Kentucky racing officials said they intend on having regulations for use of anabolic steroids in racehorses in place as quickly as possible, but discussion and research are still needed.
The Breeders' Cup and ESPN announced June 2 that the Oct. 24-25 Breeders' Cup World Championships from Santa Anita Park will receive an unprecedented nine hours of live coverage including, for the first time, 2.5 hours of live coverage on ABC.
Breeders' Cup and Emirates Airline have announced a renewal of their sponsorship agreement through which Emirates, an intercontinental airline based in the United Arab Emirates, will become title sponsor of the $3-million Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) at the 2008 Breeders' Cup World Championships.
The Summit of Speed program at Calder Race Course in South Florida will be broadcast live with on-site coverage by HRTV July 12.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association issued a statement July 8 thanking Calder horsemen who "took the full brunt" of purse cuts during a 2 1/2-month dispute with track owner Churchill Downs Inc.
The Lavington Stud's Rosinka, winner of five of her last six starts, looms a tough-to-defeat probable favorite in the July 12 Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Delaware Park.
Penn National Gaming Inc. said July 7 it has secured an exclusive 18-month option to purchase about 36 acres in Cecil County, Md., for the purpose of constructing a slot-machine casino.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association is hoping its network of members in various states is effective at lobbying regulators to adopt recommendations for rules in the area of equine health and safety.
Negotiations between Ellis Park and the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association continued July 5 in an effort to resolve a dispute that led the western Kentucky racing to shut down the day before its summer meet was to begin.
- By Tom LaMarra
The TRA and KEEP have weighed in on the announced closure of Ellis Park in western Kentucky. They blame lack of a long-term, industry strategy on advance deposit wagering, and inability to compete with other states, respectively.
Democratic Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear signed an executive order July 3 reorganizing and renaming the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, which is now the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
Summer Doldrums has one prior career start at Presque Isle Downs, and it resulted in a 12-length victory in a one-mile allowance test June 8. If he's as sharp now as he was 3 1/2 weeks ago, he'll be a major force in the $175,000 Presque Isle Mile July 4 at the Pennsylvania racetrack.
Penn National Gaming Inc. has entered into an agreement with PNG Acquisition Co., an entity indirectly owned by certain funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group LLC and Centerbridge Partners, L.P., to terminate the proposed merger agreement whereby PNGI was to be acquired by PNG Acquisition Co. for $67 per share.
Ellis Park's owner said the western Kentucky racetrack won't hold its meet this summer, though horsemen want the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority to intervene. Could another track get the dates?
Good Ba Ba, a four-time group I winner this season, was crowned horse of the year as well as the champion miler and most popular horse of the year at the Hong Kong Jockey Club Champion Awards presentation ceremony July 1.
Racing executive Lonny Powell, chairman and principal of LTPowell Gaming & Racing Ventures & Advisors, has joined the Pinnacle Race Course team as senior adviser to owner Jerry Campbell, the racetrack said July 1.
Nine 3-year-old fillies in search of their first graded stakes win are set to square off June 28 in the $150,000 Boiling Springs Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth Park in New Jersey.
Pepper Oaks Farm in Santa Ynez, Calif., will close its doors effective July 1, owner Patricia Youngman said in a June 26 release.
Damon Thayer, who owns Thayer Communications & Consulting and is a Kentucky senator, has officially been named general consultant/adviser for Pinnacle Race Course, the new Michigan racetrack scheduled to open July 18.
Bridget Harrison has been named director of communications for the American Horse Council, the Washington, D.C., organization announced June 24.
The California Horse Racing Board will vote in July on regulatory changes that would result in stricter penalties for anabolic steroids violations, and is soliciting public comment prior to a July 17 hearing at Del Mar.
The New York Senate approved a bill June 23 that would establish a testing program for steroids in racehorses via horsemen's contributions.
What is viewed as the strongest "open" racing card in the history of Charles Town Races & Slots will be held June 21, with the centerpiece of the evening a $200,000 invitational at the West Virginia track's signature 4 1/2-furlong distance.
- By Tom LaMarra
Drugged equines, grisly catastrophic breakdowns, greedy breeders, damaged racehorses with nowhere to go, inaction and confusion, and industry leaders more concerned with holding onto power than doing the right thing -- a congressional subcommittee heard it all June 19 during a hearing in Washington, D.C.
