The Ohio Supreme Court Sept. 21 gave opponents of installing video lottery terminals at racetracks the chance to ask voters to repeal the plan.
A Delaware bankruptcy judge approved the sale of Magna Entertainment Corp.-owned Thistledown in Ohio to Harrah's Entertainment for $89.5 million and Remington Park in Oklahoma City for $80.25 million to a Chickasaw Nation subsidiary. An agreement also has been reached to sell Lone Star Park for $27 million.
The Ohio State Racing Commission has approved 2010 racing dates for two Thoroughbred tracks, but the facilities still have no agreement with horsemen on the schedules.
United States Sen. George Voinovich used biblical verse Sept. 3 to blast gambling proponents, including Ohio Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, who is an ordained minister. Voinovich spoke while announcing a new lawsuit challenging implementation of racetrack video lottery terminals in the state.
Jockeys throughout the United States and Canada will exhibit their unified show of support Sept. 5 for apprentice jockey Michael Straight, who was injured in a racing accident Aug. 26 at Arlington Park. On Sept. 6, River Downs in Ohio will raise money for disabled jockey Gary Birzer and jockey Justin Vitek, who continues to battle leukemia.
A document submitted Sept. 1 suggests Penn National Gaming Inc. is underwriting an effort to overturn racetrack video lottery terminals legalized by Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland and the Ohio legislature in July, but the Pennsylvania-based company said the information is false.
Team Valor Stables' Ohio-bred King of the Roxy, voted Ohio Horse of the Year in 2007, made his first start in his home state a winning one Aug. 28 when he captured the $50,000 Honey Jay Stakes at Thistledown.
The Ohio State Racing Commission voted Aug. 20 to officially oppose a November referendum to authorize full casino gambling in the state's four largest cities.
The Ohio State Racing Commission Aug. 20 brought the grade II Ohio Derby back to the schedule this year by ordering a reduction of five live racing days at Thistledown, traditional host for the only graded stakes in the Buckeye State.
Five of seven Ohio racetracks failed to have their 2010 applications for dates approved because they don't have an agreement with horsemen or have other conflicts; several requested fewer racing dates than were scheduled for this year; and one facility indicated it wouldn't mind closing its barn area.
Grade II stakes-placed Bold Truth, sire of Ohio stakes winner Bold Captain from his first crop, will stand in 2010 at Steve and Theresa Belford's farm near Gilead, Ohio.
- By Tom LaMarra
MI Developments, parent company of Magna Entertainment Corp., said Aug. 12 debtors filed a motion seeking court approval to sell MEC-owned Remington Park Racing & Casino in Oklahoma to a third party for $80.25 million pending "higher and better offers."
MTR Gaming Group, which cut jobs and corporate expenses in the past year, released improved financial results for the second quarter of 2009 and said it's poised for growth in Ohio, where racetrack video lottery terminals have been authorized.
James Day knows a good racehorse when he breeds and sells one. He also knows a claiming-box bargain when he sees it -- especially one as unexpected as the 5-year-old gelding that presented itself at Thistledown Aug. 7.
Speculation abounds in Ohio, where casino companies are examining racetracks for possible purchase and a deal on revenue from video lottery terminals for purses hasn't been hammered out.
After Michigan horsemen experienced a scare of losing half of their summer/fall meet at Pinnacle Race Course, negotiations were held among the Michigan Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, the Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, and the Office of the Racing Commissioner to shave less than 10 days from the schedule.
The governor of West Virginia, on hand for the Aug. 1 West Virginia Derby (gr. II) at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort, said gaming at tracks was built around racing, and the sport won't be allowed to suffer in exchange for company profits.
Penn National Gaming Inc. officials see upside to an expansion of gambling in Ohio, but said they have no idea how it will shake out.
Habayeb, by Storm Cat, was represented by his first winner and first stakes winner in the same race.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association issued a statement July 16 confirming it will have to negotiate with racetracks for purse revenue from video lottery terminals.
One broodmare died in a July 15 fire that destroyed the primary barn at Double D Farm in northeastern Ohio, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.
It appears Ohio racetracks and horsemen's groups will have to negotiate the percentage of revenue that will go toward purses and breed development from video lottery terminals.
Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland signed a directive July 13 instructing the director of the Ohio Lottery to immediately begin taking steps to implement video lottery terminals at the seven racetracks in Ohio. But questions remain as to how the racing and breeding industry will benefit.
Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland said July 10 he will sign an executive order authorizing video lottery terminals at Ohio's seven racetracks, but questions remain as to how much revenue -- if any -- purses and breed development will receive.
Video lottery terminals at the seven racetracks in Ohio may be authorized by an executive order from Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, a newspaper reported July 10.
Tougaloo, a four-time Ohio champion, was euthanized June 9 at age 26 because of complications from the infirmities of old age.
As Ohio racetracks are busy working on a plan for racetrack gaming, horsemen's groups are lobbying the state legislature to get behind Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland's proposal for video lottery terminals at tracks.
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, in search of money to balance the state budget, on June 19 proposed putting racetrack video lottery terminals into the budget bill.
Thistledown race track in North Randall, Ohio made a required $36,000 payment toward a bond, which allows it to remain open, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported June 17 on its Web site, cleveland.com.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project is organizing a rally June 17 in the Capitol Rotunda to drum up support for legislation that would financially assist the horse industry.
Ohio racing still has its supporters, who are finding ways to capitalize on declining purses and a shrinking foal crop in the face of competition from racetracks with gaming in neighboring states.
Trainer Wesley Ward, who plans a venture to the Royal Ascot meet in England this year, came away from River Downs very pleased with the performances of members of his stable that prepped in front of the public at the Ohio track May 24.
Hundreds of people who make their living in Ohio's horseracing and breeding industry rallied at the state capital May 19 to support a plan for video lottery terminals at the state's seven racetracks.
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.
Host track Thistledown, the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, and the Ohio State Racing Commission are discussing ways to restore the grade II Ohio Derby in 2009, officials said April 21.
Kentucky Sen. Damon Thayer, who sponsored the legislation that resulted in Kentucky's Breeders' Incentive Fund, has inquired about another method of garnering funds for the state's Thoroughbred industry.
Thistledown, at the suggestion of the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, has suspended the $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) for 3-year-olds. The race was to have its 75th running in 2009.
Thistledown owner Magna Entertainment Corp. has met the deadline for payment of a $1-million bond to the Ohio State Racing Commission, which means the Cleveland-area racetrack will not have its operating permit suspended.
Saying five of the state's seven racetracks will close without assistance from the legislature, the Ohio State Racing Commission March 19 released a draft plan for 14,000 video lottery terminals that would be located at tracks.
The Ohio State Racing Commission ruled March 19 that Thistledown's racing permit will be suspended as of March 28 if parent company Magna Entertainment Corp., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection March 5, fails to renew a $1-million bond.
In anticipation of a push by a consortium for casino gambling in Ohio's four largest cities, the Ohio State Racing Commission is formulating its own legislative proposal for video lottery terminals at the state's seven racetracks.
The marquee race at River Downs in Ohio will now be titled the $200,000 Budweiser Select Cradle Stakes. Since 1977, the Miller Brewing Co. had sponsored Ohio's richest race for 2-year-olds.
Marble Cliff, the Ohio-bred turned Kentucky-bred stripped of stakes wins in 2008 after a racing commission investigation, finally got his first "official" victory--in West Virginia.
Ohio is among the weakest when it comes to Thoroughbred purses, but it's about to have the strongest rules governing registration of state-bred horses.
Poor track conditions led Beulah Park near Columbus, Ohio, to cancel the second through ninth races Feb. 2-3, and the full card Feb. 4.
A winter storm that has spanned half the country has led to cancellation of live racing and full-card simulcast programs at various tracks.
Beulah Park has canceled live racing for Jan. 17 because of continued frigid temperatures and a prediction of snow.
Because of an ominous forecast for bitter Arctic cold, compounded by strong winds, the New York Racing Association has decided to cancel its scheduled live race card at Aqueduct Jan. 16. Beulah Park in Ohio also canceled its Jan. 16 program because of frigid temperatures.
Ohio Thoroughbred breeders would be licensed by the state for a fee each year and face serious penalties -- including a suspension of up to 10 years -- should they violate rules governing registration of state-bred horses under regulations proposed by the Ohio State Racing Commission.
Requests by Beulah Park and River Downs to schedule their customary Thoroughbred meets for 2009 were officially granted Dec. 19 by the Ohio State Racing Commission.
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