It has been almost two years since Smarty Jones won the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and slot machines were legalized in Pennsylvania. And while the horse has begun his career at stud, racetracks are still waiting for slots and may encounter some challenges when they finally get them.
Declines in national purses and handle coupled with continued strength in the auction sales markets and in regional breeding markets highlight statistics contained in the Jockey Club's 2006 Online Fact Book, which was released today on the organization's website.
Philadelphia Park will increase the purse of its signature event for 3-year-old fillies, the grade II Cotillion Stakes, from $300,000 to $500,000 and offer a bonus as well.
Officials at Philadelphia Park are awaiting test results from a horse that was euthanized Feb. 23 to determine whether it had equine herpesvirus.
Penn National Race Course officials said they would lift the quarantine imposed on its backstretch due to equine herpesvirus March 7 provided no further cases of the virus are reported in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority has approved the use of the Vet-Aired Cornell Collar at the state's pari-mutuel racetracks. The throat-support device developed in 2002 at Cornell University is designed to prevent the breathing obstruction known as palate displacement.
Paraneck Stables is offering a $50,000 bonus to the breeder of the first stakes winner from the respective 2007 foal crops of Song of the Sword and Lord Ofthe Thunder.
The 2006 International Simulcast Conference will be held in Philadelphia, Pa., Oct. 16-18, the Thoroughbred Racing Associations has announced.
Following the refusal of jockeys to ride the remainder of the live card after two races had been completed Jan. 7, Penn National Race Course in Grantville, Pa., announced Jan. 9 it would cancel live racing and training for this week while attempts are made to fix "inconsistent" portions of the racing surface.
As surrounding states took steps to protect their racetracks from Maryland horses that could be carriers of equine herpesvirus, officials and horsemen in Maryland dealt with the fallout.
Patrons at Philadelphia Park will find themselves in an unfamiliar world--at least temporarily--by the fall of 2006.
Changeintheweather, a grade I-winning son of Gone West, will relocate to Ron and Barbara Rickline's Xanthus Farm near Gettysburg, Pa. for the 2006 breeding season. The dual stakes winner, who entered stud in 2004, moves from Josephine Abercrombie's Pin Oak Stud near Versailles, Ky.
Graded stakes winner Smart Guy will stand in 2006 at Vince Tucciarone's Fox Tale Stud near Coopersburg, Pa.
On the same day it reported a third-quarter loss of $34.5 million, Magna Entertainment Corp. announced it entered into a deal to sell its Pennsylvania operation--The Meadows harness track and a ring of off-track betting parlors in the western part of the state--to Millennium Gaming and Oaktree Capital Management for $225 million.
Philadelphia Park has accepted the resignation of its longtime starter, Russell Downes, in the wake of another starting gate miscue that occurred Oct. 30 at the Bensalem Township, Pa., racetrack.
Bloodstock agent Mark Reid has purchased 100% of Pennsylvania-based Walnut Green Bloodstock from brothers Russell and Richard Jones.
For a summer race that plays second fiddle to the Travers Stakes (gr. I), the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) sure knows how to draw a nice field--and a large one at that.
Scientific Games and a Swedish company will combine to launch the V75, a pick seven with a 10-cent minimum wager and the potential for multimillion-dollar payoffs, through Philadelphia Park and its Turf Clubs.
Real Quiet, who entered stud in 2000 and has sired three stakes winners to date, is being relocated to stand in 2006 at Regal Heir Farms near Grantville, Penn.
With the conclusion of training hours at noon Aug. 10, Philadelphia Park closed its main track for racing and training for 14 to 16 days, weather permitting, for renovation of the surface.
Philadelphia Park, one of many racetracks that defected from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association earlier this decade, has rejoined the NTRA for the upcoming five-year membership period.
Philadelphia Park's leading trainer, Scott Lake, and owners Eric and Gregg Fral, who race under the banner E & G Stables, were involved in an altercation June 19 in the trainer's viewing stand near the paddock.
A worker on the starting gate crew was killed at Penn National Race Course shortly after the start of the fourth race the evening of June 8.
Magna Entertainment Corp., which registered a $25-million decline in net income in the last year, expects to post a net loss for 2005 but is banking on profitability--and operation of slot machines in three states--by the end of 2007.
Penn National Gaming Inc. reported an increase in net revenue for the first quarter of 2005 compared with the comparable period in 2004, but also showed a $2-million loss in net income.
With handle in January down about 9% from the same period in 2004, Philadelphia Park said its year-to-date purse overpayment has reached $1.9 million because of a commitment to boost purses while it waits to install slot machines. Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association finished 2004 in the black, but not without some adjustments.
The picture above the month of November in the 2005 New York Racing Association wall calendar shows the stretch run of last year's Remsen Stakes (gr. II) in which Rockport Harbor held off Galloping Grocer to complete his 2-year old season undefeated. Notable about the photo is the wide smile on the face of Rockport Harbor's jockey, Stewart Elliott.
TV Games Network has reached an agreement with Philadelphia Park to begin broadcasting and taking wagers on races from the southeast Pennsylvania racetrack effective March 4.
Millionaire and grade I winner Awad, one of the top turf runners in the 1990s, has been relocated to John Giangiulio's Castle Rock Farm near Unionville, Pa.
Magna Entertainment Corp. will receive funding for the reconstruction of Gulfstream Park and The Meadows from its parent company, MI Developments.
Cetewayo, a homebred turf millionaire for Dr. John Chandler, will enter stud at Judith Barrett's Godstone Farm near Pine Grove, Pa.
Smarty Jones, winner of the 2004 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I), is the subject of an exhibit that opens Nov. 16 at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, the state capital.
New York State Police have charged a former part-time Emergency Medical Technician at Finger Lakes Racetrack in connection with a scheme to defraud horse owners by telling them she would take their horses and find safe homes for them.
The protection of and growth in Kentucky's Thoroughbred breeding and racing program was the focal point of the University of Louisville's "State of the Industry" seminar Nov. 2.
The Downs at Pocono, a Standardbred facility that held Thoroughbred meets in the 1970s, could become the first Pennsylvania racetrack owned by an Indian tribe should regulators approve a $280-million deal between Penn National Gaming Inc. and the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority.
An upcoming exhibit at the State Museum of Pennsylvania will feature a section dedicated to Smarty Jones, including his famed Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) trophies and excerpts from a new film documentary.
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.