The updated code of standards released last month by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance has been approved by the full NTRA board of directors.
Keeneland officials are hopeful the racetrack's partnership with Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, sponsor of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), continues, Keeneland president Nick Nicholson said April 7.
A Thoroughbred leadership group called Vision 20/20 has been formed by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders in order to strengthen the industry.
Keeneland will offer $3.65 million in purses for 16 stakes races, in addition to a variety of on-site events and new wagering and marketing initiatives.
Keeneland Association in Lexington announced March 23 a comprehensive traffic plan for the April 2-23 spring meet.
Keeneland announced March 5 a major format change in its marathon September yearling sale, which will begin with two selected sessions of 100 horses each selling during night sessions Sept. 12-13.
The lingering economic recession has forced banks to become very conservative lenders. In this climate, Thoroughbred horsemen nationwide are struggling with credit lines drying up and loans being called in. Read Feature
Will Farish, owner of Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky., will be honored with the Eclipse Award of Merit for lifetime achievement in Thoroughbred racing.
The Jockeys' Guild, as part of its annual meeting in Tucson, Ariz., was advised of ways it can work within the racing industry to promote riders and push for their causes in the regulatory arena.
The debt crisis in Dubai was being closely monitored Nov. 27 by buyers and sellers of high-end Thoroughbreds, but there was no immediate indication Dubai's ruler would scale back his enormous financial ties to the industry in the United States and elsewhere.
A rainy October in Kentucky led to much lower on-track business for the Keeneland fall meet, but good racing at the track helped the simulcast wagering, and the combined off-track and on-track betting increased.
Pierre Bellocq, the internationally celebrated artist better known as "Peb," was joined by officials from Keeneland and Daily Racing Form Oct. 15 to announce the donation of nearly a half-century of his humorous caricatures and equine cartoons to the Keeneland Library.
Keeneland president Nick Nicholson Oct. 7 announced that Jay Blanton has been named the company's director of communications and marketing.
Keeneland has made changes to its parking system and traffic flow for the fall meet that begins Oct. 9.
Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton have made changes to their November sales schedules to better accommodate horsemen attending the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park Nov. 6 and 7. Keeneland's November breeding stock sale will begin Tuesday, November 10, at 10 a.m. (EST) and run through Sunday, November 22. Fasig-Tipton will conduct its select mixed sale on Tuesday, November 10, starting at 5 p.m. (EST).
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear announced Aug. 26 that deputy chief of staff Vince Gabbert will leave the administration in October to join venerable racetrack and sales company, Keeneland.
Keeneland's long time director of communications, Jim Williams, announced Aug. 18 that he plans to retire after more than 38 years with the company. He will step down in December.
Keeneland has reduced its sales commission on horses that fail to meet their reserves to 2.5%. The rate will be in effect for this year's September yearling and November breeding stock sales and the 2010 January horses of all ages sale.
Democratic Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear announced June 4 that racetrack gaming would be included in the special legislative session that will focus on the state budget.
Kentucky racetrack operators said May 20 the state's horseracing and breeding industries have reached a critical juncture, and without legislative assistance in the form of on-track gaming, the damage could be irreparable.
As Kentucky's equine industry awaits word on whether Gov. Steve Beshear will call a special legislative session that could have racetrack gaming on the agenda, representatives of the state's racetracks and horsemen's groups will hold a press conference May 20 to discuss the state of the horse business. Meanwhile, Ohio horseracing interests plan a statehouse rally May 19 to lobby for legislative relief.
The Lexington track attracted near-record crowds but the all-sources handle still fell 19.5%. The on-track handle fared a bit better.
The Association of Racing Commissioners International will celebrate its 75th anniversary when its four-day conference on racing and wagering integrity kicks off April 20 at the Lexington Hilton Downtown Hotel and Conference Center.
At a press conference April 17 at Keeneland, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced that the Lexington racetrack has been fully accredited by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance following a complete review of all racing operations at the facility. Keeneland is the second track to be so designated by the Alliance. Churchill Downs was accredited last week.
Keeneland officials announced March 31 that, for the first time, wagering on the track's upcoming spring race meeting will be available on all major North American betting platforms.
Keeneland has announced that post time for the first race will be 1:05 p.m. (ET) during its April 3-24 spring meet. Post time has previously been 1:10 p.m.
Keeneland will offer fans a general admission season pass at an introductory price of $10 for its spring race meeting, to be held April 3-24.
