Government and corporate officials in Louisiana are on a mission to make horse racing a key component of the state's marketing and tourism efforts, and at least one racetrack official believes cooperation among industry players could make Louisiana the preeminent racing state in the country.
New Jersey Racing Commission executive director Frank Zanzuccki, expected to officially take over as chairman of the Association of Racing Commissioners International during an April 3 board of directors meeting, said the unification of RCI and the North American Pari-Mutuel Regulators Association would be his top priority.
National Thoroughbred Racing Association commissioner Tim Smith continues to bang the drum for industry cooperation and aggregation, and again issued a call for the pooling of rights for major events such as the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships and Visa Triple Crown.
Officials gathered in New Orleans for the first Joint Conference of Racing Regulators will consider a proposed national medication policy that calls for voluntary use of Salix on race days and use of one of three non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs no later than 24 hours before a race.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association remains committed to implementing a drug-testing program tied to the American Graded Stakes Committee by July 1, an official said April 1 during the Joint Conference of Racing Regulators in New Orleans.
The final season of racing at 38-year-old Evangeline Downs kicks off the evening of April 1 with a 100% increase in daily average purses and a regular fan appreciation nights.
Two more groups of investors, one of which includes Kentucky Derby-winning owner Mike Pegram, have expressed interest in acquiring a stake in Fair Grounds.
Fair Grounds, which was scheduled to submit a bankruptcy reorganization plan by March 29, has been granted an extension of April 15 by U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
A state district judge ruled March 22 that Fair Grounds owes horsemen almost $90 million in damages from the video-poker lawsuit that led to the track's filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization last August, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.
The slot-machine parlor at the Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino reigns as the most profitable racino in Louisiana, having generated more than $33 million in purse money the past two years, according to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. In all, three racinos have produced more than $40 million for horsemen.
In a letter to horsemen at Fair Grounds Racecourse in New Orleans, La., track president and general manager Bryan Krantz has responded to comments by trainer Tom Amoss that were published in The Blood-Horse and New Orleans Times-Picayune. Here is the complete text of Krantz' letter.
Boosted by a group of horses sold as part of the continuing dispersal of racing and breeding stock owned by the late John Franks, the 2-year-olds in training and paddock sale at Evangeline Downs racetrack in Louisiana March 14 grossed $1,503,500.
Average purses will double at Evangeline Downs this season if the first condition book for the meet is any indication.
A Derby Wish colt and a Precocity filly shared the honors for top-priced horse, bringing $27,000 apiece Tuesday during the Fair Grounds Sales Company's select sale of 2-year-olds in training in Louisiana.
Louie Roussel III, who owned a controlling interest in Fair Grounds until 1990, is the latest to make an offer for the New Orleans track. A week after Churchill Downs Inc. bid $28.5 million for Fair Grounds, Roussel upped the offer to $30 million, according to published reports.
A $50-million expansion of the Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino is well under way with completion expected by the end of 2004. The project includes a hotel and a bigger parlor for slot machines.
Fifteen horses, including 11 from the estate of John Franks, have been added to the Evangeline Downs 2-year-olds in training and paddock sale in Louisiana on Sunday.
Churchill Downs Inc. has apparently upped its interest in Fair Grounds. According to a local report, CDI offered $28.5 million to buy the New Orleans racetrack, though about $20 million of that would go to horsemen to settle a revenue dispute.
Five-year-old Bedanken will make her seasonal debut in Saturday's Bayou Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Fair Grounds, where she will square off against 11 rivals in the 1 1/8-mile contest on the Stall-Wilson Turf Course.
Three competitors from last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) will meet on television Sunday when TVG screens the New Orleans Handicap from the Fair Grounds.
Claude Mauberret Jr., the only veterinarian elected to Fair Grounds' Racing Hall of Fame, died Feb. 23.
Spectacular Lisa seeks to make it two in a row for her trainer in Saturday's $100,000 Chou Croute Handicap at Fair Grounds.
Gov. Kathleen Blanco has replaced Albert Stall Sr. as the chairman of the Louisiana Racing Commission. New Orleans attorney Bob Wright replaced Stall, who has been a commission member for 26 of the past 32 years, serving 18 years as chairman.
