The growth of casino-style gaming at racetracks has brought with it executives with little or no experience in horse racing, something horsemen said makes them more vulnerable to exclusionary practices.
The Florida Legislature passed a gaming bill May 8 that includes several changes sought by the state's Thoroughbred industry, and a compromise on the contentious issue of table games at the Seminole Tribe of Florida's casinos.
Tampa Bay Downs reported May 7 a 2.7% decline in all-sources handle for its recently-concluded 2008-2009 winter/spring meet at the racetrack located in Oldsmar, Fla.
The Florida Legislature May 1 extended its annual regular session for seven days, with pending bills on Thoroughbred and other pari-mutuel issues and on Indian gaming among unfinished business.
Tampa Bay Downs concluded its 83rd live race meeting May 3 by handing out honors to the leading trainer, jockey, owner, and apprentice jockey.
The Florida Legislature will end its annual regular session May 1, and as of April 28 the House and Senate had not resolved major gaming issues including whether the Seminole Tribe of Florida should be able to keep blackjack and baccarat tables at its casinos.
Apprentice jockey Faith Schorr guided Jackie B Good to victory for owner/trainer Michael Thomas in the third race at Tampa Bay Downs April 28, giving the rider her first career victory.
Association of Racing Commissioners International president Ed Martin said April 23 a wagering system foul up April 22 poisoned wagering pools in five states affecting bettors across the country.
Members of the Florida House of Representatives March 24 released a draft of a bill that would require the Seminole Tribe of Florida to remove blackjack and baccarat tables from its casinos. The proposal would permit the Seminoles to keep the Class III Las Vegas-style slot machines they began installing at their Florida casinos last summer.
The chairman of an important Florida Senate committee March 24 introduced a bill that would allow Gulfstream Park and Calder Race Course to have blackjack and baccarat, while permitting the Seminole Tribe of Florida to keep those two games and add roulette and crap tables at its casinos.
Eric Fein and Vic Carlson's Musket Man found his best stride inside the sixteenth-pole and edged out longshot Join in the Dance by a neck to win the $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) March 14.
The top five finishers from the competitive Suncoast Stakes in February will face each other again in the $200,000 Florida Oaks (gr. III) March 14 at Tampa Bay Downs.
Tom McCarthy's General Quarters, impressive winner of last month's Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III), will try to prove that his runaway victory was no fluke when he returns for $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) on March 14.
Magna Entertainment Corp. claims it owes more than $235 million to its largest 50 unsecured creditors, including many prominent names in the Thoroughbred racing and breeding industry.
Daniel Centeno, leading rider at Tampa Bay Downs, added five more victories to his total at the Oldsmar, Fla., track on Feb. 22.
Driven by its live export signal to out of state outlets, total handle is up slightly at Tampa Bay Downs through the mid-way part of the 94-day meet, the track reported Feb. 20.
Thomas McCarthy's General Quarters pulled a shocker and threw his name into the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) mix, as he stalked the pace, took over rounding the far turn and pulled away for a convincing 3 1/2-length score in the $221,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Tampa Bay Downs Feb. 14.
Stormy West and American Border, who have seven consecutive wins between them, will do battle in a full field of fillies and mares in the $125,000 Endeavour Stakes (gr. IIIT) Feb. 14 on the Tampa Bay Downs turf course.
Silver Wing Stable's Free Country, undefeated in two starts including an impressive nine-furlong allowance win at Gulfstream Park last month, makes his highly-anticipated stakes debut in the $225,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 14 at Tampa Bay Downs.
Rosemary Homeister, Jr. booted home Rustyshouldrun for her 2000th career victory Dec. 18 at Tampa Bay Downs.
Wagering on Tampa Bay Downs' 83rd live meet, which opens Dec. 13, will be available to most advance deposit wagering outlets, the Oldsmar, Fla., track announced Dec. 12.
The $65,000 Lightning City Stakes, a five furlong turf test for fillies and mares, tops opening day of the 2008-2009 Tampa Bay Downs racing meet, which begins Dec. 13 and runs through May 3. The Tampa Bay stakes schedule encompasses 26 races with more than $2.7 million in purses and is highlighted by the $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) on March 14.
The Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering has ordered jockey Pascacio "Paco" Lopez to serve 27 days of stewards' suspensions, including seven days at Gulfstream Park's 2009 meet that begins Jan. 3.
Tampa Bay Downs is requiring veterinarians to pay their first-ever licensing fees for its meet that begins Dec. 13. A licensing fee for blacksmiths was planned but has been put off until the 2009-10 racing season.
