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.
- By Tom LaMarra
Racing industry participants in Australia are seeking "certainty based on a fair return" from betting operators and have taken their case to a commission charged with helping government make better policies.
Horse Racing Ireland has announced a series of budget cuts, including a reduction in purses for 2010 of 10.2%, from 53.1 million euros to 47.7 million euros.
As the Delaware government awaits the results of an independent study into the expansion of casino gambling in the state, a study commissioned by three racetracks concluded the addition of casinos will cannibalize the market.
Claiming Crown organizers will meet in Tucson, Ariz., the week of Dec. 7 to iron out details of the 2010 event and perhaps look for ways to generate purse money through sponsorships.
The Nov. 6-7 Breeders' Cup World Championships during the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meet provided a major shot in the arm for November purses, which were up 24.9% over the same month a year ago when the Breeders' Cup was held in October.
Breeders' Cup expected a loss of about $5.6 million this year, but with 2009 coming to an end, it appears the loss will be closer to $1.3 million.
Canterbury Park received approval from the Minnesota Racing Commission Nov. 19 to conduct a 62-day Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meet in 2010. The season will mark the 25th anniversary of the racetrack that opened as Canterbury Downs.
The Kentucky Breeders Incentive Fund could be reduced by 30% because of declining revenue, while horse farms "can't withstand another year like 2009," Kentucky lawmakers were told Nov. 10 during a meeting of the Joint Subcommittee on Horse Farming.
- By Tom LaMarra
With less than two months to go in 2009, total handle on United States Thoroughbred racing continues to be almost 11% less than the same period in 2008.
The president of Churchill Downs Inc. said he believes recent developments with the makeup of the Kentucky General Assembly are positive and could help lead to legalization of video lottery terminals at racetracks in the state.
Delaware Park raced 27 fewer days this year but registered increases in total handle and average daily handle, track officials said Oct. 28.
Churchill Downs and Kentucky horsemen have reached a three-year agreement that sets purse payments, establishes purse supplements and ends a legal dispute that began in the spring of 2008.
Wagering on Thoroughbred races in the United States was only down less than 1% in September, but for the year still lags 2008 by more than $1 billion.
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino has announced purse increase that has put purses about 20% higher than they were when its meet began July 30. Thus far, the Indiana track has paid about $30,000 more a day than Turfway Park in neighboring Kentucky.
Delaware Park and the Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association have agreed to shave seven days from the track's 2009 racing schedule because of a decline in revenue from video lottery terminals. The change must be approved by the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission.
A shorter racing week helped Del Mar register gains in average daily attendance and pari-mutuel handle, the California racetrack reported Sept. 9, closing day of the meet.
- By Tom LaMarra
Pari-mutuel handle on United States racing continued its decline in August despite the country's two premier summer meets at Del Mar and Saratoga.
The Ohio State Racing Commission has approved 2010 racing dates for two Thoroughbred tracks, but the facilities still have no agreement with horsemen on the schedules.
Kentucky horsemen are hoping "light at the end of the tunnel" could help facilitate a contract for the upcoming Turfway Park meet.
Purses may be down across the country, but stakes purses at Oaklawn Park will be higher in 2010 than they were in 2009 according to report on Arkansas Sports 360.com.
The Ohio State Racing Commission Aug. 20 brought the grade II Ohio Derby back to the schedule this year by ordering a reduction of five live racing days at Thistledown, traditional host for the only graded stakes in the Buckeye State.
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will raise purses 12% beginning Aug. 19, citing a "conservative approach" taken with the purse account when the meet began in late July.
Twelve more races qualified under the purse incentive program created to increase field size during week two of the 2009 Saratoga Race Course meet, according to The New York Racing Association. Purse increases from incentives during the meet's second week totaled $74,750, a 16.5% advance over the original purse values.
A reduction in stakes purses for its upcoming meet will allow Turfway Park to maintain overnight purses and racing days, but track officials are thinking ahead to 2010, when that probably won't be the case.
- By Tom LaMarra
Wagering on racing in the United States continued its negative trend in July, with a 13.4% decline from the same month last year. Purses dropped 7.35%.
Ellis Park got the official OK to add five days of racing to its current meet, and Keeneland will be permitted to change the way it divvies up purses in each race.
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