Pennsylvania horsemen and racetracks may eventually be the beneficiaries of slot-machine revenue given the fact all three candidates in the state's race for governor have indicated to various degrees that they support alternative gambling.
MTR Gaming is as interested in acquiring an Ohio racetrack as it is in building a new track in Erie, Pa., according to the company's president.
Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Ed Rendell has said he supports a plan to put slot machines at Pennsylvania's racetracks in order to fund the state's financially strapped schools.
Philadelphia Park will offer a $1.8-million stakes schedule this season with 10 fewer events than last year.
The Racing Channel, an online handicapping and odds service with links to Philadelphia Park's Phonebet service, was granted approval to operate a "multi-jurisdictional simulcasting and interactive wagering totalizator hub" in Oregon. The approval includes an international marketing service that would take wagers from the United Kingdom through legal bookmakers.
With the first major snowstorm of the year forecast for the Northeast, racing was cancelled Saturday at Laurel Park in Maryland, Philadelphia Park in Pennsylvania, and West Virginia's Charles Town.
The fourth running of $550,000 Claiming Crown will be held at Philadelphia Park on Aug. 31. The series will offer six races with purses between $50,000 and $150,000.
Pending resolution of final contractual matters, the Claiming Crown will make its Mid-Atlantic debut at Philadelphia Park in August or September this year, event organizers said Thursday. No date has been announced.
Trainer Scott Lake saddled his 400th winner of the year Sunday at Philadelphia Park when Skipjack Cove went wire-to-wire to win a 5 1/2-furlong claiming event. Lake joins Jack Van Berg (495) as the only trainers to win 400 or more races in a year.
Magna Entertainment Corp. will revive The Racing Network early next year, according to company chairman and founder Frank Stronach. The live racing network will likely be reintroduced when MEC launches its account wagering service in California.
The Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, the statewide organization representing owners and trainers at Philadelphia Park, has endorsed legislation sponsored by Rep. John Taylor to allow slot machines at Pennsylvania's four licensed racetracks.
With his stepson being held on $1.8-million bail, deceased trainer Robert Camac was remembered by his colleagues at Philadelphia Park over the weekend.
Customers of the Philadelphia Park Phonebet system can now use the Internet to make wagers. Greenwood Racing, which owns the Pennsylvania racetrack, has unveiled "Phonebet.com," a Web site for computerized betting. Users can watch live odds, the live race feed, and make bets simply by using their mouse.
November will be a critical month for many Mid-Atlantic horsemen as they seek to secure racetrack stabling for the winter.
A Pennsylvania State University study says that slot machines at the state's four racetracks would trigger a $2.5 billion increase in gross state product and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for state and local governments.
The Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association hopes to build on its first "Pennsylvania's Day at the Races," which featured six restricted stakes Oct. 6 at Philadelphia Park.
Mystic Lady earned her fourth graded stakes win of the year and her eighth in 15 career starts when she went wire-to-wire to win the $250,000 Cotillion Handicap (gr. II) at Philadelphia Park.
- By Tom LaMarra
In the wake of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority's announcement that it will rejoin the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Jan. 1, 2002, other Mid-Atlantic associations indicated they're not quite ready to follow suit.
Greenwood Racing will make donations worth $100,000 to charities involved in disaster relief efforts in New York City.
Macho Uno makes his 2001 stakes debut a winning one for Stronach Stable in the Pennsylvania Derby.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Racing Network, which is based at Philadelphia Park, announced Monday it has suspended operations effective immediately. The Racing Network International, an associated company that broadcasts United States racing internationally, remains operational.
Even with daily average purses of $260,000, Delaware Park has often found it difficult this year to fill races, or often had races that filled but were decimated by scratches. So the track devised a bonus scheme based on the size of race fields.
After being pinned against the rail for the first half of the race, jockey Aaron Gryder angled Say Florida Sandy to the outside to win the $188,000 Philadelphia Park Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) on Saturday afternoon.
Bits and pieces from throughout the Thoroughbred industry.
- By Tom LaMarra
A Pennsylvania legislator said he plans to call this fall for county referendums on the issue of slot machines at the state's four racetracks. Meanwhile, a resolution that seeks an economic impact study to develop ways the state "can help maintain fiscal soundness" of the horse racing and breeding industry has been introduced.
Now that live racing and simulcasting has ended permanently at Garden State Park, Pennwood Racing, which owns nearly 10 acres of land at the site, must wait for off-track betting legislation to pass in New Jersey, and gain regulatory approval from Cherry Hill Township, before it begins construction on a planned off-track wagering parlor.