Horse racing's problems, what its future could be, and a call to positive action figured prominently at the recent International Simulcast Conference in Florida.
An official of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association said on May 14 that his organization will issue a proposal that would enable Calder Race Course to carry the simulcast signal of the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) -- with a condition.
Trainer Jamie Ness and jockey Daniel Centeno set records for most victories in winning their respective titles at Tampa Bay Downs, which concluded its 82-day meet May 4.
As the Florida legislature prepares to end its annual session May 2, chances appear very slim that it will pass either of two slot machine bills being sought by the Thoroughbred industry.
Aurora Springs Stable's Awesome Chic used a perfect ground-saving trip under Irwin Rosendo, took over at the top of the stretch, and drew away to win the $200,000 Florida Oaks (gr. III) by 4 1/2 commanding lengths March 15 at Tampa Bay Downs.
The Florida Senate approved March 13 two slot-machine bills that would help the state's Thoroughbred racetracks and other pari-mutuel facilities. However, there is considerable opposition to the bills in the Florida House of Representatives, and the influential Seminole Tribe of Florida is expressing concerns about the legislation.
Two bills that would help Thoroughbred racetracks, the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co., and the state's other pari-mutuel facilities will be on the calendar when the Florida legislature begins its annual two-month session March 4.
The Nick Zito trainee won his stakes debut Feb. 16 at Tampa Bay Downs.
Frank Calabrese's homebred Dreaming of Anna kicked off her 4-year-old campaign with a photo finish that was almost too close to call when she outbobbed 6-5 favorite Lear's Princess in the $150,000 Endeavour Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Tampa Bay Downs Feb. 16.
Z Humor and Smooth Air look to take another step toward the Kentucky Derby Feb. 16 at Tampa Bay Downs.
Two Florida Senate leaders are sponsoring separate gaming bills, with goals that include increased revenue for the state's three Thoroughbred tracks and for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. As with previous years' gaming proposals in Florida, the bills face opposition from gambling opponents in the legislature.
Trainer Don Rice, who was recently injured at his Central Florida farm, died Jan. 6 at a Gainesville hospital, Tampa Bay Downs has reported. He was 72.
Trainer Barbara McBride's 1,000th career victory came Jan. 5 when favored Ashley and I charged to victory in the fifth race at Tampa Bay Downs.
Eight-time Tampa Bay Downs leading trainer Don Rice was hospitalized in critical condition after he was apparently kicked in the head by a horse at his Central Florida farm.
There may be more opportunities for Thoroughbreds to race in Florida in the coming years as at least one proposed Quarter Horse track has received a permit from the state, with a second such facility under consideration for similar licensing.
Peter Berube, vice president and general manager of Tampa Bay Downs, and Hal Handel, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the New York Racing Association (NYRA), have been appointed by the Thoroughbred Racing Associations of North America (TRA) to serve on the management committee of Equibase Company LLC
There will be three new grade I stakes in the United States in 2008 after a review by the American Graded Stakes Committee, but for the time being, the three Breeders' Cup World Championships races run for the first time in 2007 won't have a grade.
The 82nd season of Tampa Bay Downs racing will feature record increases for both its stakes schedule and daily average purses, it was announced Sept. 20.
A state law that severely limited the ability of South Florida horse racing tracks to simulcast events from other pari-mutuel facilities is unconstitutional because of the way it was adopted, the Florida Supreme Court ruled Sept. 6.
Frank Fabian, president of the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau, addressed last year's banning of several jockeys while one of the riders, Terry Houghton, is scheduled to appear before the Michigan Racing Commission June 28 for an investigatory hearing.
Joe Judice, one of seven jockeys banned from Tampa Bay Downs this past December because of an investigation into alleged race-fixing, returned to the saddle June 3 at River Downs and promptly won with his first two mounts of the meet.
The transcript from a recent hearing before a judge appointed by the Illinois Racing Board brought new details to light concerning the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau's investigation of 10 jockeys banned last December from Florida and Pennsylvania tracks for alleged race-fixing.
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.
The March 17 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) has a long tradition of sending entrants to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and other premier 3-year-old stakes. Heading the field this year appear to be Street Sense, who is making his 3-year-old debut and Sam F. Davis winner Any Given Saturday.
A field of eight fillies, including grade III winner Cotton Blossom, will take the gate for the March 17 $200,000 Florida Oaks, going 1 1/16 miles at Tampa Bay Downs.
Trainer Gerald Bennett scored a rare double victory at Tampa Bay Downs in the featured seventh race Wednesday, an allowance test for older horses. Bennett's entries in the race, Demagoguery and Anglers Reef, finished in a dead heat for the win.
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