This year's $500,000 Ohio Derby in retrospect can be considered a success on several levels, and management at ThistleDown Racino expects the marquee race--and the overall racing product--to only get better.
The West Virginia Racing Commission June 16 signed off on a plan by Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort to shave 50 racing programs from its 2015 schedule.
Given record wagering during the opening week of its spring meet, Churchill Downs June 9 announced a 10% hike in overnight purses for the remaining 11 programs of the meeting.
- By Frank Angst
- Thoroughbred Racing, Handicapping, Triple Crown, Kentucky Oaks, Kentucky, Mid-Atlantic Region
With pari-mutuel wagering up for the Kentucky Oaks day card, the Kentucky Derby day card, and the Preakness day card, racing enjoyed a 4.82% increase in wagering in the all-important month of May.
The Illinois Racing Board May 19 approved summertime racing at two state fairs and one county fair amid uncertainty about funding from the cash-strapped state and a wrangle about advance deposit wagering.
Delaware Park will begin its 81-day race meet May 16 with racing three or four days per week through Oct. 17 and what appears to be a fairly solid horse population given local competition for racing stock.
Canterbury Park Holding Corp., whose Canterbury Park begins its live meet May 15, reported almost $400,000 in net income for the first quarter of 2015, down slightly from the first quarter of 2014.
Though there was a slight decline in the number of races run in April, wagering and purses rose 5.86% and 4.92% in the U.S. when compared with April 2014, according to the racing economic indicators from Equibase.
Kentucky Downs will ask regulators May 6 to let it offer about $4.2 million in Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund supplements during its 2015 meet, as well as spend $50,000 to advertise the incentive program.
All-sources pari-mutuel handle on the 13-race Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) program May 2 totaled a record $194.3 million, up 4% from $186.6 million in 2014, Churchill Downs Inc. said.
Distributions to horse racing from the state Race Horse Development Fund increased 9.5% in 2014 from the previous year, according to the annual Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board benchmark report released April 28.
A West Virginia Racing Commission purse analysis based on revenue projections from all sources indicates the state and its racetracks have serious issues to address regarding live racing dates in the future.
New England horsemen have asked Suffolk Downs to request three days of live racing this summer, and with $1.5 million available for purses, pots would average $500,000 per program.
The Virginia Equine Alliance said April 10 that efforts to lease Jeff Jacobs' Colonial Downs property to conduct racing had ceased after the track owner rejected two offers.
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races has been approved to shave 27 racing programs from its 2015 schedule.
Gulfstream Park will open its 2015 spring/summer racing season April 8 with an eight-race card topped by a $46,000 allowance optional claimer that includes the Todd Pletcher-trained stakes runner Vinceremos.
Turfway Park recorded increases in all-sources and average daily pari-mutuel handle during its recently concluded 2015 winter/spring meet. Field size and purses also showed gains during the 2015 meet.
Key U.S. racing economic indicators fell in March, according to an April 4 report from Equibase Co., as inclement weather led to numerous cancellations during the month.
Suffolk Downs, which announced in September it would no longer offer live racing and would not apply for a 2015 racing license, is expected to reverse course and apply for dates within two to three weeks.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Monday, March 23, approved changes that will allow more flexibility in the use of Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund purse money generated by wagering on historical races.
Legislation for the fiscal 2016 state budget in West Virginia is calling for another reduction in video lottery terminal and table games revenue that goes to purses at Thoroughbred and Greyhound tracks.
The people and horses who make Kentucky home for the winter racing season continued to make a good go of it, and this year has been particularly positive from a business standpoint.
The Muckleshoot Tribe March 13 received unanimous approval from the Washington Horse Racing Commission to operate Emerald Downs, the state's premier Thoroughbred racetrack.
Video lottery terminals at Aqueduct Racetrack have helped push up prices of New York-bred yearlings and increased the state's foal crop in what economic development officials say has been a far-reaching impact.
