The New York Racing Association said June 2 a field of nine is probable for the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), third leg of the Triple Crown.
Suffolk Downs will move to a four-day week with live racing on a Wednesday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule beginning June 4.
"Barbaro: The Horse Who Captured America's Heart," written by Sean Clancy and published by Blood-Horse Publications' Eclipse Press division, has won a 2008 Benjamin Franklin Award from the Independent Book Publishers Association.
The House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection continues to maintain it will hold a June hearing on horse racing, but no date had been set as of June 2.
The New York State Racing and Wagering Board on May 29 passed proposed restrictions on use of anabolic steroids in racehorses for Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing.
A backstretch improvement program has begun at Hollywood Casino at Penn National, which will spend up to $10 million over the next 10 years to build new barns, refurbish old ones, and make other barn-area upgrades.
Though it has no regulatory oversight of equine health and safety, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has adopted a resolution saying it supports the state's efforts to "invest in horse health and welfare."
Bennie Stutts Jr. is looking forward to visiting northern Ohio for the $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) May 31. But unlike his first trip--about 51 years ago--Stutts won't need a snow shovel.
A congressional subcommittee could schedule a hearing as early as June to examine breakdowns, medication use, and breeding practices in Thoroughbreds.
Mount Joy Stables' Smooth Air, runner-up to Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Big Brown in the Florida Derby (gr. I), completed his serious work for the May 31 Ohio Derby (gr. II) with a sharp seven-furlong work at Arlington Park May 25.
Iberville Parish, La., voters should be allowed to cast ballots on whether they want a new racetrack with slot machines, the Louisiana House voted May 21.
A two-day flooding of Santa Anita Park's synthetic surface is one of the final tests management plans before making a decision on the future of the main-track surface. Track president Ron Charles said the surface will be flooded following training hours May 28.
The $1-million Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship will return to the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa in Las Vegas next year, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association said.
Two exhibition races for Standardbred pacers were held at Keeneland the afternoon of May 21 to give the principals in a racetrack under construction in Alberta, Canada, an idea as to whether a synthetic surface can be used for both breeds.
A Magna Entertainment Corp. executive said the company has no plans to sell either of its Maryland racetracks but indicated the results of a statewide November referendum on slot machines could play a role in any decision.
As horseracing interests lobby for slot machines in Illinois, two former state legislators have floated a $31-billion infrastructure plan that would be paid in part by expanded gambling in the state.
The Claiming Crown, a $600,000 series of races for claiming horses, returns to Canterbury Park in Minnesota this year, and already horsemen have responded with a record number of early nominations.
The complicated nature of regulating anabolic steroids in racehorses came to light May 20 when discussion among members of the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council and others seemed to indicate the easiest route is an all-out ban on the substances.
Pays to Dream continued a big weekend for New York-bred horses in Maryland May 17 when he rallied from well off the pace and blew away the competition in the grade II Dixie Stakes on the turf at Pimlico Race Course.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association is prepared for "every potential outcome" on Preakness Stakes (gr. I) day, but no matter the result, developments in the area of equine health and welfare in the coming weeks and months are of the utmost importance, the organization's president and chief executive officer said.
About 25 supporters of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals staged a quiet demonstration outside the gates of Pimlico Race Course May 17, but horseracing enthusiasts -- and fans of the Preakness experience -- weren't as reserved.
Millennium Farms' Student Council, who hadn't hit the board in four starts since his victory in the Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) last September, rallied from off the pace in the mud to win the grade I Pimlico Special May 16 at Pimlico Race Course.
The Southern Racing Cooperative has a new multi-year deal with the New York Racing Association on signal rates, a cooperative official said.
The United States House of Representatives and Senate have passed the Farm Bill, and it appears there will be enough votes to override an expected veto by President Bush.
Plans to announce a stallion deal for Preakness Stakes (gr. I) favorite Big Brown on May 15 fell through, but discussions will continue after the second leg of the Triple Crown is run May 17.
The Maryland racing industry is throwing its support behind a campaign for slot machines, but it remains to be seen whether any racetracks would get the gambling devices should the public approve a statewide ballot measure in November.
Change may be in the wind yet again regarding upper-level Maryland Jockey Club management, but as of May 15, officials with MJC owner Magna Entertainment Corp. said there's nothing to announce.
