All-sources handle at Calder Race Course rose 48%, from $131.4 million to $195 million, during this year's second quarter, according to parent company Churchill Downs in a report to the Securities and Exchange Commission. But Calder's handle for the quarter ended June 30 was 22% below its handle of $249 million for the second quarter of 2007.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Association of Racing Commissioners International is looking at extending the cutoff time for use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in racehorses beyond 24 hours prior to a race, but horsemen's groups claim the action is premature.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said July 1 it plans to be more involved as the racing industry considers medication and drug-testing policies horsemen believe could be detrimental and counterproductive.
Calder Race Course announced April 16 that it has signed a 2009 purse contract agreement with the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. The Miami Gardens, Fla., track and its parent, Churchill Downs Inc., reached the agreement with the Florida HBPA on the evening of April 15.
Calder Race Course announced its stakes schedule for the 2009 Calder Meet on March 20, a program that includes renewals of the Summit of Speed and Festival of the Sun, and the 28th runnings of the Florida Stallion Stakes series.
In December, the Florida Research Institute for Equine Nurturing Development and Safety, a horse rescue ranch in Broward County, Fla., was unable to foot its bills, and as a result, was nearly forced to close its doors. Thanks in part to several recent donations -- including $10,000 from the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association -- the facility has been able to keep afloat in spite of the dismal economy.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said Dec. 22 it has reached agreements on advance deposit wagering contracts with Calder Race Course and Gulfstream Park.
A recent deal that allowed expanded distribution of the Fair Grounds racing signal was hailed by some as a step forward in the months-long nationwide dispute between horsemen, racetracks, and advance deposit wagering entities. But some horsemen's groups are categorizing the development as a step backwards in an overall plan to secure higher revenue shares for purses from a growing wagering segment.
Jean Hansen Stirling, 89, mother of Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association executive director Kent Stirling, died Sept. 30 in Hollywood, Fla.
Reports that Churchill Downs Inc. and the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association are stalled in talks on a Calder Race Course slot machine contract are leading to concerns about possible cancellation of two contracts between CDI and the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.
Hialeah Park owner John Brunetti is looking forward to meeting with prospective buyer Halsey Minor about what he calls multiple "hurdles" to returning racing to the historic track that last held a meet in 2001.
Churchill Downs Inc. and the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association on May 21 held their first meeting this month on 2008 contracts for Calder Race Course.
An official of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association said on May 14 that his organization will issue a proposal that would enable Calder Race Course to carry the simulcast signal of the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) -- with a condition.
Churchill Downs Inc. filed a lawsuit April 24 asking a federal court to dissolve the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group. In a suit filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, CDI, CDI-owned Calder Race Course, and Churchill Downs Technology Initiatives Co. also are seeking an injunction to prevent the THG and the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association from "agreeing on uniform terms for the sale of signals, boycotting racetracks and ADW operators that do not comply with their demands."
After the start of Calder Race Course's opening-day card of nine races April 21, the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association agreed to permit the racetrack to send its signal to New York's off-track betting companies. Six OTB outlets in that state received the signal for the last three races.
As Calder Race Course prepares to open its 2008 meet April 21, the question of how to divide any future slot-machine revenue is holding up contract talks between the Miami Gardens, Fla., track and the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protection Association.
The ongoing process of regulating anabolic steroids in racehorses may have turned a corner March 25 when the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium made changes to its model rule. State regulators, however, remain concerned about funding for increased testing.
The model rule regulating use of anabolic steroids in racehorses is flawed and not based on scientific evidence, and the current state-by-state roll out of the regulations is problematic, horsemen's representatives said Jan. 25.
After cutting its daily purses about 7% in early November, Calder Race Course quietly restored the money during the final weeks of its meet that ends Jan. 2. But questions concerning Calder and other South Florida tracks linger into the new year.
- By Tom LaMarra
- News, Northeast Region, Midwest Region, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, West Region
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association is formulating a position on regulation of anabolic steroids in racehorses.
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.
In what they said is an effort to promote unity, officials with the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have rescinded a resolution that banned the Kentucky HBPA president from serving in an official capacity with the organization.
Research shows small amounts of stimulants and therapeutic drugs can be detected in stalls and other locations on the backstretch, and that has horsemen concerned given sensitive testing methods and regulations that don't make provisions for environmental contamination.
It appeared a dispute over simulcast rates would keep the Gulfstream Park signal out of New York off-track betting parlors through at least the first weekend of racing at the South Florida track.
