The "Smarty slots" in Pennsylvania have been jingling for more than a year. In Kentucky, where the racing industry views Pennsylvania as a major threat, casino legislation broke from the gate in a tangle yet again this year.
Gulfstream Park's $75,000 Shotintheheart Handicap Feb. 14 will be the first of as many as four Florida-bred stakes it will add this season.
The integrated gaming and racing facility has scheduled "test nights" for Feb. 8 and Feb. 10. Test nights are regularly held at casinos to ensure that all equipment is operating properly.
Delays in a purse supplement or other forms of financial relief from the state have led New Jersey's harness racing industry to brace for serious purse reductions.
The board of directors of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario has unanimously approved the extension of its current contract with Woodbine Entertainment Group for an additional three years, the organization announced Jan. 18.
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.
The year 2008 has brought another purse increase to Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack, but the Pennsylvania track and other tracks in the Mid-Atlantic region are expected to continue competing for horses as the year progresses.
After cutting its daily purses about 7% in early November, Calder Race Course quietly restored the money during the final weeks of its meet that ends Jan. 2. But questions concerning Calder and other South Florida tracks linger into the new year.
Canterbury Park received approval from the Minnesota Racing Commission Dec. 20 to conduct a 67-day Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meet May 3-Sept. 1 next year.
The head of the National Horsemen?s Benevolent and Protective Association has suggested the horseracing industry create an entity to assist in the marketing and distribution of its product, in this case racing signals.
National Steeplechase Association purses were a record $5,357,645 in 2007, up 10.5% from last year, according to the organization's year-end statistics released Nov. 30.
The Texas Racing Commission approved 2008 breed splits for horses and discussed the closure of one of the state's three Greyhound tracks during its Nov. 27 meeting.
Maryland racing interests are optimistic over passage of legislation to authorize a statewide referendum on slot machines in November 2008, but they indicated there remains a need for financial relief before the slots measure even comes up for a vote.
Florida-based trainer David Fawkes had good luck shipping Take d'Tour to New York to win grade I races in 2006 and 2007, and now he looks forward to doing well with his first New York-based stable at Aqueduct's fall and winter meets.
A controversial plan to shave live racing dates at Thistledown in 2008 could result in the halt of full-card simulcasts at the Cleveland-area racetrack in 2009.
In response to statements made by the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association in regard to purse cuts, Calder Race Course president Ken Dunn responded Nov. 11 by saying the decision was based on simple economics and was absolutely necessary based on decreased business during the month of October.
Delaware Park, one of Thoroughbred racing's pioneers in terms of combining racing and video gaming, ended its 2007 meet Nov. 4 with declines in total handle and field size, though purses paid increased about $1 million.
Turf Paradise hopes to improve upon the previous season's record daily purse distribution at its 2007-08 race meet, which commenced Oct. 5. So far, things seems headed in the right direction.
The New York Racing Association will again raises purses, this time for the 45-day Aqueduct fall meet that begins Oct. 24 and runs through Dec. 30. Projected purses will be the highest in recent memory for the fall meet.
Turfway Park ended its 2007 fall meet Oct. 4 with increases in on-track wagering and declines in all-sources wagering on its races compared with the same period in 2006.
The inaugural meet at Presque Isle Downs concluded Sept. 29, with the track located at the casino of the same name near Erie, Pennsylvania reporting average daily purse distribution of $432,074 for the 29-day stand. Overnight purses averaged $368,074.
The first race of the inaugural meet at Presque Isle Downs may very well tell the tale: There is lots of money up for grabs, and horses are coming from all over the place.
The advent of a potentially strong competitor in western Pennsylvania might have minimal impact on the upcoming meet at Turfway Park, but track president Bob Elliston said it won't go unnoticed as far as Kentucky Thoroughbred racing is concerned.
Attendance, on-track handle, and total handle remained up through the first 11 days of racing at Saratoga Race Course.
Belmont Park's on-track handle, including simulcasts, increased 4.3% at the recently-concluded 59-day spring/summer Meet, the racetrack announced July 27.
Purses and pari-mutuel handle were up slightly in the second quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2006.
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.
Deductions for a new breed development program and statewide workers' compensation have led Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort to cut purses 20% across the board beginning July 10.
Revenue from slot machines will allow Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack to raise purses 20% beginning with the July 14 program at the Pennsylvania track.
Maryland Jockey Club and the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association have agreed to reduce purses and slash the stakes schedule for the balance of the 2007 racing campaign as the industry faces a $3 million shortfall in the purse account by the end of the calendar year.
A lucrative meet at Fair Grounds and the advent of slot machines at race meets in Florida and Pennsylvania fueled a 13% hike in purses for the first quarter of 2007, but handle was down.
Steady growth in interstate wagering, total handle and purse payouts highlighted the 81st season of live thoroughbred racing at Tampa Bay Downs, which ended May 6. The Oldsmar, Fla., track also celebrated a record single-day attendance May 5 when a crowd of 11,014 witnessed Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) winner Street Sense capture the 133rd Kentucky Derby.
Suffolk Downs kicks off its 2007 season May 5 with an across-the-board purse increase and a tribute to longtime executive Bob O'Malley, who died in February at the age of 69.
Fair Grounds has increased overnight purses $12,000 per race for the final two weeks of its current meet.
Turfway Park has increased association purses 10% effective March 2. It's the second purse hike of the winter/spring meet.
Cold and wind chill have led Turfway Park to cancel live racing Friday night. It is the third cancellation of the week because of the weather.
Purses and handle on Thoroughbred racing in the United States increased 3.3% and 1.5%, respectively, in 2006
Philadelphia Park will become Philadelphia Park Casino and Racetrack Dec. 19 when it officially begins slot-machine operations in Bensalem Township, Pa.
Fueled in part by all-source handle declines at such meetings as Del Mar, Arlington Park and Monmouth Park, overall wagering on United States racing in the third quarter of 2006 dropped by nearly $7 million.
Oaklawn Park projects record daily average purses of $290,000 for its 2007 meet, up from $275,000 a day this year because of increased revenue from Instant Racing.
Magna Entertainment Corp. said it intends to proceed with the development of a slot-machine facility at Gulfstream Park despite a decision by the Florida District Court of Appeal First District.
Pari-mutuel handle increased 0.56% to slightly more than $4 billion during the second quarter of 2006, compared with $3.99 billion during same period in 2005, according to information released Monday.
On the heels of an announcement by Beulah Park officials that the track's winter/spring meet produced an all-time record handle, the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association claims the success did little for purses.
Beulah Park in Grove City, Ohio, set an all-time handle record during its 75-day winter/spring meet that spanned Jan. 7-May 6.
Total purses for this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs will be $20 million, up $6 million from last year under a new structure officials said is designed to keep the races competitive with other major Thoroughbred stakes around the world.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and Equibase Company released the "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators" for United States and Canadian pari-mutuel wagering on U.S. Thoroughbred racing during the first quarter of 2006, as well as for U.S. purses and race days, with prior-year, first-quarter comparisons.
The first meet with a Polytrack surface proved not only to produce solid footing but also solid financial figures.
Legislation that would funnel more than $50 million a year to the Illinois racing industry cleared a House committee March 1, but it failed to win enough support after a third reading March 3.
Oaklawn Park raised overnight purses $700 per race effective March 1 because of an increase in Instant Racing revenue and overall handle.
Continuing a trend that began several years ago, on-track and total handle, as well as daily average overnight purses, at Tampa Bay Downs showed solid gains when the Florida racetrack hit the midpoint of its 2005-06 season the week of Feb. 20.
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