Trainer Bruce Levine saddled four winners at Aqueduct on Feb. 29. It was the first four-win day for a trainer in New York in nearly a year.
Visionaire, third to Pyro in the Risen Star Stakes (gr.III) at the Fair Grounds Feb. 9, will run next in the Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct March 8, majority owner Barry Irwin said Feb. 28.
Wall Street analysts agree Pennsylvania's racetrack casinos have generated higher-than-expected revenue thus far, but growth in the market, both in state and out, could impact those numbers going forward. Thus far, slot machines around the state are producing an average win per machine of $307. There are 11,500 slots, about a quarter of the total that could be operating when all gaming halls are open in the state.
A 13-member New York State Task Force on Retired Race Horses has been appointed to "investigate the feasibility of creating a larger market and alternative employment opportunities for retired race horses, as well as the costs and benefits of installing artificial turf at race courses."
Pennsylvania probably won't become a leader in terms of number of Thoroughbred foals bred each year, but its breeding program figures to give programs in the rest of the United States a serious run for their money.
An executive with experience working at racetrack casinos said Feb. 25 that even though slot machines are the revenue driver, horse racing has value and can have even more if gaming and racing factions work together.
Trainer Carl Nafzger and jockey Edgar Prado topped the list of 12 finalists for election to the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame in 2008 when the museum announced nominees Feb. 22. Notably missing from the list was California conditioner Bob Baffert, who has been eligible for election for the past two years.
Live racing at Penn National Race Course in Grantville, Pa. was canceled Feb. 22 after a snowstorm dumped around six inches of snow in the Central Pennsylvania area.
With the forecast calling for a severe winter storm, Aqueduct's live racing card for Feb. 22, has been canceled.
Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack released a 2008 stakes schedule Feb. 21 that calls for 31 stakes to be run over the track's 12-month calendar, with purses totaling a record $5.475 million.
The "Smarty slots" in Pennsylvania have been jingling for more than a year. In Kentucky, where the racing industry views Pennsylvania as a major threat, casino legislation broke from the gate in a tangle yet again this year.
Legislation giving the New York Racing Association a 25-year extension of its exclusive Thoroughbred franchise was signed Feb. 19, Gov. Eliot Spitzer said. Meanwhile, the mayor of New York City reiterated that New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. can't continue under its current arrangement with the state.
Bustin Stones led from gate to wire and held off a late challenge by Lord Snowdon to notch his fifth consecutive win, and first graded-stakes score, in the General George Handicap (gr. II) at Laurel Park Feb. 18.
The $1-million guaranteed Delaware Handicap (gr. II) highlights a $5.3-million stakes program at Delaware Park in 2008. The 136-day meet runs from April 19-Nov. 11.
Hall of Fame trainer Sidney Watters Jr. died Feb. 14 at age 90 in Maryland.
A tidy six-length winner of Aqueduct's Fiesta Lady Stakes in her last start, Marty Cunningham's Golden Dawn repeated the margin and added graded status to her resume when she took the $300,000 Barbara Fritchie Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Laurel Park Feb. 16.
Trainer Bruce Levine has conditioned Roddy Valente's homebred Bustin Stones through four victories -- including three black type wins -- and a successful comeback from surgery on both knees. But the 4-year-old son of City Zip will have to step it up a notch to remain undefeated when he tackles graded company for the first time in the Feb. 18 General George Handicap (gr. II) at Laurel Park.
With exercise rider Cesar Correa in the saddle, Giant Moon, a son of Giant's Causeway, worked in company with New York-bred maiden Mighty Morris. The workmates finished on even terms. Giant Moon's final time on the fast track was the third-fastest of 27 at the distance.
Suffolk Downs has named long-time New England Thoroughbred racing official Sam Elliott to the position of vice president of racing and has promoted racing official Tom Creel to racing secretary, the track announced Feb. 12. In addition, Jim Pambianchi has been named the track's senior director of operations.
Relief, tempered with caution about the future, was the word among some of New York's owners and breeders the day after it was announced that the New York Racing Association struck a deal with the state to operate racing at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga for the next 25 years.
Statistics in The Jockey Club's 2008 online fact book, which was released Feb. 14 and is available through the publications and resources section of the organization's website at http://www.jockeyclub.com, reaffirm the beneficial impact of "racinos" on state Thoroughbred racing and breeding industries.
The New York Racing Association has unveiled its logo for the 140th running of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the 1 1/2-mile final leg of Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown.
The top three finishers from Aqueduct's Jan. 1 Interborough Handicap, led by Oprah Winney, will meet again in the Barbara Fritchie Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Laurel Park Feb. 16.
The New York Racing Association, in control of Thoroughbred racing in the state since 1955, will continue to run racing under a deal that came together Feb. 12 at the state Capitol in Albany, government and industry sources say.