After an encouraging start in terms of pari-mutuel wagering in January, handle on U.S. races plummeted in February compared with the same month in 2014, a decline that dropped 2015's handle behind last year's pace
Indiana Grand Racing & Casino will offer 37 stakes this year, including the Indiana Derby (gr. II), which moved from its traditional spot the first Saturday in October to mid-July.
There will be a live race meet at Suffolk Downs in 2015 and 2016 now that track ownership and the New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have come to terms.
Aided by cancellations and healthy purse accounts, Oaklawn Park in Arkansas and Turfway Park in Kentucky have increased overnight purses.
Live Thoroughbred racing returned to the Chicago area Feb. 20 as Hawthorne Race Course began its season amid frigid weather and an equally challenging financial and political landscape.
The West Virginia Racing Commission Feb. 17 tabled a request by Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races to reduce the number of live racing dates it was awarded for 2015.
Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course will increase overnight purses by more than 5% effective March 2. The 2015 winter/spring meet at the Ohio track runs through April 25.
A state-approved 10% reduction in video lottery terminal revenue and continued softness in the regional gambling market have led officials and horsemen at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort to reduce purses.
ThistleDown Racino has increased the 2015 purse for the Ohio Derby to a record high of $500,000. In addition, daily purses at the 90-year-old track will average $130,000.
In a jump that could be related to larger average field sizes, pari-mutuel handle improved 1.52% in January compared with the same month last year, according to Thoroughbred racing economic indicators released by Equibase.
Advance deposit wagering via phone began Jan. 31 in Arizona, according to the Arizona Department of Racing. However, for the time being, residents of Pima County won't be permitted to wager on Thoroughbred races.
Turfway Park will increase purses effective Jan. 30 with a slight across-the-board bump and an extra race per week, officials said.
As part of an examination of its equine medication rules, the Ohio State Racing Commission in February will begin hearing from various industry organizations involved in an effort to adopt uniform policies for all states.
- By Tom LaMarra
Javier Castellano not only accumulated the most purse earnings by a jockey in 2014 with $25,056,464, he won the most races -- 315 -- of any rider in North America.
- By Tom LaMarra
Total pari-mutuel handle on United States harness racing in 2014 was $1.49 billion, down about 6.6% from $1.60 billion in 2013, according to the United States Trotting Association.
The Maryland Jockey Club reported a decrease in pari-mutuel handle on live racing at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course in 2014, but total and average purses were up from 2013.
Pari-mutuel handle on U.S. races declined 2.84% in 2014, marking the seventh time in eight years that fewer dollars have been wagered.
Despite racing two fewer programs during its 2014 holiday meet, Turfway Park registered a 21.45% increase in total pari-mutuel handle compared with the comparable meet in 2013.
Gulfstream Park said Jan. 1 its total pari-mutuel handle on live racing in 2014 was a record $1.2 billion for one year.
Hawthorne Race Course reported increases in average daily pari-mutuel handle for its 2014 fall/winter meet, which ended Dec. 31.
A request by management and horsemen at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races to reduce the number of live racing days for 2015 has renewed a discussion about the future of West Virginia Thoroughbred racing.
The Ohio Thoroughbred Racing Fund, now fully supported by revenue from racetrack video lottery terminals, will almost double to more than $5 million in 2015.
The $1.5 million Charles Town Classic (gr. II), which has a new purse payout structure, again highlights the stakes schedule at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races for 2015.
Harness trainer Ron Burke's record-setting year continued the evening of Dec. 12 when he broke Todd Pletcher's North American record for purses won by a trainer. Pletcher held the mark of $28,116,097 set in 2007.
Keeneland will run the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes a week earlier on the schedule beginning next season and increase the purse to $1 million for its major Triple Crown prep race.
Churchill Downs wrapped up 2014 with a double-digit decline in all-sources wagering during the 24-day fall meet that concluded Nov. 30.
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