Pennsylvania

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Tribe Has Deal to Buy Track From Penn National

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.

Without Slots, Maryland Horsemen Look Elsewhere

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.

Philly Park Prepares to Enter the Big Time

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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.

Magna Back in Hunt for Pennsylvania Track License

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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.

Pennsylvania Applicants Line Up for Track License

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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.

Hope for New Thoroughbred Track Seems Dim

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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.

Smarty Jones Targets Pa. Derby; Purse Hike Possible

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.

Maryland Eyes Special Session to Tackle Gaming

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.

At Philly Park, 'Smarty' Craze Hasn't Let Up

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.

Servis: Foot Bruise Didn't Hinder 'Smarty'

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.

Jones on Smarty Jones: 'I Was Blown Away'

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.

Phlashback: A Phew Philly Phenoms

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.

Mellon Cup, High Hope Steeplechases This Weekend

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.

Ominous Clouds

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."

'Smarty Jones Day' Set for May 1 in Keystone State

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).

'Battery' Jockey Banished from Philly Park

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.

MEC Move Creates Account-Wagering Dilemma

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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.

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