In their first 11 months of operation, slot machines at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course produced more than $22.6 million for Thoroughbred purses and breed development. The funds have allowed Penn National to offer a minimum purse that will be higher than that paid by some of its competitors.
The chairman of the Kentucky Equine Education Project said Feb. 18 he expects gaming-related legislation benefitting the Kentucky horse industry to pass -- but he's not sure when.
A Penn National Gaming Inc. official said the company doesn't plan to ask voters this year to approve table games at Charles Town Races & Slots in West Virginia.
More than 100 people who make their living in the Kentucky horse industry made their case to three Northern Kentucky legislators Feb. 16, and the message was clear: The economics must change or the state will lose a valuable asset.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium board of directors Feb. 6 received an update on an anabolic steroids study, results of which will be used to set thresholds for testing in plasma.
The 2009 Thoroughbred Political Action Committee Stallion Season Auction held by the New York Thoroughbred Breeders is under way and wraps up at 8 p.m. EST Feb. 12.
The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Safety Committee said Feb. 11 it will fund a Racing Medication and Testing Consortium frozen-sample and retrospective testing program that will begin in April.
Dr. Bryce Peckham has been named chief racing veterinarian for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
The University of Florida Racing Laboratory has been selected to handle equine drug testing for Kentucky.
Calder Race Course said Feb. 9 it has begun application of a new elastomeric coating to 60 barn roofs in the track's stable area, a project that will help reduce stable temperatures normally hiked by the South Florida sun.
A group of commercial breeders have combined to form a new public sales agency, Select Sales LLC, which plans to offer its first consignment at this year's Fasig-Tipton Kentucky select yearling sale in July.
Arlington Park president Roy Arnold was elected the 34th president of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations at its annual board of directors' meeting Feb. 5 in Las Vegas, Nev.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Thoroughbred Racing Associations board of directors has adopted a protocol that establishes industry-wide procedures for tracks to follow in case betting fails to close promptly at the start of a race -- something commonly referred to as "past-posting."
Breeders' Cup will fund its stakes program in 2009 and beyond, it announced Feb. 4 following a meeting of its board of members and trustees.
Magna Entertainment Corp. said Feb. 4 it has arranged to pay a $28.5-million licensing fee for slot machines -- but the money will be placed in an escrow account at a Maryland bank.
- By Tom LaMarra
Pari-mutuel handle was down 1.56% in January compared with the same month in 2008, but the decline wasn't close to the 20.3% slip in handle in December 2008 versus a year earlier.
Magna Entertainment Corp. chairman Frank Stronach is advocating a charter for "horsemen's rights" and said his company, the largest in North America in terms of racetrack holdings, would work with horsemen to accomplish it.
In a jaw-dropping revision, Maryland received requests for far fewer slot machines in five license proposals than previously thought, and two of the six bidders -- including Laurel Park owner Magna Entertainment Corp. -- failed to pay $22.5 million in required up-front fees, a state official said Feb. 3.
Poor track conditions led Beulah Park near Columbus, Ohio, to cancel the second through ninth races Feb. 2-3, and the full card Feb. 4.
Massachusetts Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo said Feb. 2 House lawmakers could vote on legislation to expand gambling before the end of the year -- the surest signal yet that casinos or slot machines may be coming to the state.
British-based Betfair Group, which announced Jan. 27 it had completed its acquisition of TV Games Network from Macrovision for $50 million in cash consideration, is hopeful its new holding helps it make inroads in the United States market, which it has courted for years.
The focus of this year's American Horse Council National Issues Forum will be the "Welfare of the Horse." The forum will be held June 16 in Washington, D.C., as part of the AHC's annual meeting.
A barn at Turfway Park was quarantined Jan. 30 after a horse that showed signs of equine herpesvirus was euthanized, track officials confirmed later that day.
Churchill Downs Inc. has renewed its membership in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association for 2009, an official with the NTRA confirmed Jan. 30.
