Eric Mitchell

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.

Youbet.com Predicts Profitability by 2002

Youbet.com, an online horse racing and wagering site that has burned through more than $64 million since 1998, expects to begin turning a profit in 2002. The company also expects to have more than 20,000 subscribers by the end of the year.

NTRA Champions Ratings Improve

The revamped NTRA Champions Series got off to a good start June 10 with an overnight rating of 1.7 and attracted 4% of the viewing market. Last year's version of the series on Fox collectively earned earned a 1.1 rating and a 3% market share.

Jockey Club Launches AI Inquiry, Sets Separate Hearing

The Jockey Club has launched an inquiry into whether artificial insemination was used at Valley Creek Farm in California, which is co-owned by Jack Liebau, one of its members. Additionally, the Jockey Club has agreed to conduct a hearing into the fraudulent registration of four Palomino Thoroughbreds.

Nasdaq May Still Pull Youbet Listing

The Nasdaq stock exchange notified Youbet.com officials Tuesday that the company still fails to meet its minimum price requirement and is subject to being delisted. To remain on the exchange, Youbet.com stock needed to trade about $1 per share for 10 consecutive days before Monday.

Youbet Notches Record Week

Youbet.com just completed its busiest week ever. The Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and a handicapping contest held in conjunction with the Daily Racing Form attracted $2.6 million in online wagers for the week ending May 19.

Youbet.com Strikes Deal With TVG; Stock Soars

Youbet.com has signed a deal that could give the Television Games Network a majority interest in the online horse racing and wagering service. Under the terms of the agreement, Youbet.com will pay TVG fees based on the handle. Youbet.com also has issued warrants allowing TVG to buy 19.9% of the online service's 19.4 million shares of common stock for 1 cent per share. Youbet.com's stock reacted strongly to the news. The stock, which closed at 75 cents per share Friday, jumped 101% to peak at $1.51 within the first hour of trading Monday.

Grady Stepping Down as Tampa Bay Downs GM

John Grady Jr. is stepping down as vice president and general manager of Tampa Bay Downs, but will remain associated with the track as a consultant. Grady was the overseer of significant improvements at the Florida racetrack, and a controversial figure during contract negotiations with horsemen.

Where to Find the Mycotoxin Binder

Lexington, Ky., feed companies are busy filling orders for bags and buckets of mycotoxin binder from horse owners in 15 states throughout the East Coast and Canada. Here is a list of companies selling the binder and associated products.

Magna Eyeing Four U.S. Tracks, Another in Ontario

Magna Entertainment chairman Frank Stronach told shareholders May 11 that he plans to buy four more racetracks in the United States. He said he hopes the racing conglomerate will control 35% of the U.S. handle on Thoroughbred races within two years. Stronach is also considering breaking into the Ontario racing market.

Youbet.com Reduces Loss, Gains Subscribers

Youbet.com reduced its net loss for the first quarter of the year by 31% to $2.4 million, or 12 cents per share. During the same period a year ago, the company reported a net loss of $3.4 million, or 17 cents per share. The online horse racing and wagering service also gained 1,400 new subscribers between Jan. 1 and March 31.

National Rating For NBC's Derby Debut Was Up 40 Percent

NBC Sports' debut broadcast of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) attracted 40 percent more viewers than a year ago. The national rating for the 5 p.m. to 6:42 p.m. program earned an 8.1 rating and captured 21 percent of viewers compared with last year when the Derby earned a 5.8 rating and a 17 percent market share. The rating is the highest since 1992 when the Derby earned a national rating of 8.9 and a 26 percent market share. Each rating point currently represents slightly more than one million households.

ESPN Sports Poll

A large majority of casual Thoroughbred racing fans said they had heard of the Breeders' Cup, but more than half did not know it was racing's championship event, according to an ESPN Sports Poll conducted last year.

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