Eric Mitchell

Personnel Changes at Call Now and Delaware Park

Call Now, the parent company of Retama Park, announced today the retirement of chairman and chief executive officer William Allen and president Robert Buffkin. The new president and CEO is Thomas Johnson and Christopher Hall will replace Buffkin on the board. At Delaware Park, Sam Abbey has been appointed racing secretary and vice president of finance John Rooney announced he will retire.

Investors Group Makes Offer for Louisiana Downs

A group of six to seven investors from Texas and Louisiana has issued a letter of intent to buy the 27-year-old Louisiana Downs. A state license issued in March that allows the racetrack to run 15,000 square-feet of slot machines significantly increased its value. If the deal closes, the investors intend to spend more than $90 million on renovations.

Change in Judges Delays Hearing in Real Quiet Suit

A change of judges has delayed a pre-trial hearing in a lawsuit involving 1998 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Real Quiet. For scheduling reasons, Judge Henry R. Wilhoit recused himself from the case in which Kentucky farm owner George Hofmeister has accused owner Mike Pegram and trainer Bob Baffert of fraud.

Hearing in Jockeys' Guild Suit Postponed

A hearing to determine if five defendants should be dismissed from a lawsuit filed against the Jockeys' Guild by former national manager John Giovanni was postponed Wednesday due to illnesses by attorneys on both sides of the case.

Canterbury Reports Mixed Third Quarter

Canterbury Park reported increased revenue and decreased net income for the third quarter ending Sept. 20. Revenue for the Minnesota racetrack was up 4.3% to $12.1 million, but net income for the third quarter fell 21% to $378,103, or 10 cents per share.

Keeneland Online RNA Sale Begins Nov. 18

Keeneland's online version of its November breeding stock sale will begin Nov. 18 at 9 a.m.. Some horses have already been entered in the sale with more entries expected today and Friday. Bidding starts closing hip-by-hip on

An Owner's Profile: Stuart Subotnick

New York media magnate Stuart Subotnick belongs to an elite group: he's one of America's 500 richest people. He also belongs to a more exclusive clique of the super-wealthy who own Thoroughbred racehorses. Subotnick, 59, did not grow up around a racetrack, and he's not a gambler. He got into Thoroughbred racing at the urging of a friend and found the game intoxicatingly competitive as well as financially challenging.

Fell Steps Down As Youbet.com CEO

Robert Fell has stepped down as chief executive officer of Youbet.com, an online horse racing and wagering company, and will be replaced by two men. Vice presidents Ronald Luniewski and Phillip C. Hermann will share CEO duties.

Total Handle Up at Arlington, On-Track Stats Slip

Arlington Park's first meet to run through October produced a new single-day record handle and a 10.4% increase in average daily total handle. The tragedies of Sept. 11 were blamed for double-digit losses in on-track handle and attendance.

Magna Improves Historically Slow Third Quarter

Magna Entertainment showed some improvement during the third quarter ending Sept. 30, historically the company's weakest period of the year. Revenue for the Ontario-based racing conglomerate increased 31.1% for the quarter and 24.9% for the first nine months of the year.

Maxxam Reports Good Third Quarter, Racing Operations Slide

Maxxam, the owner of Sam Houston Race Park, reported a gain of $4.08 per share for its third quarter compared with a loss of $2.47 per share reported a year ago. The diversified company's racing operations reported a slight increase in sales, but the gains were offset by increased costs.

Penn National Posts Strong Third Quarter

Penn National Gaming reported a 67.3% increase in revenue and a 52.5% increase in net income for the third quarter. In other news, the company is seeking dismissal of a lawsuit filed against Charles Town Races by Showboat Development over the rights to operate slot machines and video lottery terminals at the company's West Virginia racetrack. If the case is not dismissed, Penn National wants the case moved out of Nevada to a West Virginia court.

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.

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