Unlike 2009, when purses and live racing days were cut, Ellis Park reported solid numbers for its 27-day meet that ended Sept. 6.
- By Tom LaMarra
Pari-mutuel handle was off by about $100 million in August compared with the same month in 2009, yet another indication any rebound will take longer than some in the industry imagined.
Another experimental year continues in Kentucky as Ellis Park wraps up its summer meet and Turfway Park prepares for a scaled-down session with only one stakes.
Monmouth Park's post-Labor Day meet will offer higher average daily purses than originally projected, officials at the New Jersey racetrack said Aug. 24.
Keeneland has offered buyouts to some of its employees in the wake of a financial crunch brought about by a number of factors.
Remington Park in Oklahoma has a new owner and a new look for its 2010 Thoroughbred meet, which begins Aug. 19. More than $12 million will be spent on renovations, officials said.
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino raised overnight purses about 9% for six middle-class conditions effective Aug. 11.
For the first time in recent memory, the minimum purse at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort has fallen under $8,000 because of a purse reduction.
Pari-mutuel handle on live and simulcast racing has increased at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races since casino table games were added to the mix at the West Virginia facility, officials said Aug. 4.
Churchill Downs has not decided whether to implement a form of Instant Racing should the VLT-like games be approved for Kentucky tracks, according to Churchill Downs Inc. president and CEO Robert Evans.
An expanded stakes schedule and an increase in overnight purses are part of the Hoosier Park Racing & Casino Thoroughbred meet that begins July 31.
The New York Racing Association has suspended nine stakes and reduced purses for 12 others during its fall meets at Belmont Park and Aqueduct.
Continued declines in handle and the lowest purse structure in decades have led River Downs to cut the purses of its two premier stakes for 2-year-olds by 50%.
Indiana Downs set a total handle record for one program when it wrapped up its 2010 meet July 14.
Total handle for June is down 5.82% while purses and race days fall 1.21% and 3.23%, respectively.
Citing the challenging economic climate, Keeneland director of racing Rogers Beasley said the Lexington racetrack has cut purses for the fall meet by more than $1 million.
Indiana Downs, citing weather-related cancellations, will increase some overnight purses and state-bred supplements in open races 30% effective June 29. The meet ends July 14.
Horsemen in southeast Florida are hoping that the 10% purse increase that Calder Casino & Race Course announced on June 12 will be followed by another increase this year.
Officials and horsemen at Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack are livid over a 12% purse cut they say was necessitated by the ongoing financial difficulties of New York City Off-Track Betting Corp.
Churchill Downs announced June 8 it will raise overnight purses 10% effective June 12 for the final three weeks of its spring meet.
- By Tom LaMarra
Pari-mutuel handle, purses, and race days all declined in May compared with the same month in 2009, according to the latest Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators.
- By Tom LaMarra
Revenue from alternative forms of gaming now accounts for almost one-third of total Thoroughbred purses in United States, but despite a decrease in handle, the percentage of handle that goes to purses has remained steady.
When Indiana Downs didn't card a scheduled $75,000 stakes May 26 due to a shortage of entries, red flags were raised as to whether there was another reason the race wasn't run.
The first day of the Monmouth Park experiment can be considered a success as far as the entry box goes, as 148 horses were entered in 13 races with purses totaling $812,000.
There is a buzz around Monmouth Park, which opens May 22 for an experimental meet during which purses will average about $1 million a day.
Atlantic City Race Course is again making a pitch to expand its racing days but says it needs several million dollars a year in additional purse money.
The New Jersey Assembly Regulatory, Oversight, and Gaming Committee passed legislation May 6 authorizing a reduction in Thoroughbred racing dates in 2010.
- By Tom LaMarra
Pari-mutuel handle and purses for April 2010 didn't approach the levels of the same month two years ago, but the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released May 4 could reflect a slowing of the erosion.
Atlantic City Race Course ended its six-day meet April 24 with encouraging gains in a critical year for Thoroughbred racing in New Jersey.
Ellis Park will offer higher purses for some Kentucky-bred horses under a plan approved by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund advisory committee.
Horse racing at Pennsylvania racetracks is helping casino companies make more money on slot machines, according to one piece of information in the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board's 2009 report on racetrack gaming.
Wagering on United States races was down 10.35% for the first three months of 2010 when compared with the same period a year ago, but handle in March rebounded considerably from a month earlier.
Woodbine begins its long meet April 2 with a focus on change, a strong purse structure and stakes schedule, and hope its expansion project gets off the ground.
River Downs, which is hoping to trim racing dates to maintain purses at 2009 levels, released its first condition book March 29 and avoided being fined by the Ohio State Racing Commission.
A reduction in live racing dates during the Turfway Park winter/spring meet resulted in an expected drop in total handle, but daily averages increased from the 2009 meet.
Absent an agreement with horsemen, River Downs will begin its live meet April 16 with a minimum purse of $3,200, the lowest in almost two decades, in yet another sign of a struggling Ohio horse racing industry.
Less than two years into its slots-at-racetracks initiative, Indiana is in conflict and debate over its Thoroughbred racing and breeding programs, and how to strike a balance between them.
A bill on West Virginia's 10-10-10 program, which offers purse supplements to in-state Thoroughbred owners, as well as breeders and stallion owners, awaits action by the governor.
The on-again-off-again Pimlico Special (gr. I) is off again for this year, according to a stakes schedule released by the Maryland Jockey Club March 16.
An executive with RaceTech, the company that produces Instant Racing machines, said the product has held up well against electronic games of skill at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas.
Thoroughbred breeders and owners in New Jersey hope a new summer format at Monmouth Park is successful, but they also are concerned about whether it will have a long-term positive effect.
State officials and New Jersey horse racing industry leaders said March 8 they have reached an agreement to reduce the number of racing dates at Monmouth Park this summer but boost purses to $1 million a day.
- By Tom LaMarra
A steep drop in the number of race days contributed to double-digits declines in pari-mutuel handle and purses in February.
Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort will begin its 10-month racing season March 1 with a condensed stakes schedule and new wagering options.
River Downs, which anticipates further erosion of pari-mutuel revenue this year, has asked the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association to consider a reduction in 2010 racing dates.
A battle over purse supplements for a New Jersey harness track that dates back to 2008 was resolved with the Feb. 6 announcement that purses at Freehold Raceway will increase by almost $5 million over the next year.
- By Tom LaMarra
Pari-mutuel handle in January 2009 was down only 1.56% from the same month in 2008, but this year, it took a substantial double-digit hit.
A surprisingly good night for business on a winter evening at Turfway Park doesn't hide the fact Kentucky's year-round Thoroughbred racing industry is in serious trouble.
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots will reduce purses for overnight races by 9%, effective Jan. 31, and trim the value of 12 stakes.
Hialeah Park is entering the final two weeks of its first Quarter Horse meet with pari-mutuel handle owner John Brunetti calls "a disappointment," and with a need to catch up on its guarantee of $4 million in purses.
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