With the Pennsylvania legislature set to return June 2, it will be pressured to act on one of two measures that would place slot machines at racetracks. Gov. Ed Rendell wants a bill passed before summer recess commences June 30.
Monmouth Park will host a day devoted to New Jersey-breds September 20 in an effort to help spur the state's breeding industry. Track officials hope it will become a major event on the New Jersey racing calendar.
Jockey Stewart Elliott, 38, achieved a career milestone at Philadelphia Park Tuesday when he won his 3,000th race aboard Navesink Enterprises' Navesink Tide for trainer Ned Allard in the day's finale.
A pivotal week for slot-machine legislation in Pennsylvania is ahead as the Senate is expected to debate a plan to legalize the devices at the state's racetracks, possibly May 12-13. Supporters of slots are planning to "leapfrog" a potentially hostile committee vote by putting the legislation on the floor as an amendment to another bill, according to the Associated Press.
While representatives of New Jersey Thoroughbred horsemen claim they have been aware of the desire of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to sell Monmouth Park and Meadowlands for nearly a year, there are many questions they want answered from prospective buyers, and they believe the timing of the announcement was poor.
The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority will formally begin the process of selling or leasing Monmouth Park and Meadowlands in June, a move that could put more than $250 million in the financially strapped state agency's coffers, according to published reports.
The first of three hearings on slot machines at racetracks in Pennsylvania was held by the Senate Finance Committee April 22. The hearing was highlighted by comments from Sen. Robert Tomlinson, who said he would make some changes to the bill he introduced that has the support of racetrack operators in the state.
The Bensalem, Pa., Township Council gave preliminary approval April 15 to Philadelphia Park for construction of a 149,000-square-foot temporary building that's expected to house 3,000 slot machines should legislation pass.
Though racetrack slot machines still haven't been approved by the Pennsylvania legislature, the Bensalem Township Council is scheduled to vote April 14 on Philadelphia Park's plans for a building to house the machines.
A Quinnipiac University Poll released April 2 indicates support for the addition of video lottery terminals and/or slot machines at state racetracks, both as a tool for balancing the state budget and to help the state's struggling horse racing industry.
Former Monmouth Park racing secretary Michael Dempsey will return to his old position in place of Sean Greely, who was let go earlier this week.
New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey has signed into law a bill that will reconstitute the membership of the state racing commission.
Though a commission was recently formed to study the feasibility of putting video lottery terminals at New Jersey racetracks, Gov. Jim McGreevey apparently has abandoned the idea of including VLT revenue in the state's 2004 budget.
After months of negotiations, the ink is finally dry on a 2003 dates schedule for Thoroughbred racetracks in the Garden State.
With no additional positive tests for Equineherpes virus-1 since Feb. 26, Penn National Race Course was prepared to lift the quarantine of horses stabled in Barn U on March 19, track general manager Richard Schnaars said.
The Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association is opposed to a racetrack gaming bill that would award 15% of gross revenue to purses and 1% to breed development. Meanwhile, an official at Philadelphia Park said he can't understand the horsemen's position.
Two additional positive tests for the Equineherpes-1 virus Feb. 26 at Penn National Race Course have prompted Philadelphia Park to extend its ban on shipping into and out of the Grantville, Pa., track to March 19. Racetracks in neighboring West Virginia have also decided to implement the shipping restriction as a precaution.
Purse accounts at Pennsylvania racetracks would earn 21.5% of gross revenue from track-based slot machines under legislation introduced Feb. 26 by Sen. Robert Tomlinson, whose district includes Philadelphia Park.
The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and horsemen will ask the state racing commission for 120 live Thoroughbred dates for 2003 instead of 146, officials said Feb. 27. Monmouth Park would kick off calendar Memorial Day, May 24, if the schedule is approved.
A restriction on horses shipping into Philadelphia Park from Penn National due to three horses testing positive for equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) at Penn may be lifted early next week, officials for both Pennsylvania racetracks said Wednesday.
A small outbreak of equine herpes at Penn National Racecourse has prompted management of Philadelphia Park to bar horses shipping in to race as well as horses shipping out to "race and return" from the Grantville, Pa. oval.
The American Graded Stakes Committee has issued warning letters to racetracks that present nearly every grade 1 stakes for 3-year-olds, advising them that the races would be downgraded for 2004 unless field quality improves.
New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey has announced the creation of a Video Lottery Study Commission that will investigate the feasibility of video lottery terminals at racetracks and give him written recommendations in 90 days.
One week after a spokesperson for New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey said a bill to legalize video lottery terminals at state racetracks was off the table, the issue apparently is back on.
A flurry of applications for both Thoroughbred and harness licenses in Pennsylvania has been called a "gold rush" by newly elected Governor Ed Rendell.