Evangeline Downs' 2-year-old in training and paddock sale has its largest catalogue ever, with 143 horses.
An appearance by Jake Delhomme -- this time in the role of Thoroughbred owner -- was just one of many highlights on an evening when more than $1 million in purse money was up for grabs for Louisiana-breds at Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino.
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.
Officials with the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have indicated the organization's fate as a member of the National HBPA could be decided during a Feb. 10 board of directors meeting.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has officially put its weight behind a plan for an offshore hub that would accept wagers from foreign countries and funnel them to a common pool from which racetracks and horsemen would derive revenue.
With major contracts for television, sponsorship, and membership up for renewal this year, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association believes 2004 is the year that could spark major growth in horse racing for the long term, commissioner Tim Smith said.
The issue of how jockeys are paid surfaced during the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association winter convention in New Orleans, and apparently it has created some conflict in some racing jurisdictions around the country.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association will soon announce that a high-profile sponsor will kick in funds to supplement purses on state-bred championship days, officials said Feb. 2.
Magna Entertainment Corp.'s top executive admitted the company has taken plenty of heat for recent business decisions tied to account wagering and rebate shops, but he indicated the racing conglomerate wouldn't apologize for a strategy he said is designed to benefit the industry in the long term.
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.
Wertheimer and Frere's Olmodavor, third last time out against Star Cross and Nose the Trade in the San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita, ships to Fair Grounds and will be the 121-pound highweight in Sunday's Whirlaway Handicap (gr. III).
Tommy Scott, a longtime racing official and a member of the Fair Grounds Racing Hall of Fame, died Jan. 21.
When Evangeline Downs opens its season April 1, purses for several stakes races will see noticeable increases, thanks to the positive impact of expanded gaming at the Carencro, La., oval. Most notable is the return to prominence of the Evangeline Mile, which received a $25,0000 increase to make the Aug. 14 race now worth $100,000.
The hottest thing in Breaux Bridge, La., these day is native son Jake Delhomme, who as the Carolina Panthers quarterback, led the team to National Football League's National Football Conference Championship and a trip to the Super Bowl.
Hallowed Dreams, who equaled a modern day record by winning her first 16 races, produced her first foal, a Tirade colt, Jan. 13 for Johnny Gaspard and Lloyd J. Romero at the latter's farm near Erath, La.
Though field size at Fair Grounds racetrack in New Orleans is up, on-track and total handle are down from last year.
Fair Grounds International Ventures has been appointed as the North American agent for the Dubai International Racing Carnival.
Churchill Downs Inc. has been in negotiations with Louisiana horsemen to acquire $90 million in legal claims against Fair Grounds, which shows CDI could be interested in purchasing Fair Grounds, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Wednesday.
Easyfromthegitgo, a stakes winner of nearly $700,000, will enter stud in 2004 at Le Mesa Stallions in Carenero, Louisiana. His stud fee will be $3,500.
A memorial service for prominent Thoroughbred owner and breeder John Franks, who died Dec. 31 at the age of 78, is set for Jan. 3.
Airdrie Stud announced that millionaire Afternoon Deelites will move to Clear Creek Stud near Folsom, La., for the 2004 breeding season.
The slot machines parlor at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, La., opened Dec. 19 even though the facility won't offer live horse racing until 2005. The 2004 meet will be held at the existing Evangeline Downs in Carencro, about 10 miles south of the new site.
Grade II winner Keats will enter stud at Jerry Meaux' Acadiana Ranch near Lafayette, La.
The $1-million Delta Jackpot Dec. 5 at Delta Downs generated so much exposure and money for the racetrack that it will return next year, said general manager Jack Bernsmeier, who would like to see similar big-money races at all Louisiana tracks.
James Baldwin of Texas announced the relocation of three stallions--all by Orbit Dancer--from his Baldwin Thoroughbreds near Mabank, Texas, to Louisiana.
Six-year-old Harlan Traveler, twice graded stakes-placed, will enter stud at Fox Run Farm near Benton, La.
Many of the likely top contenders in Saturday's 13th annual Louisiana Champions Day are getting in their final preparations.
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