Janice and Robert McNair of Stonerside Stable announced April 29 that any earnings by their homebred Cowboy Cal in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) will be donated to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, in memory of John Long.
The New York State Racing and Wagering Board approved a regulation April 28 requiring tote companies to provide for independent monitoring of all pari-mutuel pools effective Jan. 1, 2009. Roughly $3 billion -- one-fifth of total handle in the United States -- will fall under the new monitoring system.
Churchill Downs Inc. has invested $100 million in advance deposit wagering for a reason: The company believes it's the major growth channel for pari-mutuel wagering, as well as a means to drive traffic to the racetrack, CDI president and chief executive officer Bob Evans said.
- By Tom LaMarra
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has appointed five state residents to the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority to fill a vacancy or expired terms.
The Mid-Atlantic Cooperative, which represents 16 racetracks and their affiliated off-track wagering outlets, has failed to reach an agreement with the New York Racing Association on signal rates, which puts simulcast of races from Belmont Park in jeopardy.
Through the support of many in the horseracing industry, jockey Justin Vitek will have $60,000 to help defray costs stemming from his battle with acute myelogenous leukemia. About 250 horsemen and racing fans gathered at the Kentucky Derby Museum April 21 for dinner, drinks, and live and silent auctions.
The "Congressional Cavalry," organized by the American Horse Council and some of its member organizations in an effort to better serve the horse industry in Congress, continues to grow in numbers, officials said.
The Delaware Certified Thoroughbred Program, formed earlier in the decade to preserve farmland and offer incentives for horses domiciled in the state, now has almost 1,300 registered Thoroughbreds, according to the Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.
A Kentucky legislator plans to pre-file a bill for 2009 that would provide dedicated funding for the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority and create a new fund to supplement purses for all breeds at Kentucky racetracks.
Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear has vetoed a provision in the state General Assembly's $19-billion budget that would keep smaller racetracks in the state from paying a daily assessment to support Kentucky Horse Racing Authority operations. Legislators on April 15 took no action to override the veto as the General Assembly session came to a close.
Robert Courtney Jr., who worked as an integral part of the Crestfield Farm team for 31 years, will continue raising and selling Thoroughbreds at his 195-acre Stonebridge Farm near Lexington.
WinStar Farms' Colonel John worked four furlongs in :47.40, and Bob Black Jack went :48.00 on the Cushion Track at Santa Anita Park the morning of April 14.
Horses returned to Monmouth Park in New Jersey the morning of April 14 to prepare for a 99-day meet that gets under way May 9.
New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine signed legislation April 11 that allows a $90-million purse supplement for New Jersey racetracks to move forward. Now, the racing industry must decide how the money will be divvied up for purses at perhaps four racetracks.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has largely credited its NTRA Advantage program for a $3.1-million revenue surplus for 2007.
- By Tom LaMarra
The number of catastrophic injuries on dirt tracks has gone up while the corresponding number on synthetic surfaces has gone down, according to a revision of a report first given at the March 17 Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit.
Live racing returns to River Downs near Cincinnati, Ohio, on April 11 for a 102-day meet that extends through Labor Day.
International has been named the official truck of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby, officials said April 8. Churchill Downs Inc. and Navistar International Corp. have agreed to a two-year deal.
The Horse Racing Radio Network has reached an agreement with Pimlico Race Course and the Maryland Jockey Club to become the exclusive national radio network for the 2008 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
C. Kenneth Dunn, who since April 1999 has served as senior vice president of Florida operations for Churchill Downs Inc. and has spent 18 years at Calder Race Course, is stepping down, the company announced April 9. Dunn will continue to serve as an adviser for Calder through Aug. 1.
At The Moment Stables' Lady Belsara, the Keeneland track record-holder for 6 1/2 furlongs on Polytrack, has been retired, according to Steve Kintz, father of trainer Matt Kintz.
The American Graded Stakes Committee has reviewed the off-the-turf running of the Transylvania Stakes April 4 at Keeneland and has ruled the race will retain its grade III status.
The Pennsylvania Governor's Cup Handicap, the oldest stakes at Hollywood Casino at Penn National, will get a $50,000 boost in its purse to $100,000 this year as part of the richest stakes schedule in the history of the track.
