A top Standardbred trainer has been fined and stripped of his license by New York regulators following one of the industry's biggest medication cases.
- By Tom LaMarra
Total pari-mutuel handle on United States harness racing in 2014 was $1.49 billion, down about 6.6% from $1.60 billion in 2013, according to the United States Trotting Association.
The Illinois Racing Board is scrambling to cope with a huge civil judgment against the state's harness tracks that probably will push them into bankruptcy and threatens to impact Thoroughbred operations.
Harness trainer Ron Burke's record-setting year continued the evening of Dec. 12 when he broke Todd Pletcher's North American record for purses won by a trainer. Pletcher held the mark of $28,116,097 set in 2007.
The first of six programs Yonkers Raceway is sending to France for wagering purposes generated solid pari-mutuel handle and could be used to spark similar racing industry endeavors.
The United States Trotting Association, which in late September dropped out of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and rejected model medication rules approved by RCI, has created its own drug advisory committee.
The Ohio State Racing Commission put racetrack casino developers on notice Jan. 10 when, at a hearing, members expressed strong displeasure with the racing aspects of the proposed Miami Valley Gaming and Racing facility.
Dave Palone became the all-time leading Standardbred driver by victories at 15,181 when he won the eighth race at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino in western Pennsylvania July 5.
Stanley Bergstein, a member of the harness racing Hall of Fame and longtime executive vice president of Harness Tracks of America, died Wednesday.
A recent New York Supreme Court ruling invalidating that state's out-of-competition equine drug-testing could have implications in other jurisdictions and the Thoroughbred racing industry.
The New York State Racing and Wagering Board on Aug. 5 approved a plan for the New York Racing Association to offer full-card simulcasts of harness racing from New York tracks.
Meadowlands in New Jersey will remain open through May as negotiations continue on a long-term lease of the facility.
A group of mutuel tellers has agreed to meet April 20 with the would-be lessee of Meadowlands, offering some hope the New Jersey racetrack will remain open for live racing and full-card simulcasts.
Barring a reversal by mutuel clerks that refused to vote on a proposal for wage concessions, it appears Meadowlands in New Jersey will not reopen for harness racing in May and the track's simulcast operation will shut down.
Penn National Gaming Inc. confirmed March 1 it has closed on the purchase of Rosecroft Raceway, a Maryland harness track it won in a bankruptcy auction.
The prospect of changes in Maryland's law governing slot machines has led Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos to again make a bid to purchase bankrupt Rosecroft Raceway, located just south of Washington, D.C.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and horse owners have reached a temporary deal to keep harness racing alive at Meadowlands through the spring, buying more time to privatize the operation.
- By Tom LaMarra
A transition of simulcast signals to the DISH Network offers long-term positives for the horse racing industry -- including the possibility of new revenue -- but in the short term, the road has been a bit bumpy.
Live racing at the nation's premier harness track would end under a recommendation from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's panel on the future of casinos and racetracks in the state.
Officials said they are close to a deal to try to bring New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. out of bankruptcy protection, but that a final agreement is being blocked by several harness tracks in the state.
- By Tom LaMarra
It may take some time, but at some point the industry will get it right. Read Blog
About 150 members of the harness racing community met at Meadowlands July 29 to discuss their options in the wake of a recent report that suggests racing at the New Jersey track is no longer viable under state ownership.
The New Jersey Racing Commission has awarded 2010 racing dates that closely resemble those of this year.
Pinnacle Race Course in Michigan has been approved by the Office of the Racing Commissioner to race 84 days in 2010.
In a case that has ramifications for Thoroughbred racing, New York's highest court has refused to hear an appeal by a trainer suspended by state regulators for a pattern of alleged illegal equine drug violations involving horses at Monticello Raceway.
Colonial Downs will host a mixed breed card of horse racing Sept. 13 that includes eight harness races, two steeplechase races, and one Thoroughbred race.
