Thoroughbred interests in West Virginia are hopeful lawmakers will correct action that took revenue for a proposed breed development program at Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort and shifted half of it to an incentive program for racing Greyhounds.
An additional $200,000 has been applied to the 2005 purse structure of the West Virginia Breeders' Classics making the amount available for purses $1.44 million.
A West Virginia legislator whose district includes Charles Town Races & Slots is advocating a plan to enlarge the racing surface and, if necessary, renovate dilapidated Shenandoah Downs and race there during the down time--or perhaps permanently.
West Virginia's four racetracks moved a stepped closer to becoming full-scale casinos March 28 when the state Senate approved legislation to legalize table games at the facilities.
Legislation endorsed by the West Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee would allow casino-style table games at the four racetracks in the state, but the panel also doubled the state tax on the games from 12% to 24%.
The beneficial effect that alternative gaming at racetracks has on state Thoroughbred industries was affirmed again in 2004, according to statistics contained in The Jockey Club's 2005 Online Fact Book.
Representatives of horsemen's groups are working in the West Virginia capital of Charleston to fend off an effort by Gov. Joe Manchin to take $5 million from purse accounts at each of the state's four racetracks to help pay off a $3-billion debt in the state workers' compensation program.
The Charles Town Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association announced Jan. 7 it has signed a new contract with Penn National Gaming Inc., owner of Charles Town Races & Slots, which increases the number of live racing dates per year.
Black Tie Affair, 1991 Horse of the Year, has been relocated to the Funkhouser family's O'Sullivan Farms near Charles Town, W.Va., where he will stand for $7,500 live foal.
Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort will offer a beefed-up stakes schedule in 2005 that includes a purse hike for the West Virginia Derby (gr. III) and the addition of stakes for 2-year-olds.
Housebuster, a two-time champion sprinter who stood the past breeding season at Blue Ridge Farm near Upperville, Va., will stand at the Funkhouser family's O'Sullivan Farms near Charles Town, W.Va.
Hardwicke Stable's late-running Spite the Devil found himself to be the right horse in the right spot to win Saturday's $250,000 Empire Classic at Belmont Park.
Saturday's $250,000 Empire Classic, the marquee race on New York Showcase Day at Belmont Park, is so wide open that Rudina Stable's filly Board Elligible, has a big shot in a field of 15.
Retired Charles Town superintendent Charles O'Bannon died Sept. 30 in Kearneysville, W.Va.
Officials were meeting the morning of Oct. 1 to discuss ongoing problems with the racing surface that have led Charles Town Races & Slots in West Virginia to again cancel racing for at least another week.
The former president of the Charles Town Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said he would fight charges leveled by the current Charles Town HBPA board of directors over alleged unauthorized loans and purchases while he was in office.
Charles Town Races and Slots in West Virginia has announced the cancellation of its live racing program scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 30, after stopping its Sept. 29 card short after just four recorded races.
Live racing at Charles Town Races and Slots in West Virginia returned Saturday, Sept. 25 after a 12-day hiatus in which the track was forced to cancel eight days their live racing program. The facility was open for simulcasting during the respite.
Live racing at Charles Town Races & Slots in West Virginia remains up in the air as work continues to correct a reported drainage problem on a racing surface just replaced this summer.
If weights are any indication, the Sept. 18 Jerome Handicap (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Belmont Park figures to be wide open.
The $600,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. III) was the major mid-season test for Sir Shackleton, and he passed it with flying colors with a resounding victory over six other foes in the 1 1/8-mile event for 3-year-olds at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort.
Chowder's First outdueled West Virginia in the stretch of Wednesday's $250,000 restricted New York Stallion Stakes (Cab Calloway Division) at Saratoga Race Course. The 3-year-old son of Let Goodtimes Roll covered the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:50.99. West Virginia was a neck back for second, with Pay Attention a distant 9 1/2-lengths back in third.
Edgewood Farm's Pollard's Vision, winner of the Illinois Derby (gr. II) in early April, heads a well-matched field of nine 3-year-olds entered for the Aug. 7 West Virginia Derby (gr. III) at Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort.
Mountaineer Park-based jockey Gary Birzer, 27, remains paralyzed from the waist down after suffering injuries to his neck and spinal cord in a two-horse spill July 20 at the Chester, W. Va. oval.
Just weeks before work is to begin on banking the turns of the racing surface at Charles Town Races & Slots, a new organization called "The Thoroughbred Club" claims a survey reveals support for expansion of the six-furlong track to seven furlongs.