Keeneland is the nation's top racetrack, according to the Horseplayers Association of North America. The bettors' advocacy group has introduced this year a rating system for 65 Thoroughbred racetracks in the United States and Canada.
Revised legislation to authorize video lottery terminals at Kentucky racetracks unanimously passed out of a House of Representatives committee Feb. 12, but its sponsor is unsure the measure will be voted on by the full House during the current General Assembly session.
Legislation to authorize video lottery terminals at Kentucky racetracks will be amended in several key areas, one of which is a substantial increase in the licensing fee racetracks would pay for VLT licenses.
Democratic Kentucky Rep. Greg Stumbo was sworn in Jan. 7 as the state's speaker of the House, giving some in the Thoroughbred industry hope that alternative gaming may soon exist in the Bluegrass State.
Kentucky horse racing and breeding industries are losing ground to other states, and if immediate action is not taken to stem the tide, the state could find itself in jeopardy of losing one of its signature industries, according to a 70-plus-page document released Dec. 15 by the Governor's Task Force on the Future of Horse Racing.
- By Esther Marr
In spite of a struggling economy, the generosity of Thoroughbred industry members and others was not lacking at the third annual Tubby's Klubhouse fundraiser Nov. 7. Hosted by Ro Parra's Millennium Farms near Lexington, the event raised more than $220,000 via items sold at a live auction, individual donations, and a matching grant from Parra's Family Foundation.
The Governor's Task Force on Racing in Kentucky is close to preparing and releasing a report pinpointing problems and offering recommendations that ultimately will require a lot of money -- something in short supply given an ongoing budget crunch.
InCompass Solutions announced Oct. 10 hat it had launched the Jockey Health Information System, a database that will store jockeys' updated medical histories and make it possible for emergency medical personnel at racetracks to instantly access that information in the event of injury.
Keeneland, whose fall meet begins Oct. 3, is launching a "PolyCapping" online database to provide more information for handicappers.
- By Esther Marr
In response to the horse industry's cries for more effective ways of regulating racehorse medications, Kentucky Horse Racing Commission chairman Robert Beck reported the possibility of the state obtaining its own laboratory facility.
Keeneland and HOK Sports held an open forum the evening of Aug. 25 to discuss the association's "master plan" initiative that was announced last month. Between 100 and 150 local citizens attended the meeting.
Keeneland will donate copies of Anna Morgan Ford's book, "Beyond the Track: Retraining the Thoroughbred from Racehorse to Riding Horse," to nonprofit organizations around the country that have the mission to find adoptive homes for retired Thoroughbreds. These organizations will in turn provide free copies of the manual to individuals who adopt a Thoroughbred from their group.
Keeneland announced Aug. 7 that it has contracted with HOK Sport, a global sports architecture firm, to develop a master plan for the current and future use of its facility.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group, which advocates a new economic model for pari-mutuel wagering and has been engaged in high-profile battles in the racing industry, isn't going away anytime soon, its president said July 18.
The American Horse Council has released "Getting Involved in the 2008 Elections," a federal election guide for the horse industry.
- By Tom LaMarra
Though the United States presidential election will get the biggest headlines as November approaches, horse industry representatives were told June 17 they should pay attention to -- and get involved in -- congressional races around the country.
Keeneland reported an average on-track attendance increase of 6.2% but a 5% drop in total handle from all sources based on preliminary figures following the conclusion of the 16-day meet April 25.
An agreement signed March 10 will enable horsemen from Kentucky and Mexico to share knowledge and resources and set up commercial and technical exchanges to improve both equine industries.
Keeneland Association and the New York Racing Association are collaborating on a project to preserve NYRA's film and video archives, which span more than 100 years of racing.
Keeneland Association and Fasig-Tipton Co. officials jointly announced Nov. 15 that the policy regarding exogenous anabolic steroids will be implemented for weanlings and yearlings beginning with their 2008 sales.
- By Esther Marr
The first Kentucky-related documentary funded by a $2.25 million endowment to Kentucky Educational Television was announced at an Oct. 18 ceremony at Keeneland. The documentary, called "Thoroughbred," is slated to premier nationwide by March 2010.
TVG will provide extensive live television coverage of Keeneland's fall race meeting, including live trackside broadcasts every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during the first three weekends of the 17-day meet.
Keeneland closed its 2007 spring season on Friday with record total wagering exceeding $158 million for the 15-day race meet held April 6 -27, but on-track attendance declined following a record-breaking season in 2006.
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