The Sales Integrity Task Force will receive the 2008 Industry Service Award from the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association during the TOBA National Awards Dinner Sept. 6 at the Lexington Center in Lexington.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission voted unanimously Aug. 25 to ban the use of anabolic steroids in racehorses, and the rules could be in place the first week of September should Gov. Steve Beshear sign an emergency regulation as expected.
Grade II winner Elite Squadron, who banked more than a half-million dollars in 14 races, has been retired because of an injury and is expected to stand at stud next year, owner Tom Walters said.
The owners of top Ohio-based Thoroughbred Marble Cliff must return the gelding's earnings of $109,940, the Ohio State Racing Commission ruled Aug. 21 after the panel upheld a stewards' ruling the 3-year-old wasn't eligible for Ohio-restricted races.
A Jockeys' Guild official was verbally barred from River Downs after the Ohio State Racing Commission was notified of an incident in which the track's substitute ambulance caught fire on the racetrack and a pickup truck was used for emergency services for the final two races of a program.
The Ohio State Racing Commission indicated Aug. 21 it will have a difficult time approving requests by two racetracks that call for only four total days of Thoroughbred racing in 2009.
The Horse Racing Radio Network will provide live coverage of 11 graded stakes the final two weekends of the Saratoga meet.
Hastings Racecourse in British Columbia has instituted a commission reduction on show wagers.
The Pennsylvania Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has reached an agreement with the Jockeys' Guild and Jockeys at Penn National Inc. to increase the minimum losing mount fee to $75 for all finishes below third-place.
The board of stewards at River Downs has ruled two Thoroughbreds -- one of which had earned more than $100,000 -- aren't registered Ohio-bred horses, and their owners must repay the earnings.
Beulah Park and River Downs, two Ohio Thoroughbred tracks that race more than 200 dates combined, have requested only Quarter Horse dates for 2009, a track official said Aug. 18.
- By Tom LaMarra
The horseracing industry will continue with a serious push to enact reforms related to equine safety and drug testing, officials indicated Aug. 17 during and after The Jockey Club Round Table in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
The Thoroughbred Racing Associations board of directors Aug. 15 endorsed the recommendations of The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Safety Committee regarding the elimination of androgenic anabolic steroids in Thoroughbreds in racing and training, as well as other equine safety measures.
The Minnesota Festival of Champions, a tribute to the state's racehorse industry, will be held for the 15th time at Canterbury Park Aug 17.
Requests for 2009 racing dates in Illinois show a few overlaps, including a month between Arlington Park and Hawthorne Race Course in late summer and early fall.
Jockeys at Fairmount Park received a mount-fee increase through the Illinois Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, which represents horsemen at the track.
Eligibility to host graded stakes is now tied to adoption of regulations for anabolic steroids and toe grabs, the American Graded Stakes Committee announced Aug. 8.
Quarter Horses will race on the synthetic Polytrack for the first time Sept. 12 when Turfway Park hosts the $25,000 John Deere Turfway Park Sprint Stakes. The race will be part of the Friday night program of Thoroughbred racing during Turfway's late summer/early fall meet.
An investigation into alleged fraud by the Louisiana Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association will continue Aug. 8 when a federal grand jury hears testimony from horseracing industry representatives, the New Orleans Times Picayune reported.
A, Ferris Allen III won two races on Colonial Downs' closing day program Aug. 6 to become the first trainer to win 200 races in Virginia. He also demolished his own single-season record for victories.
Major stakes will be scrapped and the Pimlico Race Course barn area closed until next year's spring meet under changes announced Aug. 6.
Magna Entertainment Corp., which posted a $21.25-million loss for the second quarter of 2008, said Aug. 5 it's reconsidering the sale of some assets it expected to unload as part of a debt-elimination plan.
Land of Believe Farm, located in central Pennsylvania about one mile from Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, will be sold at auction Aug. 21.
New York-based trainer Gary Contessa has been named president of the Exceller Fund, a non-profit organization that transitions former racehorses into new careers.
Regulators in 13 racing states announced Aug. 4 they will begin the lengthy process of requiring offshore wagering entities and secondary pari-mutuel operations -- commonly referred to as SPMOs -- to obtain certification from the Association of Racing Commissioners International before they receive approval to wager into pools.
The connections of Ready Set were rewarded for their patience Aug. 2 when the colt earned his first career stakes victory in a big way -- the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. III) at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort.