In response to a statement by an official with Gov. Jim McGreevey's administration that a proposal to place video lottery terminals at Meadowlands "is very unlikely," the head of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority said other avenues will be explored in order to keep the state's racing industry viable.
Horsemen and officials at the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority are close to sealing a dates deal for 2003 through 2008, but a final racing calendar for the Garden State may not be known for several months.
The president of the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association said allegations by the New Jersey Racing Commission and a state Superior Court judge that health-care benefits for backstretch personnel have been reduced in lieu of political contributions are "unfounded" and "ludicrous."
Live racing at Philadelphia Park could be suspended Jan. 1, 2003 if management and horsemen are unable to come to terms on a new live racing agreement, which expires at the end of December. Horsemen are particularly concerned over language in the contract that protects their share of purse revenue.
A hearing by the Pennsylvania Racing Commission on the proposed Seaport Park by Greenwood Racing, owner and operator of Philadelphia Park, ended inconclusively Dec. 16 pending submission of additional financial information.
After months of legal wrangling and negotiations, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority is close to presenting the New Jersey Racing Commission with participation agreements between itself and two other racing companies in the state in regard to account and off-track wagering.
Horsemen and management at New Jersey's two state racetracks are close to a deal on a revision of 2003 racing dates.
A paddock valet at Philadelphia Park is being hailed as a hero after he helped save the life of a woman whose car crashed and burned in Bensalem, Pa. Wednesday, pulling her to safety as the vehicle filled with smoke.
Horsemen, racetrack operators, and the New Jersey Racing Commission are in agreement on a 2003 Thoroughbred calendar that calls for 151 live racing days. The schedule was approved even though track officials have said the 141-day allotment for this year doesn't make good business sense.
A Nov. 18 hearing by the New Jersey Economic Growth Committee on legislation to authorize slot machines at Meadowlands ended early because the sponsor, Sen. Joseph Suliga, is still in the process of making changes to the bill.
In an unusual twist, management at Meadowlands in New Jersey is expressing its position concerning 2003 Thoroughbred racing dates, and the state of the current meet, in the track program.
Prominent New Jersey owner and breeder Dennis Drazin, who has been accused of accepting inflated legal fees from the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, denied the allegations and called conduct by his accuser "improper."
Without a purse supplement from the state and an average daily purse distribution of less than half of what it offered in 2001, business at the current Meadowlands meet has been called "really bad" by an executive of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which owns and operates the northern New Jersey track.
The executive director of the New Jersey Racing Commission has charged in a nine-page internal memo that the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association has mismanaged hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and contributions. He also suggested the leadership of the organization be removed.
While no specific election in New Jersey on Tuesday figures to have any direct impact on pending slots legislation, New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association lobbyist Barbara DeMarco-Reiche said elections in neighboring states are sure to have "a tremendous impact" on New Jersey racing.
Ed Rendell, who won a landslide victory in the Pennsylvania governor's race on Tuesday, has said that his top priority when he takes office is to lower property taxes in the state, which he intends to do by allowing slot machines at the five racetracks in the state.
After an acrimonious two years of fighting over dates, New Jersey horsemen and the quasi-state agency that runs Monmouth Park and Meadowlands are in the process of hammering out a deal that would reduce the number of live Thoroughbred dates in 2003 in order to maintain or improve the quality of the product.
Rain and winds in the Northeast forced Delaware Park and Philadelphia Park to cancel racing today.
Just two days after Philadelphia Park presented the $50,000 Devil's Honor Stakes, 9-year-old Devil's Honor made an appearance in the paddock at the Pennsylvania track. He was there to race.
Pennsylvania breeders celebrated the fruits of their labors at the second "Pennsylvania's Day at the Races" Oct. 5 at Philadelphia Park. Six $50,000 stakes restricted to state-breds made up the bulk of a program highlighted by the by the $250,000 Cotillion Handicap.
With both gubernatorial candidates supporting slot machines at racetracks, a flurry of applications for new licenses were presented to the Pennsylvania State Racing Commission last week in anticipation of the expanded gaming revenue.
Apprentice jockey Bacarra Rice, 22, who moved her tack to Philadelphia Park in June, pulled a rare double Sept. 23 when she booted home two horses that each returned more than $100 to win for a $2 wager.
A hearing Sept. 19 by the New Jersey Assembly Tourism and Gaming Committee produced a rare show of unity between Thoroughbred and Standardbred horsemen as representatives from each testified in favor of legislation that would allow slot machines at four New Jersey racetracks.
The New Jersey Assembly Tourism and Gaming Committee will devote its entire agenda Sept. 19 to horsemen's issues, including legislation that would allow slot machines at state racetracks.
In a poll released Wednesday, 63% of respondents favored slot machines at racetracks in Pennsylvania and 59% also thinking that riverboat gambling would be a good option.
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