News

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

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.

Team Valor Announces Scholarship Winner

Team Valor has selected Iona College sophomore Marie Taylor as the recipient of its inaugural Valordictorian Award. The 19-year-old resident of Floral Park, N.Y., will be presented with a $25,000 check by Team Valor president Barry Irwin after the fifth race at Saratoga Friday.

Penn National Gaming to Buy Colorado Casinos

Penn National Gaming has agreed to purchase the assets of the Bullwhackers Casino operations from Colorado Gaming and Entertainment Co., a subsidiary of Hilton Group, for $6.5 million in cash. The Pennsylvania-based company already has gaming holdings in Louisiana and West Virginia.

NTRA Ups Prize, Expands 'Mystery Voucher' Promo

The grand prize for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's Mystery Mutuel Voucher promotion has been increased from $1 million to $1.25 million, effective with the Nov. 23 promotion. In 2002, the NTRA will offer four Mystery Mutuel Voucher promotions successively worth an additional $250,000 until the grand prize is won.

Seabiscuit and Best-Selling Author Featured on National TV

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Seabiscuit, the rags-to-riches Thoroughbred hero of the 1930s, and Laura Hillenbrand, the author who wrote the best-selling book detailing the life of the horse and his connections, were featured Wednesday on ABC's "Good Morning America" program.

Kentucky Offers Itself as Drug-Testing Model

The Kentucky Racing Commission believes it is at the forefront of equine drug testing, and it plans to take the lead in implementing recommendations of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Racing Integrity and Drug Testing Task Force report released Aug. 19 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Kentucky Industry Again Makes Its Pitch

More than 30 legislators listened Wednesday afternoon as Kentucky racing officials explained the challenges faced by the industry, including mare reproductive loss syndrome and competition from gaming operations in neighboring states. No solutions or suggestions were offered during the hearing at Papa John's Stadium in Louisville, but they might be just around the corner.

Tourtelot, Granzella Appointed to California Committee

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Robert Tourtelot, chairman of the California Horse Racing Board, appointed himself and Commissioner Sheryl Granzella to an ad hoc committee on Wednesday to assist in implementing the labor provisions of a new law.

Sabona to Illinois

Grade I winner Sabona has been moved to Illinois Stud near Woodstock, Ill., where he will stand for $1,500.

Hettinger to Receive Industry Service Award

John Hettinger, winner of a Special Eclipse Award in 2000, has been selected recipient of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association Industry Service Award. Hettinger, owner of Akindale Farm in Pawling, N.Y., will receive the award at the TOBA National Awards Dinner Sept. 7 at Adena Springs Farm in Midway, Ky.

Travers Report: Glory Train

Beads of sweat trickled down the face of Prince Ahmed Salman as he entered the winner's circle to await his conquering hero. He was so overwhelmed by what he had just witnessed, even the roar of 60,486 appreciative fans, the largest crowd in Saratoga history, was drowned out by the beating of his own heart.

Simple Math

By Robert McNair -- Racing used to be a major sport in the 1930s along with baseball and college football, but has since become a minor one. This concerns me, and I'd like to see the sport regain its popularity.

In-house Project

By Ray Paulick -- In New York, it makes sense for live and off-track wagering to be conducted by the same company.

Therapeutic Medications Next on 'Super-Test' List

Therapeutic medications will be the focus of the next round of "Super-Testing," the results of which should be available the first week of December during the University of Arizona Symposium on Racing. More than 500 blind samples remain to be tested for Class 4 medications.

Two-Year-Olds Will Roll on the River

Two-year-olds will be in the spotlight Labor Day weekend when River Downs presents its two top events: the $200,000 Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes Sept. 3, and the $100,000 Bassinet Stakes Sept. 1. Along with $75,000 Governor's Buckeye Cup Sept. 2, the races make up the track's Cradle Stakes Weekend Festival.

Our Native Dies at 31

Our Native outlived two of his very famous contemporaries, Mr. Prospector, whom he defeated in the 1973 Calumet Purse, and Secretariat, whom he followed across the finish line in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) that year. But Our Native's age and health caught up with him on Aug. 26, when the 31-year-old stallion was euthanized at High Point Farm near Lexington.

Housebuster Returning to U.S.

Eclipse Award winner Housebuster, who was sold to Japanese breeders following the 1998 breeding season, has been purchased by Donna Hayes' Virginia-based The Stallion Co. and is expected back in the U.S. by the end of September.

Churchill: Derby Pumps $217.8M Into Economy

About a month after it made a public pitch for tax reductions and support from the state, Churchill Downs said Monday that the 2001 Kentucky Derby contributed $217.8 million to the economy Louisville, Ky., and the surrounding region over a three-day period.

Shine Again, Jerkens Hit 'Home Run' With 21-1 Ballerina Score

Though trainer Allen Jerkens may not like his "Giant Killer" nickname, the moniker is unlikely to go away as long as he keeps sending out high-priced winners in high-class races. Jerkens struck again Sunday when jockey Jean-Luc Samyn guided Shine Again through a gap along the rail at the top of the stretch and held off a late run from Country Hideaway to win Sunday's $250,000 Ballerina Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga.

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