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.
- By Tom LaMarra
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.
- By Tom Keyser
In a compromise decision at the end of a long and difficult meeting, the owners of Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland voted to sell the Standardbred track to Centaur Inc., part owner of the Hoosier Park in Indiana and casinos in California and Colorado.
Indianapolis Downs, a Standardbred track currently under construction and set to open in Shelby County in December, is poised to offer at least 20 days of Thoroughbred racing in 2003.
The former president of Pocono Downs has a plan to bring Standardbred racing back to the Delaware Valley, but some view his proposal as an attempt to cash in on slot machines should the Pennsylvania legislature approve such a measure.
On the same day Chris McCarron, one of Thoroughbred racing's all-time leading riders, retired on a winning note, Herve Filion, the all-time leading Standardbred driver, returned to the track after a seven-year absence and won three races.
Standardbred racing's all-time leading driver, on the sidelines since 1995 after his involvement in a wire-tap investigation, is scheduled to return to the track June 23 at Harrington Raceway in Delaware.
Thoroughbred and Standardbred interests have been bickering for years in New Jersey. But on May 15, the two breeds shared the stage at Meadowlands in a successful promotion.
While officials at the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority were celebrating the impending opening of Monmouth Park May 11, they also announced a unique concept for Meadowlands.
The general manager of California's only Standardbred racing association said it's unfair for harness horsemen to be lumped into the same workers' compensation insurance category as those who race Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses. He called the premiums "outrageous" and said the state needs to take action.
- By Tom Precious
Permission has been granted for the first time ever in New York for an off-track betting corporation to run a racetrack. After years of battling industry opposition and eventually paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to make the critics go away, Western Regional Off Track Betting Corp. was given approval by state regulators Feb. 27 to reopen Batavia Downs.
While California horsemen fret over the risk of customer cannibalization as a result of account wagering, Woodbine Entertainment officials say they have found just the opposite to be true: Televised racing drives wagering.
- By Tom LaMarra
A British Columbia Standardbred track piqued the community's interest with radio advertisements that parodied phone sex, but the campaign won't be back next season. That's not to say the campaign wasn't successful, though.
In a pari-mutuel oddity, no money was wagered to win on either of the first two finishers in a five-horse field at Thunder Ridge Raceway in eastern Kentucky. In fact, 17 of the 43 pacers that competed on the seven-race program drew no win money.
- By Tom LaMarra
In what is believed to be a record fine for a Standardbred horseman in Kentucky, Dale Loney, a trainer and driver, was fined $5,000 after tests revealed two of his horses had been "milkshaked" on the same race day at Thunder Ridge Raceway in Prestonsburg.
Racing fans in New Jersey could have more to cheer about in 2002, that is if Meadowlands and Monmouth Park are granted the 141 Thoroughbred dates requested for next year.
In what seems to be a mini-trend in Standardbred racing, a group of horsemen will purchase Vernon Downs in upstate New York for more than $9 million pending approval by the racetrack's shareholders and the New York State Racing and Wagering Board. The deal has been approved by the board of directors, track president Justice Cheney said.
- By Tom Precious
An industry-funded study concludes that video lottery terminals in New York will not only save racetracks, but pump at least $1 billion into the state's coffers to support education.
Horsemen stabled at the Downs at Pocono, a harness track near Wilkes-Barre, Pa., saved 22 horses from a fire that almost destroyed an entire barn the morning of April 2. No humans or horses were seriously injured, officials said.
Fairmount Park's live meet, delayed more than a month by a crippling purse dispute, is finally under way. But the future of the track, located just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Mo., is in the hands of the Illinois legislature.
Though dubbed as “the great American harness race,” the Little Brown Jug may be a tad short on respect in its home state of Ohio, at least in terms of the simulcast of the Sept. 21 event.
An Illinois appeals court has upheld action by the state’s racing board to award harness dates for this year to Balmoral Park and Maywood Park.
New Jersey, home to Meadowlands, arguably has the best Standardbred racing and breeding program in the country, but that hasn’t stopped the chairman of the state racing commission from creating a task force that will review drug-testing, licensing, and integrity issues.
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