The Maryland racing industry is throwing its support behind a campaign for slot machines, but it remains to be seen whether any racetracks would get the gambling devices should the public approve a statewide ballot measure in November.
Change may be in the wind yet again regarding upper-level Maryland Jockey Club management, but as of May 15, officials with MJC owner Magna Entertainment Corp. said there's nothing to announce.
Officials with Magna Entertainment Corp. and the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group have met twice recently to discuss the ongoing conflict over revenue splits for advance deposit wagering, though the sides aren't close to striking a deal.
Magna Entertainment Corp. said it is "considering all of its legal options" after the Oregon Racing Commission rejected its request to allow installation of Instant Racing gaming terminals at Portland Meadows April 25.
Lonny Powell, most recently an executive with Youbet.com, is helping a group identify and examine potential racetrack purchases.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and Thistledown have an agreement in principle for 122 days of live racing at the Cleveland-area track this year.
The Huron Township Planning Commission approved a site plan March 10 for the proposed $142-million Pinnacle Race Course near Detroit, Mich.
The financial health of Magna Entertainment Corp. could become part of the debate about legalizing slot machines in Maryland, as supporters and detractors ready for a statewide referendum in November.
Gulfstream Park reported its all-sources pari-mutuel handle is down about 5% and on-track handle off 30% year-to-date through early March.
The clock is ticking on negotiations between the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and Thistledown, the Cleveland-area racetrack whose 2008 Thoroughbred meet is in jeopardy because of a conflict over racing dates.
Gulfstream Park will have still another new look when it opens its season Jan. 3, 2008, and track president and general manager Bill Murphy says the latest changes come "from listening to what people wanted."
The Maryland Jockey Club announced Nov. 28 that president and chief operating officer Lou Raffetto Jr. will be leaving effective immediately to pursue other opportunities, and that Chris Dragone, a former senior vice president and general manager at the MJC, will take over his duties.
Maryland racing interests are optimistic over passage of legislation to authorize a statewide referendum on slot machines in November 2008, but they indicated there remains a need for financial relief before the slots measure even comes up for a vote.
A controversial plan to shave live racing dates at Thistledown in 2008 could result in the halt of full-card simulcasts at the Cleveland-area racetrack in 2009.
Gulfstream Park and the affiliated Palm Meadows Training Center have received about 3,600 stall applications for 2,452 stalls, officials at the South Florida racetrack said.
Santa Anita Park will shake up its racing schedule this winter in what it says is an effort to stimulate on-track business.
A November 2008 referendum on allowing slot machines in the state was approved by the Maryland Senate the evening of Nov. 8.
Northern California horsemen are hoping that Tapeta Footings, unveiled Nov. 7 at Golden Gate Fields, will put the bounce back in their racing circuit.
- By Tom Precious
A consortium of major horse industry companies vying for the Thoroughbred franchise in New York began falling apart Oct. 10, as Magna Entertainment Corp., Churchill Downs Inc., and Delaware North announced their withdrawal from Empire Racing Associates.
Magna Entertainment Corp. has exercised its option, pursuant to an agreement with certain companies controlled by Joe De Francis and his sister, Karin De Francis, to acquire the remaining interest in the Maryland Jockey Club, which operates Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course.
The Oregon Racing Commission has approved the 2007-08 Portland Meadows race meet application submitted by MEC Oregon Racing.
Hearing complaints from fans and state legislators, the California Horse Racing Board tried to tackle two fronts on how to maintain integrity for the sport: late wagers and board conflicts.
Magna Entertainment Corp. and two Oregon horsemen groups have agreed to an abbreviated 60-day meet to begin this fall at Portland Meadows.
Trying to cure a scheduling headache, the California Horse Racing Board has started planning for the future -- with or without Bay Meadows and Hollywood Park. At an Aug. 10 meeting at Del Mar, the CHRB's dates committee took the first step in piecing together a cohesive three-year calendar.