Recapturetheglory, a solid fifth in a 20-horse field in this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), seems well-placed for a return to his winning ways in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort Aug. 2.
- By Tom LaMarra
Legislation that would eliminate the automatic 25% federal withholding on pari-mutuel winnings of $5,000 or more on wagers of at least 300-1 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives July 29.
The Jockey Club's Thoroughbred Safety Committee, which in June issued its initial recommendations calling for the elimination of anabolic steroids in training and racing, a ban on toe grabs, and a series of whip-related reforms, will provide an update on its activities and announce additional recommendations Aug. 17 at The Jockey Club Round Table in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Foxwood Stable's Marble Cliff, regarded as one of the best Ohio-breds in history -- if in fact he is Ohio-registered -- is among a dozen 3-year-olds entered in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. III) at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort Aug. 2.
Millennium Farms' Student Council, second in the July 26 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga, is preparing to defend his title in the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) on Aug. 24 at Del Mar in California.
Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush, chairman of the congressional subcommittee that held a June 19 hearing on the Thoroughbred racing industry, has questioned the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission's decision to suspend trainer Rick Dutrow only 15 days for a clenbuterol positive.
Ruidoso Downs is rebounding 24 hours after being pounded by seven inches of rain from the remnants of Hurricane Dolly.
Total purses earned at Pennsylvania racetracks jumped 162% from 2006 to 2007 because of revenue from on-track slot machines, while the percentage of purses earned from pari-mutuel wagering dropped substantially during the same period, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board's first "benchmark report" on the impact of slots on pari-mutuel wagering.
The horsemen at Delaware Park are well aware that trainer Larry Jones has an arsenal of stakes competitors in his barn. And on Aug. 2, Jones plans to bring a vanload of his top horses to Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort for the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. III) program.
There's a good chance Lava Man may have raced for the last time in the July 20 Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) at Del Mar.
- By Tom LaMarra
A July 18 forum on equine welfare and safety gave participants a chance to offer a perspective not provided during a June congressional hearing at which the horseracing industry was slammed, horsemen said.
- By Tom LaMarra
Betfair, the Great Britain-based online betting exchange, continues to negotiate with officials in the United States and is inching closer to a deal by which it would compensate horsemen for use of their product.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group, which advocates a new economic model for pari-mutuel wagering and has been engaged in high-profile battles in the racing industry, isn't going away anytime soon, its president said July 18.
- By Tom LaMarra
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association is formulating a "strategic plan" for equine health and safety and will seek support from various industry organizations when the document is released, probably in early fall.
Penn National Gaming Inc., second only to Magna Entertainment Corp. in terms of number of racetrack holdings in North America, said July 15 it has developed equine health and safety initiatives it hopes implement at all of its properties in six jurisdictions.
Tin Cup Chalice has a shot at the $250,000 OTB Big Apple Triple bonus in the Aug. 20 Albany Stakes at Saratoga. No horse has won the bonus, which was instituted in 1999.
Tizdejavu again stamped himself as a major player in the 3-year-old turf ranks with another effortless victory, this time in the July 12 American Derby (gr. IIT) at Arlington Park.
J. Paul Reddam's Mistical Plan upset even-money favorite Dream Rush to win the $400,000 Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. I) for fillies and mares at Calder Race Course July 12 as part of the Florida track's Summit of Speed program.
It began in 2006 with an anonymous flyer questioning the effectiveness of the Mountaineer Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, and snowballed into allegations, a protest, litigation, and paper trail that led some to question the validity of the association's most recent election.
William S. Farish Jr. will again serve as chairman of the Breeders' Cup board of directors, an election for which was held July 11.
Pari-mutuel handle took a hit but purses gained a bit in the second quarter of 2008, according to the "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators" for United States and Canadian pari-mutuel wagering on U.S. Thoroughbred racing.
The American Horse Council has released "Getting Involved in the 2008 Elections," a federal election guide for the horse industry.
At least two racetrack operators aren't pleased with recent developments concerning advance deposit wagering revenue, and one indicated closure of his track isn't out of the question should the conflict continue.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group is calling for a meeting with the Thoroughbred Racing Associations to discuss advance deposit wagering revenue given ongoing conflict between horsemen, racetracks, and ADW providers over equitable revenue splits.
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