Year-and-a-half-old testing for anabolic steroids in racehorses produced some unusual results -- including the discovery of a Standardbred filly that's actually a male.
The Ontario Racing Commission March 25 approved $47.1 million Canadian for the 2009 Horse Improvement Program, which funds stakes, breed development, and equine research for Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing.
A Kentucky lawmaker has introduced legislation that would impose a 3.5% tax on out-of-state advance deposit wagering companies that take bets from Kentucky residents.
For the first time in four years, the Thoroughbreds are coming back to Cal Expo.
Florida's only harness track and several Thoroughbred industry executives are making plans for Quarter Horse racing, with potentially lucrative poker rooms serving as part of the attraction.
Two exhibition races for Standardbred pacers were held at Keeneland the afternoon of May 21 to give the principals in a racetrack under construction in Alberta, Canada, an idea as to whether a synthetic surface can be used for both breeds.
Delays in a purse supplement or other forms of financial relief from the state have led New Jersey's harness racing industry to brace for serious purse reductions.
Penn National Gaming Inc. said Nov. 28 it will not purchase Rosecroft Raceway, a Maryland harness track, in light of the fact the facility will not be eligible for slot machines under legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly.
Slot machines may help purses, but in a competitive environment--even in the same state--they don't guarantee a large horse population if one New York track is any indication.
The Ontario Racing Commission will allow trainers with positives for aminorex, a methamphetamine-like substance, to enter horses in races in the province as the investigation into the origin of the drug continues.
Members of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority racing team, as well as two trainers, visited Tapeta Farm in Maryland recently to review a synthetic racing surface with the inventor of Tapeta, trainer Michael Dickinson.
Principals in the Maryland horse racing and breeding industry have struck a major agreement on issues that have stymied progress in the state and led lawmakers and regulators to often claim the industry is in disarray.
Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York said individuals may not realize the economic importance of the horse industry to Empire state, and that even she was "a little surprised" when she saw the results of the most recent American Horse Council national economic impact study.
Maine's Harness Racing Commission voted Tuesday to give Penn National Gaming Inc. the go-ahead to operate Bangor Raceway, bringing slot machines a step closer to reality at the state's commercial tracks.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has asked the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association to agree to mediation in an effort to resolve "program and policy differences" between the Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries in the state.
Penn National Gaming Inc. has entered into an agreement with Capital Seven to purchase all of the shares of Bangor Historic Track, a company that operates harness racing in Bangor, Maine. In conjunction with the purchase agreement, PNGI also secured an option to purchase the interests in Vernon Downs, a New York Standardbred track controlled by an affiliate of Capital Seven.
Pompano Park in South Florida Dec. 31 will be the scene of the only race in the world that will span two different years.
Capitol Racing and the California Exposition and State Fair reached a two-year agreement July 28, but it's possible the contract for the Standardbred meet at Cal Expo will be put out for bid in the future.
Twelve-year-old Zippy Chippy, who has never won a race against Thoroughbreds, will take on Miss Batavia, an accomplished pacer, in "The Battle of Batavia" on July 26 at Batavia Downs in New York.
In an effort to fund a winter homeless shelter at Cal Expo in Sacramento, a California lawmaker has proposed a bill that would reopen the bidding on the facility's Standardbred license.
The owners of Balmoral Park and Maywood Park in Illinois are interested in purchasing Ellis Park, the western Kentucky racetrack owned by Churchill Downs Inc., according to published reports.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has called for changes in a formula it said cost Thoroughbred horsemen more than $13 million in 2001 alone. It planned to present a position paper to the National HBPA Jan. 29 during its winter convention.
A threatened boycott at Woodbine by the Ontario Harness Horsemen's Association (owners and trainers) was averted Monday when both sides in a dispute over simulcasting agreed to extend their existing contract for 90 days while resuming talks.
Live Thoroughbred racing at Rockingham Park may be a thing of the past, but there could be racing of another breed at the New Hampshire track in 2003.
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