Artie Schiller and Timo, evenly matched foes as 2-year-olds last year who went their separate ways over the winter, resume their rivalry in Sunday's $100,000-added Hill Prince (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds at Belmont Park.
Live racing at Charles Town Races & Slots will be suspended for about three weeks in August so workers can replace the racing surface, bank the turns, and install new lighting.
Tiring West Virginia, passed in the stretch by Pay Attention, responded to urging from jockey John Velazquez to rally for a nose victory in the one-mile New York Stallion Stakes Times Square Division at Aqueduct on Sunday.
Endeavouring, a 4-year-old half-brother to grade I winner Came Home, will enter stud for $500 live foal at Cyndy O'Bannon's Beau Ridge Farm near Bunker Hill, W.Va.
Multiple graded stakes winner Windsor Castle has been purchased by Jim Casey for stallion duty at the owner's Taylor Mountain Farm near Charles Town, W.Va.
The Ken and Sarah Ramsey-owned Kitten's Joy and Master William highlight the dozen runners entered in Saturday's $100,000 Palm Beach Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park. The Palm Beach is the 11th event on the 12-race card.
A Valentine's Day fund-raiser for the family of jockey Michael Rowland, who died from injuries sustained in a Feb. 5 racing accident at Turfway Park, has drawn interest from around the country, and donated items continued to come in the morning of the event.
Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort, which recently inked a three-year contract with horsemen, has officially issued a 2004 racing schedule that calls for 228 programs of racing effective Jan. 19.
After a few years of contractual disputes, Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort and the Mountaineer Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have agreed on a three-year contract that calls for increases in live racing dates and a hike in the minimum claiming price at the West Virginia track.
Horsemen and management at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort continued contract negotiations Jan. 9 in the wake of a dispute that has halted simulcasting at the West Virginia track.
Way West, whose progeny earnings are approaching $5 million, will stand at O'Sullivan Farms near Charles Town, W.Va.
The dispute between horsemen and management at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort escalated Jan. 5 when both parties accused the other of negotiating in bad faith.
Thoroughbred racing at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort is on hold until at least Jan. 19 while track officials try to reach a new five-year contract with the Mountaineer Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. Meanwhile, the track has offered to keep its stable are open with certain conditions, but the HBPA has balked.
Favored West Virginia took the lead after a half-mile, then held of the stubborn Salty Character by a neck to win Wednesday's $83,675 Damon Runyon for 2-year-old New York breds at 1 1/16 mile on Aqueduct's sloppy inner track.
Operators of racetracks with gaming devices continue to look for ways to drive pari-mutuel handle, but they admit converting slots players to handicappers is a long-term challenge.
Jockey Jerry Bailey made quick work of Mike Smith's longstanding record for stakes victories in a season when he guided favored Read the Footnotes to an easy victory in the $200,000 Remsen Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-olds at Aqueduct.
Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey will wrap up his year in New York on Saturday with a trio of stakes mounts. One behind Mike Smith's record of 68 stakes victories in a year, Bailey will be aboard likely favorites Congaree in the Cigar Mile, Read the Footnotes in the Remsen and Ashado in the Demoiselle.
As West Virginia racinos consider a push for casino-style table games, questions loom. Would revenue from the games go to purses, and if so, how much?
MTR Gaming Group Inc., which has been granted a state license to build a horse racing track in Pennsylvania, has plans to build a temporary slot machine parlor where customers can gamble during the two years it will take to build the track.
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell isn't against having slot machines at locations other than racetracks, but he said if that's the case, it's imperative the tracks and the horse racing industry be protected.
The signs point to progress in Kentucky in terms of a bid for racetrack gaming in 2004, while in Pennsylvania, the horse industry is slowing the prospects for passage of legislation, officials said Nov. 11 during a panel discussion at Racino 2003 at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort.
Quantum Merit, West Virginia, Ma Femme and So Sweet a Cat registered victories in Sunday's New York Stallion Series, a four-race showcase for state-bred horses at Aqueduct.
Sunday's New York Stallion Series, featuring the Great White Way, Fifth Avenue, Perfect Arc, and Cormorant divisions, will showcase some of the state-bred program's top 2-year-olds and turf horses. All of the New York Stallion Series races are for progeny of stallions standing in New York.
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, whose 2002 campaign platform included an endorsement for racetrack gaming, will issue a "major policy speech" Nov. 12 at the closing session of Racino 2003 at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort in West Virginia.
A long-awaited proposal for the expansion of the racing surface at Charles Town Races & Slots in West Virginia will be circulated to horsemen, some of which have expressed concerns over the plan.
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