Democratic Kentucky Rep. Greg Stumbo plans to file legislation to authorize Kentucky Lottery Corp.-operated video lottery terminals at the state's racetracks.
Ohio Thoroughbred breeders would be licensed by the state for a fee each year and face serious penalties -- including a suspension of up to 10 years -- should they violate rules governing registration of state-bred horses under regulations proposed by the Ohio State Racing Commission.
Requests by Beulah Park and River Downs to schedule their customary Thoroughbred meets for 2009 were officially granted Dec. 19 by the Ohio State Racing Commission.
Breeders' Cup, under fire for a plan to suspend the Breeders' Cup Stakes program, issued a memorandum Dec. 18 that in part explains the organization's financial situation and investment strategy.
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich Dec. 15 signed legislation that extends the diversion to horse racing of 3% of revenue from the state's four highest-grossing riverboat casinos.
Racetrack management and horsemen in Ohio struck an agreement Dec. 16 that will reinstate more than 160 Thoroughbred racing dates at Beulah Park and River Downs in 2009, and save more than 1,000 horses at Beulah Park from being forced out of the track's stable area by Dec. 27.
Kentucky horse racing and breeding industries are losing ground to other states, and if immediate action is not taken to stem the tide, the state could find itself in jeopardy of losing one of its signature industries, according to a 70-plus-page document released Dec. 15 by the Governor's Task Force on the Future of Horse Racing.
Officials indicated Dec. 11 the push for equine safety and racing industry integrity is serious business, and they called on stakeholders to support the plan.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 is a double-edge sword. And the debate over whether it should be amended continues.
- By Tom LaMarra
As hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from slot machines flows to horse racing, there is growing sentiment that perhaps the racing industry is failing to capitalize on the new wealth by solely pumping money into purses and breed development programs.
With a little more than two weeks remaining before the scheduled shutdown of the barn area at Beulah Park, management and horsemen still have no deal to continue live racing in January. But developments on a national level could quickly turn things around.
Marble Cliff, disqualified in all five of his starts -- including two stakes wins--after it was determined he wasn't Ohio-registered, returns to the races a maiden in search of his "first" victory the evening of Dec. 12 at Turfway Park.
The rejuvenated New York Racing Association has big plans for its new 25-year franchise, but president and chief executive officer Charles Hayward said Dec. 9 the organization has to plan wisely should revenue sources dry up.
- By Tom LaMarra
Chances are many more officials in the horse racing industry support uniform regulations a lot more than they support uniform penalties -- at least beyond a literal interpretation.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium recently prepared a list of 2009-10 goals, one of which is tackling use of corticosteroids in racehorses.
Tampa Bay Downs is requiring veterinarians to pay their first-ever licensing fees for its meet that begins Dec. 13. A licensing fee for blacksmiths was planned but has been put off until the 2009-10 racing season.
This week, Jason and Tom analyze the Delta Jackpot Stakes (gr. III) at Delta Downs on December 5. Also Brisnet's handicapping expert The Wizard's Spotlight Play is Fair Grounds Race 5 on Saturday, Dec. 6.
The parent company of Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in West Virginia announced Dec. 4 it has ceased operations at Jackson Harness Raceway, a Michigan facility it purchased in 2005.
The 2008 National Steeplechase Association season, which came to a close Nov.29 with the inaugural Palm Beach race meet, set new highs in total and average purses.
- By Tom LaMarra
Wagering on Thoroughbred races fell almost 10% in November compared with November 2007, Equibase reported Dec. 3 in its monthly "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators." Purses dropped more than 2%, but race days increased more than 5%.
The Winners Federation, which advocates for healthy lifestyle choices by racetrack workers, plans to re-establish a professional development and informational conference in 2009.
Golden Yank, fresh off an impressive win in the $350,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park, heads the field in the $150,000 Zia Park Derby for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles Dec. 6 at Zia Park in New Mexico.
Charles Fipke's Tale of Ekati finished a nose behind Stronach Stables' Harlem Rocker when the horses hit the wire in the Nov. 29 Hill 'n' Dale Cigar Mile (gr. I) at Aqueduct, but was placed first after stewards disqualified Harlem Rocker for interference in the stretch. Wanderin Boy was euthanized after fracturing the sesamoids in his left front leg.
Jockey Julien Leparoux broke a 23-year-old Churchill Downs record for wins at a fall meet Nov. 28 when he rode Just Like William to a head victory in the third race for his 56th victory of the meet.