Dan Leary has been named director of communications for Lone Star Park in Texas. Leary has nearly three decades of sports public relations experience, including 14 years in the Thoroughbred racing industry at six different racetracks.
The Ohio horse industry has officially launched the Ohio Equine Industry Coalition, which is designed to find solutions to what it calls an "economic crisis" for the industry.
Turfway Park ended its 2008 winter/spring meet with declines in wagering on its races both on track and from all sources.
MAF Biosecurity New Zealand is retesting samples taken from horses imported directly from the United States to the Karaka quarantine facility due to conflicting test results that indicate the presence of equine influenza, the Sportsman of Australia has reported.
Officials at Atlantic City Race Course said April 2 there are no plans to close the storied New Jersey track, which will continue to offer live Thoroughbred racing and longer meets if it receives a share of a $90-million purse supplement from the state's casinos.
A Celebration of Life service and gathering for the late Richard Galpin will be held Apr. 5 at the Fasig- Tipton sale pavilion on Newtown Pike in Lexington.
Sam Gordon was elected to a fourth term as president of the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association at the organization's regularly scheduled March 31 board meeting.
Grade II winner King of the Roxy, the 2007 Ohio horse of the year, shows that struggling Ohio breeders aren't through trying to find success with the competitive forces against them.
About 200 union workers walked off the job at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort the weekend of March 29, and they remained on strike March 31.
Sham Stakes winner Colonel John, one of the favorites for the April 5 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and a major Triple Crown contender, worked six furlongs in 1:10.80 March 31 at Santa Anita Park.
- By Tom LaMarra
Lonny Powell, most recently an executive with Youbet.com, is helping a group identify and examine potential racetrack purchases.
Winchell Thoroughbreds' Pyro, winner of the Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) and Louisiana Derby (gr. II) in his two starts this year, continued his preparations for the April 12 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) by working six furlongs in 1:14.60 March 31 at Keeneland.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association will conduct a new owner seminar April 18 at Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Altoona, Iowa.
The fillies Eight Belles and Proud Spell are among the late nominees for this year's Triple Crown
- By Tom LaMarra
The National Racing Compact, which currently authorizes multi-jurisdictional licensing for the pari-mutuel industry, is being offered as an alternative to possible federal regulation of aspects of the horseracing industry.
- By Tom LaMarra
The ongoing process of regulating anabolic steroids in racehorses may have turned a corner March 25 when the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium made changes to its model rule. State regulators, however, remain concerned about funding for increased testing.
- By Tom LaMarra
With RCI Integrity Services up and running, the Association of Racing Commissioners International has issued a strong call for the pari-mutuel industry to take advantage of something it believes is a no-brainer: an independent wagering monitoring system.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority intends to regulate use of anabolic steroids in racehorses but will wait until research into the testing for steroids in plasma is completed this summer before it moves ahead.
The Virginia Racing Commission will offer free pre-race testing for anabolic and androgenic steroids in horses that race at Colonial Downs this year.
Michigan Racing Commissioner Christine White issued a racing license March 19 to Post It Stables for Pinnacle Race Course, a Thoroughbred facility under construction in Romulus in the Detroit metropolitan area.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium will hold its spring board of directors meeting March 25 in conjunction with the Association of Racing Commissioners International annual convention in Austin, Texas.
The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association has announced a few changes for the Sept. 29-30 Breeders Sales Co. of Louisiana auction.
Pimlico Race Course, home of the grade I Preakness Stakes, will offer a $3.46-million stakes schedule during a 31-day spring meet that runs from April 17-June 7. In a major change, the grade I Pimlico Special is back.
The New Jersey legislature has approved a deal whereby Atlantic City casinos will pay the horseracing and breeding industry $90 million over three years in return for a guarantee the tracks won't pursue video lottery terminals during the period.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and Thistledown have an agreement in principle for 122 days of live racing at the Cleveland-area track this year.
John "Jack" Carey of California is the first Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association member to be recognized through a new program called the "TOBA Member of the Month."
Horse of the Year Curlin traveled six furlongs in 1:13.54 at Nad Al Sheba racecourse the morning of March 17 in a key workout before the March 29 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
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