Woodbine Race Course reported a 14% increase in average daily handle driven by a substantial increase in purses and field size.
The 165-day Thoroughbred meet at Woodbine Racecourse that ended Sunday showed significant increases in purses and wagering. Boosted by revenues from slot machines, Woodbine purses rose 7% to total more than $80-million, for a daily average distribution of $485,000. With higher purses and larger field sizes, handle at Woodbine increased 14% to average $2,085,756 per day from all sources.
Magna Entertainment president Jim McAlpine told racing industry leaders Thursday that their best chance to compete against Las Vegas and Disney, which he says are horse racing's true competitors, is by making industrywide deregulation and the adoption of free enterprise a top priority. And as Magna prepares to launch its own online and telephone account wagering service in California, McAlpine urged TVG to abandon its exclusive contracts with racetracks and merge its content with Magna's tracks and others.
Magna Entertainment president Jim McAlpine told racing industry leaders Thursday that their best chance to compete against Las Vegas and Disney, which he says are horse racing's true competitors, is by making industrywide deregulation and the adoption of free enterprise a top priority.
Churchill Downs stakes schedule for 2002 includes the 128th renewals of the $1 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby and the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks - plus a record five grade I events and record total stakes purses of more than $8 million. The schedule also includes a pair of new stakes, including one named in honor of legendary track president Col. Matt Winn that will be run during the centennial anniversary of his arrival at the Louisville track.
Tattersalls' December mares sale ended on Thursday with a record average and its second-highest gross revenue ever. The 767 horses sold grossed 36,065,500 guineas ($53,625,972) and averaged 47,022 guineas ($69,917). Compared to last year's figures, the number sold was down by 2.7%, but the gross, average, and median rose by 4.0%, 6.8%, and 10.9%, respectively.
With the California Horse Racing Board giving final approval last Friday to regulations for advance deposit wagering, Youbet.com is gearing up to begin taking wagers in the state once it is legal in January 2002.
Crash Course, Tijiyr, and Slew Valley head the 12-horse field for Saturday's $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Calder Race Course.
Helen Groves' Batique and Jeanne Vance's Chaste will lead a full field of 12 fillies and mares postward in the $100,000 My Charmer Handicap (gr. IIIT) Saturday at Calder Race Course.
Claiborne Farm stallion Conquistador Cielo, who underwent colic surgery Dec. 5 at Hagyard-Davidson-McGee Veterinary Clinic near Lexington, arrived back home on Saturday, Dec. 8.
The Jockeys' Guild has entered into a contract that will restore health insurance, including major medical coverage, for its members and their families, effective Jan. 1, 2002.
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