Pennsylvania Thoroughbred breeding program continues to improve and offer healthy benefits, but breeders are keeping a watchful eye, again, on activities in the state Legislature.
National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association affiliates in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia have announced results of elections for their boards of directors.
The Pennsylvania Equine Coalition said June 11 it is closer to consensus on "action items" designed to improve the health and safety of equines and humans at racetracks in the state.
A coalition of Pennsylvania horsemen is seeking a series of "state-level" meetings of all stakeholders in horse racing to examine ways to improve the health and safety of equine and human participants.
The Pennsylvania horse racing and breeding industry, which could lose about $70 million a year in gaming revenue under the proposed state budget, has organized a conference geared toward educating lawmakers.
The partnership between the Pennsylvania Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program is fully up and running.
The Pennsylvania Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has plans to open a Thoroughbred retraining facility in conjunction with New Vocations near Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.
Officials at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course have worked to correct a racing surface horsemen said "fell apart" when new material was added May 9-10.
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course is poised to become the next track to tighten its racing schedule to conserve purse money and promote larger fields.
Horsemen at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course will compete for $400,000 in overnight purses July 11 as part of a horsemen's appreciation program.
Live racing and training at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course will be suspended following the Sept. 20 racing program for a resurfacing project of the entire racetrack cushion. The unexpected shutdown of the Pennsylvania racetrack is believed to be due to track conditions that have resulted in a high number of recent catastrophic breakdowns, based on information from horsemen.
The Pennsylvania Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has reached an agreement with the Jockeys' Guild and Jockeys at Penn National Inc. to increase the minimum losing mount fee to $75 for all finishes below third-place.
A July 18 forum on equine welfare and safety gave participants a chance to offer a perspective not provided during a June congressional hearing at which the horseracing industry was slammed, horsemen said.
Hollywood Casino at Penn National will open its slot machines to the public Feb. 12, but live Thoroughbred racing will have to wait at least another day.
It will be a new day for Thoroughbred racing in central Pennsylvania Feb. 12 when Penn National Race Course, rebuilt as a racing and gaming complex, reopens for live racing as the Hollywood Casino at Penn National.
In terms of money, it will be Del Mar, Keeneland, and Saratoga in northwestern Pennsylvania when Presque Isle Downs offers an inaugural 25-night meet with an average of $500,000 per program in purses.
Presque Isle Downs, the new Erie, Pa.-area racetrack that plans to open Sept. 1 for its inaugural Thoroughbred meet, will have a synthetic surface.
Presque Isle Downs, currently under construction near Erie, Pa., plans to offer 25 nights of Thoroughbred racing for its inaugural season in September 2007, track officials and horsemen said.
A racetrack at which all revenue after expenses would go toward the racing product remains in the works and in the running for a license in Pennsylvania, but the individual spearheading the project said it remains to be seen whether it would be a Thoroughbred track without slot machines, or a dual-breed facility with slots.
The Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission has finalized at five the number of applicants seeking the final Thoroughbred racing license in the state. Only four applicants hit an informal Aug. 16 deadline to apply for the last license, but Magna Entertainment Corp. has reiterated its interest in building a track near Pittsburgh International Airport.
The Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission will meet Aug. 24 to map out a timeline for approval of the state's final Thoroughbred racetrack license. But whoever gets the license isn't guaranteed a slot machine license, which has narrowed the field of applicants.
The Pennsylvania Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has submitted an application for a license for a Thoroughbred racetrack that would be built in the Lehigh Valley. If approved, daily purses would eventually average $1 million a day under a plan whereby all profits from slot machines would go back to horsemen.
Organizations that represent Thoroughbred horsemen in Pennsylvania have voiced opposition to racetrack gaming legislation because the return to purses and breed development is insufficient in their view.
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