- By Tom LaMarra
It tends to get lost in the shuffle because it's not as sexy as anabolic steroids, race-fixing, or catastrophic breakdowns from a media perspective. But talk to people who work in the horse industry every day, and they'll tell you the issue of unwanted horses is serious and so broad it impacts the entire United States, not just the horseracing industry.
- By Tom LaMarra
As the House Subcommittee on Commerce and Consumer Protection prepared for a June 19 hearing on the horseracing industry, groups continued to weigh in on various issues, including use of anabolic steroids in racehorses.
Jessica Oldham Stith, the first graduate of Chris McCarron's North American Racing Academy, failed to emulate her parents but got a lot of experience in her first ride as a jockey June 17 at River Downs in Ohio.
- By Tom LaMarra
Though the United States presidential election will get the biggest headlines as November approaches, horse industry representatives were told June 17 they should pay attention to -- and get involved in -- congressional races around the country.
The Thoroughbred Owners of California board of directors has unanimously endorsed the negotiating model created by the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group, and has authorized the THG to represent the TOC in future simulcast negotiations, including in advance deposit wagering negotiations.
Charles Town Races & Slots will offer its first "Speed Festival," the centerpiece of which is the $200,000 Charles Town Invitational Dash at the track's popular 4 1/2-furlong distance, on June 21.
Stronach Stables' Ginger Punch, keen on defending her champion older female title of 2007, made it look easy in the $300,000 Ogden Phipps Handicap with a commanding victory in the Belmont Park fixture June 14.
Jayeff B Stables' Social Queen rallied from last early in an eight-horse field to win the $150,000 Eatontown Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares by neck at Monmouth Park June 14.
With the breeding and foaling seasons nearing conclusion, The Jockey Club reminds owners and breeders to submit reports of mares bred and live foal reports.
- By Tom LaMarra
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association will tackle equine health and welfare issues at a two-hour forum July 18 during its summer convention in Hershey, Pa.
Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino has increased overnight purses by more than 5% to bring the nightly average to more than $190,000 effective June 21.
Pinnacle Race Course in Michigan remains on schedule for a July 18 opening and has filled the position of vice president of sales and marketing.
Sam Abbey has resigned as director of racing and racing secretary at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, track president Randy Soth said June 11.
- By Tom LaMarra
The United States House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection has scheduled a hearing -- "Breeding, Drugs, and Breakdowns: The State of Thoroughbred Horseracing and the Welfare of the Thoroughbred Racehorse" -- for June 19 in Washington, D.C.
Chris McCarron will be on hand at River Downs in Ohio June 17 to "pony" a graduate of the North American Riding Academy in her debut as a professional jockey.
United Parcel Service's sponsorship of Big Brown's bid for the Triple Crown produced more than $6 million in overall exposure value, according to the Michigan-based sponsorship research company Joyce Julius & Associates.
Churchill Downs will begin testing a new wagering format with on-track customers June 11 that allows patrons to bundle win, exacta, and trifecta plays at a lower price per bet.
Illinois' richest riverboat casinos must pay part of their profits to horse owners and racetracks, the state Supreme Court ruled June 5.
Kentucky horseracing interests are sponsoring a June 16 poker tournament to raise money for the Backside Lifestyle Drug and Alcohol Abuse Program at Churchill Downs.
State prosecutors in Jefferson County, Ky., said they can't investigate the death of the filly Eight Belles despite a request from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
William Fasy, president and chief executive officer of Delaware Park, has replaced Robert Green on the National Thoroughbred Racing Association board of directors.
The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association said June 4 it recognizes the contribution made to purses by New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. but won't support a proposal that would reduce the amount NYCOTB pays to purses and the New York Racing Association.
The second Elastikon Equine Research Award, funded through a grant made by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Co. to the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, has been awarded to Dr. Wayne McIlwraith of Colorado State University and Dr. Mick Peterson of the University of Maine for their research designed to enhance the safety of racetracks for horses.
Robert Clay, president of Three Chimneys Farm near Lexington and co-chairman of the board of the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship, will address members of the Kentuckians of New York Society during their spring dinner June 5.
Purse bonuses under the Delaware Certified Thoroughbred Program at Delaware Park were increased June 1.
Eight Belles, who finished second in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) but suffered a catastrophic injury moments after the race, will be honored by Churchill Downs Inc. through a series of charitable contributions and initiatives, including the interment of her remains at the Kentucky Derby Museum.
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