AmTote, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Magna Entertainment Corp., has entered into a tote service agreement with Woodbine Entertainment Group in Canada.
Magna Entertainment Corp. said June 7 it has agreed to sell its San Luis Rey Downs training facility in Southern California to a subsidiary of MI Developments, its parent company, for $24 million.
Magna Entertainment Corp. is willing to spend tens of millions for its upscale commercial development, The Shops at Santa Anita, in the track parking lot, but nothing to fix up the dilapidated barn area, the California Horse Racing Board learned during its meeting in Sacramento May 22.
The group I Gran Premio Latino Americano, one of South America's most prestigious stakes, will be run at Gulfstream Park in 2008 pending regulatory approval, Magna Entertainment Corp. announced May 19.
Environmental concerns could cause a delay in plans by Golden Gate Fields to install an all-weather racing surface this summer, the planning manager for the City of Albany, Calif., acknowledged May 16.
The financial results of the two biggest racing days for Churchill Downs Inc. show the company's new revenue model for account wagering can be successful, a company official said.
Empire Racing Associates has released the names of a team of racing-operations professionals, many from Churchill Downs Inc. and Magna Entertainment Corp., that will lead its racing transition team should Empire Racing be awarded the New York Thoroughbred racing franchise.
Major horsemen's groups have banded together to ask racetracks and account wagering providers to make the Triple Crown races available to all wagering services in light of a conflict that is spreading ill will as horse racing's most prominent and lucrative day approaches.
Youbet.com won't be offering Derby wagering this year, but its customers will have a shot at $1 million in a contest tied to the two marquee races at Churchill Downs this Friday and Saturday.
TVG has a new distribution agreement with DIRECTV that will make the network available to an additional eight million subscribers of the satellite service.
A decision by the AmericaTAB account wagering consortium to join TrackNet Media Group is a sign of support for efforts by Churchill Downs Inc. and Magna Entertainment Corp. to end exclusive contracts, an official said.
TrackNet Media Group will be a content provider for AmericaTAB under an agreement announced April 18.
Voters in the farm town of Dixon, Calif., turned down Magna Entertainment Corporation's proposed $250 million horse racing complex by less than 300 votes April 17.
Though questions persist about TrackNet Media Group, the entity formed by Churchill Downs Inc. and Magna Entertainment Corp. to buy and sell simulcast signals, it has generated an initial positive response from one of the country's major horsemen's groups.
HorseRacing TV has reached an agreement with Racing World, a television and wagering rightsholder, in both the British and Irish markets, to provide its coverage of North American-based racetracks into homes in England and Ireland, beginning March 28.
HRTV will be broadcast on Racing World in Great Britain and Ireland five days a week beginning March 28.
Gulfstream Park in South Florida has added 705 slot machines to bring the total number of machines to 1,221.
Account wagering provider Youbet.com said it applauds the partnership between Churchill Downs Inc. and Magna Entertainment Corp. because it should assist in wagering growth.
Magna Entertainment Corp. has adopted "development covenants" in an attempt to allay the fears of opponents in regard to its plans to build Dixon Downs racetrack in Northern California.
Following reports that Santa Anita might request more time before installing a synthetic main-track surface, Santa Anita President Ron Charles announced Feb. 21 that Magna Entertainment Corp. is committed to installing such a surface this year.
Corey Johnsen has resigned as president of Magna Entertainment Corp. southern operations to join a group of private investors that is in the process of acquiring controlling interest of another North American racetrack.
Gulfstream Park announced Jan. 26 that jockey Rene Douglas is once again allowed to ride at the south Florida track.
New York City off-track betting corporations began importing the signal from Gulfstream Park Jan. 17 after an agreement was reached on a rate for the signal.
Bill Murphy has been appointed president and general manager of Gulfstream Park, Magna Entertainment Corp. announced Jan. 10.
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.
Portland Meadows has expanded its Dec. 19 program and will offer two guaranteed pick four wagers each worth $15,000.
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