his heart for Ellis Park.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority granted Ellis Park 36 live racing dates in 2006 during a special meeting Oct. 31, but denied dates to a proposed Quarter Horse and Standardbred track in the southeast region of the state.
Paul Kuerzi, who has served as vice president and general manager of Ellis Park since 1999, has announced plans to leave the Henderson, Ky., track at the end of the year.
Ellis Park is seeking to reduce its number of race days per week in 2006 from five to four, but approval of the change has been stalled by opposition from the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protection Agency.
Weather concerns that ranged from searing heat to torrential rains were a factor in declines in attendance and wagering as Ellis Park concluded its 41-day 2005 meet on Sept. 5.
Jockey Eddie Martin Jr. was transported to St. Mary's Hospital in Evansville, Ind., for medical examination after being unseated by his mount during Monday's eighth race at Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky.
California-invader Dream of Summer outshines a field of nine fillies and mares expected to start in Saturday's $150,000 Gardenia Handicap (gr. III), going one mile at Ellis Park. The Gardenia is the lone graded stakes on the Ellis Park calendar.
Stewards at Ellis Park declared the fifth race on Sunday's program a "no contest" due to a starting gate malfunction. All wagers on the race were refunded.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has taken issue with an Ellis Park purse reduction that has put the minimum purse to near $5,000 for the first time in recent memory at any Thoroughbred racetrack in Kentucky.
Lower than expected wagering has prompted Ellis Park to reduce overnight purses by 15% for the remainder of the race meet.
Ellis Park's newest wager this summer, the 10-cent superfecta, has accounted for more than half the total amount wagered in those poil during the first three weeks of the season.
Jockey Thomas Pompell, released from the hospital late Friday afternoon following a spill in the first race at Ellis Park, will miss his immediate mounts at Fairmont Park.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has released the quarantine of barn 9 at Ellis Park following a third round of negative test results for the equine bacterial disease known as strangles.
Jockey Rodney Prescott, who is second in wins in the nation this year, will begin riding at Ellis Park today after being banished July 16 from River Downs where he is currently the leading rider.
Results of the initial round of testing of horses quarantined barn at Ellis Park have all come back negative for the equine bacterial disease strangles.
Wet weather didn't keep fans from coming out on opening day at Ellis Park Wednesday to begin the track's 82nd meet. An attendance mark under its current owner was established.
Retired trainer John Veitch, who conditioned famed multiple grade I winner and later notable sire Alydar, has been appointed as the new chief steward for the Kentucky Horseracing Authority and will serve as the presiding steward at Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky., beginning July 9.
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