The $1-million Delaware Handicap (gr. II) will be the highlight of a scaled-back $3.175-million stakes program at Delaware Park in 2009, the track announced Jan. 29.
Lingering effects from a strong winter storm have led Turfway Park to cancel live racing the afternoon of Jan. 29.
A winter storm that has spanned half the country has led to cancellation of live racing and full-card simulcast programs at various tracks.
The Horse Racing Radio Network has reached an agreement with Markel Insurance Co. to be the title sponsor of its "Road to the Kentucky Derby" series of broadcasts beginning Jan. 30 from South Florida.
- By Tom LaMarra
Breeders' Cup has lost a longtime sponsor in Bessemer Trust but has fielded interest from other companies in the financial services sector.
- By Tom LaMarra
A single-season record of 622 victories might have been all Steve Asmussen needed to win the Eclipse Award for leading trainer of 2008. However, being trainer of Curlin probably didn't hurt either.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Jan. 26 that Mike Ziegler has been named the executive director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance.
Horsemen from all parts of Colorado rallied at the state capitol Jan. 20 to support efforts by the horse industry to pass legislation designed to revitalize the economics of the industry in Colorado through advance deposit wagering and Instant Racing.
TwinSpires.com, the official advance deposit wagering service for Churchill Downs Inc., will provide an inside look at the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship from Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas by providing online video coverage of the event throughout the Jan. 23-24.
Legislation to authorize video lottery terminals at Kentucky racetracks will be amended in several key areas, one of which is a substantial increase in the licensing fee racetracks would pay for VLT licenses.
Officials from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the Louisiana State Racing Commission have lifted the quarantine on a barn that had been in place since late December at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Hawthorne Race Course in Illinois registered gains in average daily total handle for its 2008-09 fall/winter meet thanks to increases in out-of-state wagering. On-track and in-state handle on Hawthorne races declined, however.
Beulah Park has canceled live racing for Jan. 17 because of continued frigid temperatures and a prediction of snow.
With frigid temperatures forecast, Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort has canceled live racing for Jan. 17, opening night of the 2009 Thoroughbred racing season at the West Virginia facility.
Larry Jones might have one of the top Kentucky Derby (gr. I) hopefuls this year, and he plans to bring the horse to Arkansas.
Jockeys at Gulfstream Park as well as Calder Race Course will receive an increase in losing-mount fees beginning Jan. 15.
The Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association is circulating a petition asking the General Assembly to support legislation to authorize video lottery terminals at racetracks in the state.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association will discuss aftercare for racehorses, equine medication and drug-testing thresholds, and synthetic surfaces during its winter convention Jan. 30-Feb. 2 in Hollywood, Fla.
Andrea Young has been promoted to president and chief operating officer of Sam Houston Race Park and Valley Race Park in Texas, parent company MAXXAM Inc. announced Jan. 13. Young also joins the company's board of directors.
Jack Sours has been named president and general manager of Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort, MTR Gaming president and chief executive officer Bob Griffin announced Jan. 13.
Charles Town Races & Slots has announced a 2009 open stakes schedule with a record $2.7 million available in purses. The 12 scheduled stakes will take place on three special event days, beginning April 18 with Charles Town Classic Day.
An official with the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group said the organization intends to continue its work into 2009 and beyond, depending on the needs of its members.
A Kentucky lawmaker is preparing racing-related legislation with a primary goal of funding the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, equine drug testing, and supplements for purses and stakes at the state's racetracks.
Thoroughbred racing's all-time winning jockey Russell Baze and three of his colleagues will fly up from Northern California to take on four of the top riders at Portland Meadows Jan. 7 in the first Golden Gate versus Portland Meadows Jockey Challenge sponsored by XpressBet.
Legislation authorizing a pari-mutuel tax break for a racetrack that hosts the Breeders' Cup World Championships has been pre-filed for the 2009 Kentucky General Assembly session.
Ruhlmann, the seven-time stakes-winning stallion and winner of the 1990 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), died Dec. 24 at the age of 23, Old Friends owner Michael Blowen said.
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