Don Sturgill, prominent Lexington equine attorney who served as general counsel for both the national and Kentucky chapters of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, died Wednesday morning, Oct. 2, of a heart attack at his Lexington home.
General manager Peter Berube announced today that effective next Tuesday, Jan. 29, purses for races at Tampa Bay Downs will be reduced. The action is necessitated by the decision of seven tracks outside of Florida to deny Tampa Bay Downs access to their simulcast broadcast signals.
The Tampa Bay Downs Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association claims management at Tampa Bay Downs is in violation of its contract with horsemen.
An eight-race, $5 million series of races for California- and Florida-bred horses has been approved by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association, the California Thoroughbred Breeders' Association and Magna Entertainment Corp., at whose tracks the races would be run. The plan, however, may face a challenge from the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.
Representatives from the Tampa Bay Downs Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association met with Tampa Bay president Peter Berube Dec. 4 in an effort to resolve a dispute over stalls that threatens the track's ability to receive out-of-state signals when the live meet begins Dec. 15.
Though horsemen's groups in various states did not vote to pull their signals from all wagering outlets in Florida in response to a stall-application denial by Tampa Bay Downs, their forces are being marshaled.
In what could be a major test for control of simulcast signals, horsemen's groups from a number of states were considering withdrawing their approval for the transmission of signals into Florida beginning Nov. 12.
Remi Bellocq, who has a background in racetrack marketing, has been named executive director of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. He was one of more than 60 candidates for the position.
The Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association will honor Daily Racing Form's longtime executive columnist Joe Hirsch during the organization's inaugural "horsemen's reception" at the Kentucky Derby Museum from 5-8 p.m. on May 1, the Tuesday of Derby week in Louisville. The Kentucky HBPA will also use the occasion to present the organization's first Horsemen's Award to Butch Lehr, track superintendent at Churchill Downs. The HBPA said the award exemplifies "horsemen helping horsemen through humanitarianism and dedication."
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