Magna Entertainment Corp. announced Nov. 26 an agreement with MI Developments, the company's controlling shareholder, which will allow it to "recapitalize and reposition MEC to enable it to pursue its strategy of horse racing, gaming, and entertainment on a standalone basis."
There will be seven more graded stakes in the United States in 2009, with six new grade I events -- two of them part of the Breeders' Cup World Championships--based on a listing of graded stakes released Nov. 25 by the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.
A study released by Ohio State Racing Commission offers a short-term action plan and a long-term strategy for the struggling horseracing industry in the Buckeye State, but one racetrack official said the quickest fix lies with the pen of Gov. Ted Strickland.
With revenue from slot machines probably a few years away, Thoroughbred racing in Maryland will continue in no-frills mode for the immediate future.
Winter racing at Beulah Park was plowed under and the spring/summer meet at River Downs went up in flames Nov. 21 when the Ohio State Racing Commission awarded 2009 dates that represent a loss of more than 160 days of Thoroughbred racing at the two tracks.
The New Jersey Racing Commission granted 2009 racing dates Nov. 19 for Atlantic City Race Course and Freehold Raceway, two tracks that have been involved in conflicts tied to casino-paid purse supplements.
Two New Jersey lawmakers have taken a bipartisan approach in urging the governor to quickly form a committee to examine the state and future of the horse racing and breeding industry.
An ugly dispute over purse supplements for a New Jersey harness track could have long-term ramifications as officials devise a plan for the future of horse racing in the Garden State, and it also sheds light on the complications that can arise when racing and gaming are linked.
The Bush administration issued a final regulation Nov. 12 aimed at banning Internet gambling, drawing criticism from Democrats who said it would burden financial companies.
Ground has been officially broken for the state-of-the-art James M. Moran Jr. Critical Care Center at Penn Vet's New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa.
Churchill Downs, for the second time, has cut purses for its fall meet. Among the casualties is the grade II Clark Handicap scheduled for Nov. 28.
Legislation that would require racetracks to submit detailed daily reports on pari-mutuel handle and attendance, and various parties to submit racehorse injury reports, has been pre-filed for the 2009 session of the Kentucky General Assembly.
About 1,000 Thoroughbreds could be forced to leave the grounds of Beulah Park by the end of this year if the racetrack and horsemen's association don't have a deal for advance deposit wagering revenue in place by Nov. 21, the day the Ohio State Racing Commission will award racing dates for 2009.
Just days before Ohioans vote on whether to authorize a constitutional amendment allowing for a casino in southwestern Ohio, the state Department of Agriculture announced an 11-member Equine Industry Advisory Task Force charged with promoting and strengthening the state's horse industry.
The Governor's Task Force on Racing in Kentucky is close to preparing and releasing a report pinpointing problems and offering recommendations that ultimately will require a lot of money -- something in short supply given an ongoing budget crunch.
Two Thoroughbreds that formerly raced as Ohio-registered are now listed as having been bred in Kentucky.
Officials with two Ohio racetracks indicated they hope to offer Thoroughbred meets in 2009 and could be close to a deal with local horsemen on revenue from advance deposit wagering.
Officials with Breeders' Cup and Churchill Downs aren't ready to confirm the 2010 World Championships will be held at the Kentucky racetrack.
Mike Owens has been named Farm Manager of the Year for 2008 by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club.
- By Tom LaMarra
Magna Entertainment Corp., in a statement issued the evening of Aug. 28, acknowledged it is having discussions with the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group on what company chairman Frank Stronach called "a new framework" for pari-mutuel economics.
Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino, which opened in the spring of 2004, is scheduled to offer its first turf race Sept. 1.
Jockey Juan Campos died Aug. 16 from injuries suffered in a racing accident at the Downs at Albuquerque that same day.
The attempt by the filly Peppers Pride to break the United States record for most consecutive victories in Thoroughbred racing will be broadcast live by TVG as part of its Labor Day weekend racing coverage from Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico.
The Racing Officials Accreditation Program, in coordination with the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program, will host its first "Conference on Officiating Horse Racing" Dec. 8 in Tucson, Ariz.
The American Horse Council has announced that Julia Andersen will serve as the director of the Unwanted Horse Coalition, which falls under the AHC umbrella.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association will host a free equine tax seminar at the Keeneland sale pavilion Sept. 12, a dark day during the Keeneland September yearling sale.
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