Claiming Crown preview days have been scheduled at four racetracks in anticipation of the main event, which is set for Aug. 4 at Canterbury Park in Minnesota. The preview days will feature races with conditions identical to those of the Claiming Crown.
A late-winter storm that was expected to dump a large amount of snow along the East Coast led to cancellation of Monday racing at tracks in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Philadelphia Park announced that racing was cancelled for Monday and Tuesday, and racing was also cancelled at Suffolk Downs in Boston, where forecasters were predicting snowfall ranging from 18-24 inches.
- By Tom LaMarra
The NTRA board of directors, during a teleconference meeting Thursday, ruled that a "sufficient number" of racetracks in the Mid-Atlantic region must rejoin the NTRA by March 31, or the region will lose its seat on the board. Elections for other racetrack seats will be held the week of Feb. 5, though tracks that aren't members by that date will not be eligible to vote.
Officials at Philadelphia Park announced Monday that the purse for its marquee event, the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. III), would be increased from $300,000 to $500,000 for its 23rd renewal, set for Labor Day, September 3. The purse boost makes the 1-1/8 mile Pennsylvania Derby the richest race in the history of Pennsylvania horse racing.
The racing program on June 2 at Philadelphia Park will be devoted to Pennsylvania-breds. The afternoon will feature five $50,000 stakes, a $30,000 stakes, and four starter handicap events. The Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association hopes the program lays the groundwork for even bigger state-bred days in coming years.
Some changes have been made to this year's Claiming Crown, scheduled for Aug. 4 at Canterbury Park. There will be one less race, but the same amount of purse money, and a new eligibility requirement organizers hope will generate more nominations for the event.
Mother Nature continues to impact American racing, with Turfway Park canceling its Wednesday night card. Rather than snow and cold temperatures that usually cause a cancellation, this time the culprit was warmer temperatures that caused thawing and uneven areas in the mostly frozen track, Turfway officials said.
Five Thoroughbred tracks called off their cards Sunday because of the second major snowstorm to hit the Northeast this season. Racing was closed at Aqueduct in New York, Turfway Park in Florence, Ky., Laurel outside Baltimore, Philadelphia Park and at Suffolk Downs near Boston.
Suffolk Downs cancelled live racing on Saturday and Sunday due to a snowstorm that has also closed Aqueduct and Philadelphia Park for both days. The East Boston oval will remain open for simulcasting.
Live racing at Aqueduct has been cancelled for both Saturday and Sunday due to a impending storm. Racing will resume on Monday (New Year's Day) with a 10-race live card, featuring both the Interborough Handicap and the re-drawn Gallant Fox Handicap, originally scheduled for Saturday. Citing the same storm forecast, Philadelphia Park cancelled racing and training for Saturday.
With Meadowlands set to close its barn area with the conclusion of its meet on November 18, thus eliminating winter racetrack stabling for New Jersey-based outfits, and Delaware Park about to conclude its 148-day season, the racing office at Philadelphia Park has been inundated with stall applications, of which it can only accommodate a small fraction.
Jostle took the lead on the far turn and galloped to a 4 1/2-length victory Saturday in the $200,000 Cotillion Handicap (gr. II) at Philadelphia Park. Ridden by Mike Smith, Jostle lagged behind the pace for much of the 1 1/16 miles before making her move on the far turn, proving herself the best in the field of seven 3-year-olds fillies.
Jostle heads the $200,000 Cotillion Handicap (gr. II) at Philadelphia Park Saturday. The 3-year-old daughter of Brocco will face seven other sophomore fillies as the 124 pound highweight, conceding from eight to 13 pounds to her rivals in the 1 1/16-mile race.
The purse for Saturday's Gallant Bob Handicap was raised from $100,000 to $150,000 Tuesday in an attempt to lure a quality field.
Pine Dance rallied from next-to-last to win the $300,000 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. III) by three lengths while making his dirt track racing debut on a sloppy track Monday at Philadelphia Park.
Brief racing and breeding items.
Despite the presence of graded stakes winners Hal's Hope, Mass Market, and Pine Bluff, Robert Meyerhoff's Vincent Moscarelli Stakes winner Include was installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite for Monday's $300,000 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. III) at Philadelphia Park.
Jockey Anibal Prado notched his 1,000th career victory as Philadelphia Park on Sunday, when he guided Run Judge Run to a neck-length victory in the track’s sixth race.
John Rotella's 6-year-old New York-bred Say Florida Sandy heads a field of 11 older sprinters entered in Saturday's $200,000 Philadelphia Park Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III).
The Mid-Atlantic racetracks haven't signed a contract to simulcast the seven Claiming Crown races on Aug. 6.
Philadelphia Park announced a $10,000 per day purse increase.
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