The decision on where an Erie racetrack will be located is being pushed back because of engineering and legal issues.
As one last-gasp effort to legalize slot machines in Maryland this year failed because of political warfare, horsemen and breeders in the state have begun what many said was inevitable as long as slots remained forbidden: the exodus of horses, horsemen, and horse farms.
The $750,000 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) Sept. 6 is both a bettor's delight and nightmare, as 12 evenly matched 3-year-olds were entered in the 1 1/8-mile race, with almost every one of them having a legitimate shot to win.
Residents of a tiny riverside community outside of Pittsburgh, Pa., are banding together to fight a proposed Thoroughbred racetrack.
Purses for July at Philadelphia Park averaged just under $120,000 a day, but in a year, they will be almost twice that amount, with much more growth expected when revenue from slot machines begins pouring in.
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.
Planners of a Thoroughbred racetrack near Erie are weighing two location options pending a Sept. 15 license amendment decision from the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission.
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.
Carol Pyle Jones Fry, the mother of Walnut Green Bloodstock owners Russell and Richie Jones, died July 25 in a motor vehicle accident near her home in West Marlborough Township, located in Chester County Pennsylvania. She was 93.
Hope that passage of slot machine legislation in Pennsylvania would result in a new Thoroughbred racetrack near Pittsburgh seems futile. Negotiators with knowledge of the bill signed into law July 5 by Gov. Ed Rendell said a stand-alone slots parlor in downtown Pittsburgh is much more likely.
With the Aug. 8 Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) eliminated from his plans, Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Smarty Jones now sets his sights on the Sept. 6 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II), the purse for which could be raised from $750,000 to $1 million.
With Pennsylvania about to become a major gambling state given the approval of slot machines at racetracks and other locations, Maryland lawmakers are discussing a possible special session to revisit gaming legislation.
Legislation to authorize slot machines at Pennsylvania racetracks and other locations passed the state House of Representatives early the morning of July 4 and now heads to Gov. Ed Rendell for his signature.
Even though Smarty Jones just failed to win the Visa Triple Crown Challenge June 5 at Belmont Park, the Philly faithful were down, but not out. In fact, many of them said the colt based at Philly Park remains a champion even in defeat.
Moderate rain didn't dampen the enthusiasm of fans at Philadelphia Park, the home of Smarty Jones, the morning of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). People began gathering at the gates to the picnic area at the Bensalem, Pa., racetrack at 5:30 a.m. EDT -- and remember, they can only watch the third leg of the Visa Triple Crown Challenge on television.
Two former jockeys who traveled to Belmont Park for the June 5 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) are fast becoming the talk of Philadelphia Park and quite popular with some members of the general public in the Delaware Valley, thanks to "The Legend of Smarty Jones."
Trainer John Servis was the guest speaker and the theme was "Achieving in Spite of Adversity" as Faust Elementary School in Bensalem, Pa., located across the street from Philadelphia Park, celebrated "Smarty Jones Day" in high style.
Smarty Jones and just about anyone or anything connected to him have proven hot commodities in anticipation of a Visa Triple Crown Challenge bid June 5 at Belmont Park.
If Smarty Jones wins the June 5 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and the Visa Triple Crown Challenge, it may be because he has had a little extra help from the "Man upstairs."
Trainer John Servis revealed at a press conference at Philadelphia Park Wednesday that Someday Farm's undefeated Smarty Jones suffered a foot bruise before the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), but it quickly cleared up and the colt was able to maintain a normal training schedule.
Undefeated Visa Triple Crown Challenge hopeful Smarty Jones galloped at Philadelphia Park the morning of May 25 and was pronounced by trainer John Servis as ready for his May 28 work.
Keith Jones believes he has called about 40,000 races in his career, but he clearly remembers the ninth race at Philadelphia Park on Nov. 22 of last year. Jones said it is among the most impressive performances he ever has seen on the track.
Pennsylvania legislators reportedly have struck a tentative deal on slot machines in the state, but the proposal still has a long way to go.
It has been said undefeated Smarty Jones has put Philadelphia Park on the map, but the racetrack adjacent to the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Bensalem Township actually has been home to some outstanding racehorses, including a few that were downright freakish.
