Eric Mitchell

Mountaineer Slot Revenue Off 20 Percent

MTR Gaming Group (Nasdaq:MNTG), the owner/operator of Mountaineer Racetrack & Gaming Resort in West Virginia, reported a 20 percent drop in revenue in the two weeks following the Sept 11. terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.

Giovanni Sues Jockeys' Guild

John Giovanni, former head of the Jockeys' Guild, filed a lawsuit Sept. 20 alleging that he was slandered by Guild officers and illegally forced out of his position in June.

USDA Approves Quarantine Center at Aqueduct

The U.S. Department of Agriculture gave its approval today to a foot-and-mouth quarantine facility at Aqueduct. The decision will make it easier for European horses to compete in Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship prep races at Belmont Park.

Churchill to Repurchase Stock, Racing Stocks Down Overall

Churchill Downs' board of directors authorized the repurchase of up to 55,000 shares. The buy-back was authorized to help stablize the company's stock price and contribute to stablizing the market overall. Despite financial experts pleas to investors that they should not react to the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C., the major stock markets sustained significant losses.

Dubai Destination Claims First Group Win

Dubai Destination, a $1.5 million Keeneland July sale purchase owned by Godolphin Racing, won his first stakes race Friday at Doncaster in the Rothmans Royals Champagne Stakes (Eng-II). It was the colt's third start, and his impressive victory made has made him the favorite for next season's Sagitta 2000 Guineas. Godolphin's Ekraar won the Amco Corp. Troy Stakes the same day.

NYRA Hopeful for Quarantine Exemption

Hoof and mouth quarantine restrictions on imported European horses is keeping some horses out of major Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships prep races at Belmont Park. NYRA hopes to secure an exemption to the quarantine rules next week and have a quarantine facility at Aqueduct set up in time for races on Sept. 29.

Portland Meadows Opening Delayed

Portland Meadows will not open Sept. 1 as planned because the Environmental Protection Agency has rejected a plan to keep contaminated storm water from leaving the racetrack property. Magna Entertainment was notified Tuesday that the plan was rejected. The environmental problems could accelerate the company's plans to build a new racetrack in the area.

Youbet Opens Oregon Hub, Adjusts Price for Users

Youbet.com today announced the opening of its new Oregon wagering hub. The new hub allows Youbet.com customers access to racetracks previously available only through the TV Games Network. Along with the new hub, Youbet has adjusted its price. The service now charges a fee per transaction instead of a monthly fee.

Del Mar Sale Sets Record Average

The annual Del Mar yearling sale set a record average price of $43,663 this week. The two-day sale at the Del Mar HorsePark sold 104 horses for a total $4,541,000. Monday's session was responsible for elevating the average price. Seven horses sold for $100,000 or more compared to five during last year's entire sale. Tuesday session was weaker overall, but still an improvement over last year's second session.

Del Mar Yearling Sale on Record Pace

Seven horses sold for more than $100,000 during Monday's opening session of the two-day Del Mar yearling sale. Last year, five horses sold in this price range for the entire sale. The average price for the first session was $52,918, far above the sale's record average price of $36,798 set in 1999.

Magna Posts Second Quarter Gains

Magna Entertainment reported an 11% increase in revenue and a 21% increase in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization for the second quarter ending June 30. The recent quarter was the first to include all the company's operations.

Mountaineer Adding 595 Slot Machines

MTR Gaming Group (Nasdaq:MNTG) has received permission to increase the slot machines at Mountaineer Race Track by 31%. The new machines will raise the track's total number of video and slot machines to 2,500.

NTRA Champions TV Ratings Are Steady

The last of four programs in the NTRA Champions series on CBS earned an overnight rating of 1.1 and captured 3% of the viewing audience. The ratings equaled the combined numbers for last year's NTRA Champions on Fox series.

Mixed Meet for Belmont Park

Total handle for Belmont Park's 55-day meet increased 4.8%, but on-track numbers continued to be weak. Average daily on-track handle was flat at $1,929,951, while average daily attendance fell 5.9% to 8,025.

NTRA Champions Ratings Are Stable

The NTRA Champions series is holding its own on CBS. The first three of four programs have earned a combined 1.1 rating and a 3% market share, which is identical to the combined ratings the series earned on Fox last year.

Who's Running The Guild?

Jerry Bailey, Jockeys' Guild president emeritus, is resigning Friday from his positions on the Guild's executive committee and board of directors. He is resigning because he believes a five-member majority of the executive committee acted too hastily in hiring Matrix Capital Associates to manage the Guild.

Anchor Gaming To Merge

Anchor Gaming, the parent company of United Tote, has agreed to a merger with joint venture partner International Game Technology. If the deal is approved it would create a gaming equipment company with combined annual revenue of $2 billion and control of 60% of the United States market.

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