The Jockey Club acknowledges it has limits on what it can mandate in the area of equine health and safety, but it does plan to use its new Thoroughbred Safety Committee as a "bully pulpit" to bring about change.
Delaware Park has retained horseracing veteran John Mooney to consult on racing-specific matters, track officials announced May 12.
Officials with Magna Entertainment Corp. and the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group have met twice recently to discuss the ongoing conflict over revenue splits for advance deposit wagering, though the sides aren't close to striking a deal.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association continues to coordinate equine health and safety initiatives in response to the death of the filly Eight Belles, and on May 9 called for "urgency" and an end to the "status quo."
Ryan Fogelsonger will attempt to add to his more than 1,800 career victories when he begins riding at Presque Isle Downs in Pennsylvania May 9, when the 100-day meet gets under way.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, at its meeting May 19, will consider forming a working group to review Thoroughbred health and safety concerns.
The New York Racing Association and the Mid-Atlantic Cooperative have struck a signal-fee deal that will return the NYRA signal--currently from Belmont Park--to 16 East Coast racetracks and their affiliated off-track wagering outlets effective May 9.
Though their views and actions may at times be considered extreme and bizarre by some, animal rights and welfare groups have a large constituency, have proven effective at making their point, and shouldn't be disregarded when they seize on an issue, officials said.
In the wake of the fatal breakdown of the filly Eight Belles in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), The Jockey Club has commissioned a seven-member Thoroughbred Safety Committee, and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association board of directors has scheduled a special meeting May 9 to discuss a course of action.
A Churchill Downs Inc. official said May 7 purses at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., could be cut the week of May 11, while Calder Race Course in South Florida could face another reduction in purses.
Live Thoroughbred racing will return to the Erie, Pa., area May 9 when Presque Isle Downs commences its 2008 meet. Presque Isle's 100-day season will extend through Sept. 27, with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m. EDT.
Churchill Downs Inc. posted net earnings of about $800,000 in the first quarter of 2008, compared with a net loss of $8.4 million for the same period a year ago, the company announced May 6.
A spokeswoman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which staged a peaceful demonstration May 6 in front of the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority office near Lexington, said similar demonstrations are planned for upcoming Triple Crown events. Meanwhile, the organization said it may attempt to get cruelty charges filed against the connections of Eight Belles, who was euthanized after the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
In the wake of the death of the filly Eight Belles as she galloped out after the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), animal-rights organizations are publicly calling for changes -- some of them drastic -- for the horseracing industry.
A tearful Larry Jones, the trainer of Eight Belles, who broke down in the gallop-out after finishing second in the Run for the Roses, said there would be no second-guessing in what he called an "unfortunate" outcome that couldn't be foreseen.
Two 2007 Ohio champions finished in a dead heat for win in the $50,000 Babst/Palacios Memorial Stakes May 3, closing day of the Beulah Park winter/spring meet.
After a 12-hour trans-Pacific journey, including a one-hour lay-over in Anchorage, Alaska, and a brief stint at Aqueduct to clear quarantine, three Japan-based horses -- Casino Driver, Champagne Squall, and Spark Candle -- have begun to settle in at Barn 17 at Belmont Park.
Declines in on-track wagering, a dispute with the New York Racing Association over signal fees, and horsemen's refusal to allow six major advance deposit wagering outlets to take its signal has led River Downs to cut purses 15%-18% effective May 8.
ReRun, the Thoroughbred adoption group, is offering a "Moneigh" auction on Ebay through May 4. The auction, titled "Old Timers and Legends," highlights pieces of equine-created artwork by Thoroughbred champions over the age of 20.
The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission has proposed a rule whereby horses laid off for 180 days or more could be declared ineligible to be claimed.
Because of the dispute over simulcast fees and revenue, Calder Race Course will not offer wagering on the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), as well as all other races on the two programs.
The Lexington-based Horse Racing Radio Network will provide 6 1/2 hours of live coverage of Kentucky Oaks and Derby days.
Another group of racetracks won't be importing the signal from Belmont Park beginning April 30 because they collectively have failed to strike a deal on signal rates with the New York Racing Association.
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