Vincent Papandrea's Little Matth Man, eighth in the May 15 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), came out of the race with a chip fracture of his left front knee and could be out for at least six months.
Smarty Jones isn't the only Thoroughbred trying to win the second leg of a Triple Crown Saturday, as steeplechase horse Sur La Tete tries to keep his streak alive in the $100,000 Mellon National Hunt Cup (NSA-I) at the Radnor Hunt Races in Malvern, Pa.
An undisclosed number of deaths attributed to salmonella has forced the New Bolton Center to close to the public.
- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman -- Fletcher was very polished in congratulating Smarty Jones' owners, trainer, and jockey. But his ears had to be ringing from Churchill CEO Tom Meeker's comment that, "The sun wasn't shining too bright in Kentucky today but I have a slight feeling it was shining in Pennsylvania."
Maryland officials who oppose expanded gambling met with lawmakers and activists in Pennsylvania April 28 in the hope of combating any push for racetrack slot machines or casinos.
It's not everyday a horse based in the Keystone state earns national recognition. So given the accomplishments of Smarty Jones, the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission has taken steps to honor the undefeated 3-year-old colt who is pointing to the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Rich Orbann, president and chief operating officer of the racing division for Penn National Gaming Inc., will leave that post and instead become a consultant for the Pennsylvania-based company beginning May 7.
Wild West, a full brother to leading third-crop sire Grand Slam, will stand his first year at Joseph Vaughan's Ballyvaughan Farm near Oxford, Pa
Cushing's disease has been identified as the most common cause of laminitis among horses seen at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center.
Some Kentucky Derby pundits have questioned Smarty Jones' pedigree due to the speed influences of his sire, Elusive Quality, and broodmare sire, Smile. Their problem lies in the fact they haven't scratched much beyond the surface.
Pensioned stallion Ga Hai, who turned 33 this year, died March 17 at Thomas Reigle's Reigle Heir Farms near Grantville, Pa.
Grade II winner Lil's Lad has been relocated to Judith Barrett's Godstone Farm near Pine Grove, Pa.,
A Commonwealth Court judge has affirmed an order by the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission that upholds the ejection of jockey Orlando Bocachica from the grounds of Philadelphia Park after he admitted to using a battery on numerous occasions during morning training hours, but not during an actual race.
Stakes-placed Special Times has entered stud at Judith Barrett's Godstone Farm near Pine Grove, Pa.
The amazing story of Amazing Philly continued Wednesday as she finished third in her first start. Race fans might remember her as the surprise foal of Speak Compelling, produced at Philadelphia Park in 2000.
Pennsylvania horseman Raymond Gambone, owner of Our Farm near Norristown, died Feb. 13 in a Philadelphia hospital following a bout with cancer.
Millionaire Fastness, sire of Canadian champion and classic winner Le Cinquieme Essai, has been relocated to Judith Barrett's Godstone Farm near Pine Grove, Pa.
Bankbook, a 14-year-old son of Mr. Prospector, has been relocated to Judith Barrett's Godstone Farm near Pine Grove, Pa.
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, at a Jan. 27 news conference, said he was tired of the legislature's inability to pass a gambling bill and was fashioning his own bill to authorize slot machines at 12 locations in the state.
Jonathan Sheppard has taken over for George Strawbridge as president of the National Steeplechase Association. Sheppard, who lives in Pennsylvania, was elected Jan. 16 to head a 15-member board of directors.
Multiple graded stakes winners Duckhorn has arrived for stallion duty at Barbara Rickline's Xanthus Farms near Gettysburg, Pa.
Live racing went on at Philadelphia Park as scheduled Dec. 30 even though management and jockeys are still at odds over how the riders are paid.
Magna Entertainment Corp. initiated restrictions upon or pulled its live racing signals from most account-wagering services effective Dec. 26, and at least one operator isn't happy about the developments.
Jockeys at Philadelphia Park voted not to ride the 10-race card Dec. 29 after they were unable to resolve payroll issues with management.
Officials of Bedford Downs, a proposed racetrack in Western Pennsylvania, have recieved 5,000 letters from local residents in support of their efforts.
The Pennsylvania legislature may be close to passing both a budget and slot machine legislation, perhaps by the end of the week of Dec. 15.
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