Total handle -- including money wagered through a non-pari-mutuel betting exchange -- on the 2010 Breeders' Cup World Championships could approach $200 million, according to figures released by Breeders' Cup.
Racing secretaries from around the country have begun meeting to address common issues.
A greatly scaled-down meet offered fewer opportunities for horsemen but generated on-site gains at Retama Park, which wrapped up its live meet Oct. 23.
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Indiana reported strong across-the-board gains for its 2010 meet that ended Oct. 24.
Remington Park in Oklahoma reported strong gains in pari-mutuel handle for the first 20 days of its 66-day Thoroughbred meet.
Another experimental year continues in Kentucky as Ellis Park wraps up its summer meet and Turfway Park prepares for a scaled-down session with only one stakes.
The first day of the Monmouth Park experiment can be considered a success as far as the entry box goes, as 148 horses were entered in 13 races with purses totaling $812,000.
Delaware Park raced 27 fewer days this year but registered increases in total handle and average daily handle, track officials said Oct. 28.
Total handle through the five days of racing at Keeneland is up 9.83%, the Lexington racetrack announced Oct. 16.
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino has announced purse increase that has put purses about 20% higher than they were when its meet began July 30. Thus far, the Indiana track has paid about $30,000 more a day than Turfway Park in neighboring Kentucky.
A shorter racing week helped Del Mar register gains in average daily attendance and pari-mutuel handle, the California racetrack reported Sept. 9, closing day of the meet.
Ellis Park, the western Kentucky racetrack that's on the fence for 2010, reported healthy gains in on-track business but a big drop in total handle after 20 days were cut from its 2009 meet.
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will raise purses 12% beginning Aug. 19, citing a "conservative approach" taken with the purse account when the meet began in late July.
A reduction in stakes purses for its upcoming meet will allow Turfway Park to maintain overnight purses and racing days, but track officials are thinking ahead to 2010, when that probably won't be the case.
A 16.4% increase in average daily handle from out-of-state wagering outlets fueled an 8.9% jump in average daily handle from all sources during the spring meet at Pimlico Race Course.
Hawthorne Race Course in Illinois registered gains in average daily total handle for its 2008-09 fall/winter meet thanks to increases in out-of-state wagering. On-track and in-state handle on Hawthorne races declined, however.
Gulfstream Park is hoping that a move to a five-day race week will help produce larger fields and attract more live fans and other bettors on days that have proven more popular than its newly-dark Mondays.
Remington Park in Oklahoma recently completed its 20th season of Thoroughbred racing with a record purse disbursement and increased attendance, but followed national trends with a decline in most wagering statistics.
Woodbine concluded its 167-day Thoroughbred meet Dec. 7 with a 1.55% drop in all-sources handle, the Toronto-area track recently reported.
Turfway Park closed its 2008 fall meet with declines in all-sources and on-track handle, the Florence, Ky., track reported Oct. 3.
Kentucky Downs wrapped up its 16th season of live racing with increases in on-track business for its six-day turf-only race meet that ended Sept. 23.
Evangeline Downs Racetrack and Casino's recently concluded 2008 spring/summer Thoroughbred season posted all-time highs in average nightly handle, single-night handle, average field size, and purse distribution for the 84-night meet.
Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino has increased overnight purses by more than 5% to bring the nightly average to more than $190,000 effective June 21.
Hampered by a double-digit handle decline on its biggest race card, the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), Pimlico Race Course realized a 16.5% drop in all-sources wagering for its 31-day meet that closed June 7.
Purse bonuses under the Delaware Certified Thoroughbred Program at Delaware Park were increased June 1.
A Magna Entertainment Corp. executive said the company has no plans to sell either of its Maryland racetracks but indicated the results of a statewide November referendum on slot machines could play a role in any decision.
Delaware Park has retained horseracing veteran John Mooney to consult on racing-specific matters, track officials announced May 12.
The year 2008 has brought another purse increase to Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack, but the Pennsylvania track and other tracks in the Mid-Atlantic region are expected to continue competing for horses as the year progresses.
Delaware Park, one of Thoroughbred racing's pioneers in terms of combining racing and video gaming, ended its 2007 meet Nov. 4 with declines in total handle and field size, though purses paid increased about $1 million.
Turf Paradise hopes to improve upon the previous season's record daily purse distribution at its 2007-08 race meet, which commenced Oct. 5. So far, things seems headed in the right direction.
Attendance, on-track handle, and total handle remained up through the first 11 days of racing at Saratoga Race Course.
Belmont Park's on-track handle, including simulcasts, increased 4.3% at the recently-concluded 59-day spring/summer Meet, the racetrack announced July 27.
Steady growth in interstate wagering, total handle and purse payouts highlighted the 81st season of live thoroughbred racing at Tampa Bay Downs, which ended May 6. The Oldsmar, Fla., track also celebrated a record single-day attendance May 5 when a crowd of 11,014 witnessed Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) winner Street Sense capture the 133rd Kentucky Derby.
Churchill Downs the company hopes to reap the rewards of what president Tom Meeker calls a "culture change," and it also plans to utilize its resources to deal with three lingering industry problems: the tote system, offshore wagering, and short fields.
Churchill Downs is trimming the maximum size of its overnight fields for races on the main track from 14 horses to 12 beginning Saturday.
While California has worried about declining field sizes for about two years, Santa Anita Park has created hope this year by attracting 20% more starters per race in its first two weeks. On the East Coast, however, average field size has gone from boom to bust. Gulfstream Park came out of its 2001 season with an 8.2% increase in average starters per race, but this year field size lagged 18% during the first week of racing.
Thistledown's plan to revamp its racing program to compete for horses with nearby Mountaineer Park in West Virginia has paid off, at least very early in its 2001 meet. Track general manager Bill Murphy said the increase in field size had much to do with the spike in handle.
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