The National Thoroughbred Racing Association's Wagering Systems Task Force has enlisted a panel of business experts, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, to find out what caused purses to drop in 2003 even though national handle increased.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- It's only mid-February, but it's never too early to start talking about the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and the Visa Triple Crown Challenge.
With major contracts for television, sponsorship, and membership up for renewal this year, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association believes 2004 is the year that could spark major growth in horse racing for the long term, commissioner Tim Smith said.
Turfway Park has hiked purses for Kentucky-breds in some high-level races, and also reported that numbers for the first nine live racing days of 2004 show business is on the rebound.
The 130th Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) highlight a 2004 stakes schedule at Churchill Downs that includes five new races and record total stakes purses that will soar beyond the $9 million mark for the first time.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- This year-end headline could not have gone unnoticed by anyone operating a racing stable--large or small--or by the leaders of organizations whose mission is to improve the economics of the Thoroughbred industry: 2003 Handle Up Slightly, But Purses Decrease.
Total handle on Thoroughbred racing in the United States and Canada increased by only 0.9% in 2003, according to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Equibase.
The Thoroughbred industry will have to face the music and change its tune in the next few years if it is to flourish, trainer John Ward suggested during a lively discussion the evening of Nov. 4 at the monthly Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club meeting.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- In an age of telephone and Internet betting and rebates the price of the signal must be re-examined.
Santa Anita Park's Oak Tree meet, which began with high expectations as the host site for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, will end with a 10% reduction in purses for the remainder of the season.
Total wagering during the third quarter of the year increased to $4,007,591,917, a growth of 3.38% over the same quarter last year. Third-quarter purses dipped 4.15%, to $306,800,417. Compared with third-quarter 2002, racing days declined slightly, with a total of 16 fewer days.
Cheltenham Racecourse announced Wednesday that prize money for the 2003/2004 season, starting at the end of October, will rise by 5% compared to last season.
Talk of strikes and boycotts by owners and jockeys in Great Britain over separate issues actually materialized the week of Sept. 1.
Woodbine officials said a "softening" in wagering has led them to cut purses by 3% effective Sept. 10.
Hoosier Park will kick off its ninth season of Thoroughbred racing Aug. 29 with a streamlined program: Because of the presence of second racetrack in Indiana, purses are down a substantial $80,000 to $90,000 a day from 2002.
The 129th running of Churchill Downs' historic Clark Handicap (gr. II) will also be its richest as the track has raised the purse for this year's renewal by $100,000 to $500,000-added.
In an effort to maintain overnight purses for the Sept. 13-23 live racing season at Kentucky Downs, track officials have reduced the purse of the grade III Kentucky Cup Turf from $300,000 to $200,000.
Wagering in North America during the second quarter of the year increased 2.52% over the corresponding period in 2002. But, while there were 32 more racing days, purses dropped 1%.
Purses for Saturday's four stakes races that make up Churchill Downs' "Stephen Foster Super Saturday" card started out at $1.35 million, but they will soar considerably higher when the "added money" portion of the purses enter the mix.
Record wagering on the Kentucky Derby, steady on-track business and a significant increase in simulcast wagering on its races have combined to enable Churchill Downs to announce a 10% increase in its overnight race purses for its 2003 spring meet.
Effective Thursday, June 5, Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, Texas will reduce its purse structure approximately 9 percent due to slower than usual business levels since the start of the year.
Purses at Thoroughbred tracks in the U.S. increased by 4.3% in the first quarter of 2003, despite a 1.2% drop in pari-mutuel handle, according to statistics released April 4 by Equibase and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
Oaklawn Park has raised purses $1,000 across the board in all races except stakes events.
Fair Grounds Race Course will decrease its purses, effective with this Saturday's card, track officials announced Monday.
Buoyed by a 22% gain in off-sitse wagering on its signal, Tampa Bay Downs will raise overnight purses by 6% effective Jan. 30, track general manager Peter Berube said.
Year-end "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators" for pari-mutuel wagering in the United States and Canada show increases in total wagering and purses in 2002.
Without a purse supplement from the state and an average daily purse distribution of less than half of what it offered in 2001, business at the current Meadowlands meet has been called "really bad" by an executive of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which owns and operates the northern New Jersey track.
After an acrimonious two years of fighting over dates, New Jersey horsemen and the quasi-state agency that runs Monmouth Park and Meadowlands are in the process of hammering out a deal that would reduce the number of live Thoroughbred dates in 2003 in order to maintain or improve the quality of the product.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and Equibase Company LLC today unveiled a new, quarterly industry report from Equibase, "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators," that covers total wagering in the United States and Canada on U.S. races, purses and race days with prior-year comparisons.
Oaklawn Park will offer its highest purse structure ever when it opens Jan. 24, 2003 with daily average purses of $235,000 to $240,000.
Prize money in Britain during 2003 will top £100 million for the first time, and minimum values are being raised considerably, but not by as much at the bottom end as wished for by the Racehorse Owners' Association (ROA).
In a press release dated Sept. 19, the New York Racing Association declares that Saratoga Race Course paid out its highest daily average purses and average overnight purses during the 2002 meeting that ran 36 days, from July 24th-Sept. 2.
Purses are already pretty good at Delaware Park, but on Sept. 7, the annual owners' day sponsored by the Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, they'll be even more lucrative.
The American Graded Stakes committee has raised the minimum purse amounts necessary for a race to be considered for graded status.
Purses will go up in Nothern California beginning with the California State Fair meet Aug. 21, and the Bay Meadows meet Aug. 30.
Horsemen support a plan by Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort to implement account wagering, but they're at odds with management over purse payments and have asked the West Virginia Racing Commission to mediate.
Calder Race Course increased purses by $10,000 a day, about 5%, beginning Aug. 9.
Del Mar announced a 5% increase in overnight purses for the remainder of its 43-day meeting. The increase is retroactive to the beginning of racing on July 24.
The California Thoroughbred Breeders Association will have more power over how purse money is spent under a measure recently signed into law by Gov. Gray Davis.
New York Racing Association officials have put in place purse increases for the Saratoga racing season that are expected to push the purses to record levels, surpassing an average $600,000 per day.
Canterbury Park, which operates a successful card club in its clubhouse, and the Minnesota Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have raised overnight purses by 5%. The increase is the fourth in three years.
Calder Race Course near Miami, Fla., announced a purse increase that took effect with the Friday, June 14 race card. The increase affects all overnight purses.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Giving credit to assistant trainers; changing the entry and graded stakes money rules; and a call to increase the Kentucky Derby purse.
The expected $4.5-million purse supplement for Maryland racing has apparently shrunk to $3 million, according to Mike Hopkins, acting executive director of the Maryland Racing Commission.
An agreement was reached Friday in New Jersey between Thoroughbred and harness horsemen over racing dates, simulcasting revenue splits, and purses.
Revenue from slot machines is expected to increase Fort Erie Race Track's average daily purse distribution by 8.4 percent for this year's meet beginning April 26.
As the Ohio Thoroughbred racing season gets in full swing for 2002, a racetrack operator has renewed his call for changes in the law that governs full-card simulcasting in the state.
Prairie Meadows will pay $15 million per year in purses and $20 million annually to its landlord, Polk County, under separate deals worked out by the racetrack. Both agreements will begin in 2003.
Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing in Maryland probably will receive an infusion of about $4.5 million in the fiscal year beginning July 1 as the result of a recent flurry of activity in the General Assembly.
As Oaklawn Park prepares to enter the heart of its winter-spring season, the Hot Springs, Ark., racetrack announced a third purse increase, effective March 16.
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