With the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association seeking a higher rate for the Gulfstream Park signal, and the existing rate governed by a contract with the racetrack, the six off-track betting corporations in New York didn't carry the Jan. 3 opening-day program from the South Florida racetrack.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association is contributing $23,000 to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, but not without voicing displeasure with the Jockeys' Guild.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association Medication Committee will review California research that helped develop thresholds for two therapeutic medications during its meeting July 14 in Bloomington, Minn., as part of the National HBPA summer convention.
Officials with at least one horsemen's group believe the racing industry would be best served by implementing national model rules for licensees, including trainers.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association may look for ways to pursue legal action to stop signal piracy and recover what they believe is their fair share of revenue from wagering on Thoroughbred racing.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association medication committee hopes to establish what it calls "proper regulatory thresholds" for trace levels of the urinary metabolites of cocaine and morphine.
Restoration of power is the key to whether Calder Race Course can resume simulcast operations in time for the Oct. 29 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park, and the South Florida racetrack's live racing schedule remains up in the air in the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma, which damaged a number of barns in the stable area.
Corticosteroids, which serve as anti-inflammatory agents, will be the focus of a panel discussion July 21 during the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association summer convention in Toronto, Canada.
A June 6 meeting of horsemen's associations from around the country produced constructive dialogue and could lead to a regular exchange of information, officials said.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, which negotiates contracts at Calder Race Course and Gulfstream Park, has rejoined the National HBPA after having voted to leave the fold last fall.
The National Horsemen's Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, given the results of a recent study, has suggested research into medication thresholds and withdrawal times be performed using horses in training.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has tabled a decision as to whether it would remain a member of the National HBPA in light of a bylaws hitch and other matters.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has adopted a position paper on medication and drug-testing that says any changes in policies in each jurisdiction should be enacted only after there is scientific evidence specific therapeutic drugs shouldn't be used in racehorses.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association's Executive Committee will decide Feb. 3 whether to move forward with a plan to create an offshore wagering hub that would accept wagers from bettors outside the United States in an attempt to increase handle and generate revenue for purses.
John Roark, president of the Texas Horsemen's Partnership and a board member of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, fought back a challenge to win a second two-year term as president of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.
Participants in a July 10 medication workshop reached the consensus that "over-medication" may contribute to fewer starts by racehorses, but other factors -- racetrack surfaces, an emphasis on speed, too much pressure on 2-year-olds, and a thirst for quick profit -- probably are just as responsible.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court, Gulfstream Park alleges Tampa Bay Downs is acting in violation of Gulfstream's exclusive contracts in the redistribution of simulcast signals to outlets in Florida.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium is scheduled to meet Feb. 4 in Atlanta, Ga., to hammer out details of its structure and further develop its policy statement.
- By Scott Davis
Magna Entertainment Corp. is expected to announce Wednesday that it has reached an agreement with the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association to run the inaugural "Sunshine Millions" on Jan. 25, 2003.
The Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering in August filed an administrative complaint against trainer Henry Collazo, alleging that a horse he ran at Calder Race Course tested positive for a derivative of morphine. The case has again put Florida's zero-tolerance policy under scrutiny.
Kent Stirling, executive director of the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, and Dr. Rick Arthur, a vice president of Oak Tree Racing Association, have been named to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's Racing Integrity and Drug Testing Task Force.
In the wake of a Jan. 28 teleconference to discuss plans for a national medication policy, organizers and the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association continue to negotiate on a representation issue.
The board of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, during its winter convention in Las Vegas, Nev., Jan. 22-24, passed two motions tied to medication issues: One calls for more representation in follow-up meetings to the Racehorse Medication Summit, while the other seeks official positions from affiliates on use of race-day therapeutic medication.
Tampa Bay Downs has signed a reciprocal simulcast deal with Gulfstream Park even though horsemen's groups outside Florida are trying to block distribution of the Tampa track's signal. Horsemen in Texas and Kentucky are battling with Tampa Bay Downs over what they see as mistreatment of the local horsemen's group.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has put together its own guidelines for national drug-testing and will unveil the model Thursday morning during a press conference at Keeneland.
With a strong racetrack event schedule already in place, and an establishment marketing plan to boot, the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association isn't expected to rejoin the National Thoroughbred Racing Association during the current meet at Gulfstream Park. The Hallandale track is owned by Magna Entertainment, which rejoined the NTRA in mid-January.
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