Walter Downey's Pennsylvania-bred Fabulous Strike, an early favorite for last year's TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) before a lung infection put an early end to his season, has recovered and will return to the track for trainer Todd Beattie at his Hollywood Casino at Penn National base.
The New York Racing Association has posted a notice on its Web site informing racing fans and its NYRA Rewards members of the possible shutdown of racing at Aqueduct as of Wednesday, Feb. 13.
Negotiators on February 11 failed again to broker a new Thoroughbred franchise deal in New York, raising the chances that Aqueduct could go dark later this week.
Hollywood Casino at Penn National will open its slot machines to the public Feb. 12, but live Thoroughbred racing will have to wait at least another day.
While unveiling what he called the framework of a Thoroughbred franchise agreement, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno blasted the New York Racing Association Feb. 7 for attempting to scare its workers and horsemen by threatening a shutdown Feb. 14.
Penn National Gaming Inc. said Feb. 7 fourth-quarter profit fell 63%, and the company blamed the losses in part on inclement weather at some of its largest properties.
A tentative deal is within reach to give the New York Racing Association a 25-year franchise to run Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga, legislative sources said Feb. 6, the same day NYRA indicated live racing at Aqueduct could end Feb. 14.
More than 40 stallion seasons will be offered Feb. 14 during a telephone auction held by the New York Thoroughbred Breeders.
The Thoroughbred Owners of California has given limited consent to New York's off-track betting corporations to accept wagers on California races, but is holding firm on its stance against allowing wagers from the companies'out-of-state account deposit wagering customers.
The Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association has named Hard Spun as its first-ever Horse of the Year.
The New York Racing Association is working on putting a "contingency plan" in place should Aqueduct be forced to close Feb. 14, NYRA's president and chief executive Charles Hayward said Feb. 5.
The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic winter mixed sale enjoyed increases of 75.7% in gross revenue and 21.6% in average price Monday at Timonium in Maryland.
The integrated gaming and racing facility has scheduled "test nights" for Feb. 8 and Feb. 10. Test nights are regularly held at casinos to ensure that all equipment is operating properly.
Trainer Tom Albertrani may have a promising 3-year-old on the Derby trail for Darley Stable-or so it would seem after the $109,000 Whirlaway Stakes. Going 1 1/16-miles over Aqueduct's inner track, Darley's Barrier Reef battled it down to the wire with a tenacious Roman Emperor and eked out a determined half-length win Feb. 2.
Charles Wait, president of the Adirondack Trust Company in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., has resigned from his position on the New York Racing Association's board of trustees, citing his dissatisfaction with the position of Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno as the main reason for his decision.
At a Jan. 28 organizational meeting of New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Saratoga native Michael McMahon was re-elected as president for a second term.
IEAH Stables has acquired an interest in multiple graded-stakes winner Court Vision, one of the leading contenders for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
A Pennsylvania regulator said progress is being made in attempts to educate legislators and make sure horse racing gets its due as gaming parlors continue to open around the state, but much remains to be done.
Lord Snowdon, using his patented late move, wore down Man of Danger and Debussy in the final yards to post the first stakes win of his career in the $81,600 Paumonok Handicap at Aqueduct Jan. 26.
Blood samples on the Bowie-based horse that was sent to isolation by the Maryland Department of Agriculture Jan. 22 were negative for equine herpesvirus (EHV-1).
Roy and Gretchen Jackson, who campaigned 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, say they are not involved with plans to unveil a statue in New York's Central Park that memorializes the late classic winner.
A Republican-dominated state panel overseeing Thoroughbred racing in New York has curbed the ability of its new chairman to broker deals with the New York Racing Association. The chairman was appointed by Democrat Gov. Eliot Spitzer. The move came the same day Spitzer released his 2008 state budget plan, which includes revenue from a proposed casino at Belmont Park.
Maryland Department of Agriculture officials on Jan. 22 announced that the horses stabled in Barn 7 at the Bowie Training Center must remain there until tests for equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) are completed. A horse stabled there showed symptoms similar to those of EHV-1, which can cause neurological disease.
Following a Jan. 17 meeting of the National Steeplechase Association's board of directors in Baltimore, Md., president Franny Abbott announced a 2008 preliminary plan to restructure the organization that governs the sport in the United States.
Go Go Shoot misbehaved in the starting gate but was all business when the gates opened and cruised home a 3 1/2-length winner of the $81,725 Jimmy Winkfield Stakes on a frigid afternoon at Aqueduct Jan. 21.
Negotiators in New York have agreed to another temporary extension to keep racing operating while talks continue on a longer-term franchise deal to operate Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga, officials said Jan. 21.
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