Racetracks have already initiated a review of procedures related to pari-mutuel wagering in the wake of suspicious Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick Six wagers currently under investigation by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.
The California Horse Racing Board approved a 2003 racing calendar Thursday that is largely unchanged from 2002, including a 17-day fair meet at Fairplex Park in Pomona.
- By Scott Davis
Magna Entertainment Corp. is expected to announce Wednesday that it has reached an agreement with the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association to run the inaugural "Sunshine Millions" on Jan. 25, 2003.
Bowing to pressure from a torrent of racing industry insiders, the California Horse Racing Board turned thumbs down June 26 on the Los Angeles County Fair's plan to move its 17-day 2002 meet to Santa Anita Park.
A decision on the Los Angeles County Fair's plan to move its September race meet from Fairplex Park to Santa Anita Park is expected when the California Horse Racing Board meets June 26 at 10 a.m. at the Los Angeles Crowne Plaza Hotel.
With the California Horse Racing Board scheduled to rule June 6 on whether to allow the Los Angeles County Fair to move its 17-day race meet to Santa Anita Park this September, another powerful industry group has signaled its opposition, at least for now.
The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club has formally opposed the proposed transfer of this year's Fairplex Park meet to Santa Anita Park. The Del Mar board of directors met during a special session May 29 and voted unanimously to oppose the plan.
Fairplex Park and the Los Angeles Turf Club have reached an agreement to move the county fair's annual 17-day end-of-summer meet to Santa Anita Park beginning this September, and have requested a change of venue from the California Horse Racing Board to be heard at its June 6 meeting.
- By Jack Shinar
Fairplex Park and the Los Angeles Turf Club have reached an agreement to move the county fair's annual 17-day end-of- summer meeting to Santa Anita Park beginning this September and have requested a change of venue from the California Horse Racing Board to be heard at its June 6 meeting.
Good weather and the introduction of account wagering helped Santa Anita Park exceed $1 billion in total handle for the third time in five years.
The Oak Tree Racing Association will be the host for the 2003 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Santa Anita Park.
Look for more of the same from Magna Entertainment, which has built itself into the largest operator of Thoroughbred racetracks in the country, in the next two years. In addition, company chairman Frank Stronach has proposed a plan to split profits from racing.
Despite a workers' compensation crisis, California trainers continued to enter horses for weekend programs in the state. But officials are concerned about the ramifications if the situation isn't resolved soon.
A little rain and a new approach to help retain moisture in the main track at Santa Anita Park seems to have addressed some gripes aired the week of Feb. 11 by jockeys about conditions at the Arcadia, Calif., facility.
The Thoroughbred Corp.'s Habibti, who is an Eclipse Award finalist in the 2-year-old filly catageory, returns to the races after a two-month absence in Sunday's Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park. Another 2-year-old filly Eclipse Award finalist, You, is also expected to start in the Las Virgenes.
XpressBet, Magna Entertainment's revamped Internet and telephone service for in-home wagering, was "overwhelmed" by applications from prospective customers during its launch Jan. 26-27, a top company official said.
With the California Horse Racing Board only days from ruling on four applications for license to conduct advance deposit wagering, it isn't clear where three of the state's major tracks -- Santa Anita Park, Bay Meadows, and Golden Gate Fields -- are going to have their races televised.
While California has worried about declining field sizes for about two years, Santa Anita Park has created hope this year by attracting 20% more starters per race in its first two weeks. On the East Coast, however, average field size has gone from boom to bust. Gulfstream Park came out of its 2001 season with an 8.2% increase in average starters per race, but this year field size lagged 18% during the first week of racing.
A board of three stewards at Santa Anita Park ruled that no penalty should be assessed against trainer Jesus (Jesse) Mendoza for a morphine positive found in a horse he trained in June, 2000. The Jan. 10 ruling stated that Mendoza had "mitigated the circumstances of the charge."
Trainer Bobby Frankel has 35 graded stakes to his credit in 2001 (48 stakes wins in all, and one more shot at a grade I win when he sends out Rolly Polly in Saturday's La Brea Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.
For the first time in 20 years, California racing will get a real holiday. Racing takes a Christmas break after the Monday, Dec. 17 programs at Golden Gate Fields and Hollywood Park, and the action doesn't return until Dec. 26, when Golden Gate resumes and Santa Anita Park opens its traditional winter
With the possibility of account wagering in California as soon as Jan. 1, officials at Magna Entertainment Corp., the owner of three major racetracks in the state, is keeping its plans quiet -- for now.
Numbers in most categories were up during the Oak Tree Racing Association meet that concluded Nov. 5 at Santa Anita Park. Total, in-state, and out-of-state handle were up from the corresponding meet in 2000.
The $1.275-million Cal Cup, a series of 10 stakes for California-breds, has drawn 110 horses for its 12th running Saturday at Santa Anita Park. The day is headed by the $250,000 Wells Fargo Cal Cup Classic at 1 1/8 miles.
There was one winning $1 ticket worth $73,124.50 on Sunday's Keeneland-Oak Tree Pick Four wager that consisted of picking the winners of two stakes at Keeneland and two stakes at Santa Anita Park. The winning numbers were 3-10-5-
The Oak Tree Racing Association meet at Santa Anita Park, which has produced 21 winners of Breeders' Cup events, kicks off Wednesday afternoon with a fund-raising effort for the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Oak Tree will match all donated funds up to $100,000.
Breeders' Cup has mapped out a tentative schedule of host sites for the World Thoroughbred Championships through 2005, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported in Sunday's edition. The racetracks are Arlington Park (2002), Santa Anita Park (2003), Churchill Downs (2004), and Lone Star Park (2005).
The California Horse Racing Board on Aug. 24 approved next year's calendar for Southern California, and for the first three months of 2002 for Northern California. Among the changes is an elimination of six-day racing weeks except for Del Mar.
An abnormally large amount of rainfall for the second season in a row resulted in slight declines in attendance and wagering at Santa Anita Park. The Southern California track reported the meet that concluded Monday had average daily handle (all sources) of $11,101,384, down 3.2 percent from last year.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has hired former Santa Anita Park president Lonny Powell as a legislative and regulatory affairs consultant. Powell will keep NTRA members up to date on legislative and regulatory matters and assist the NTRA Task Force on Economic Regulation.
- By Scott Davis
Magna Entertainment officials, fresh off of their initial foray into team racing on March 10 at Gulfstream Park, are planning a second round of their Super Track series, possibly as soon as April in California. Organizers hope to work out some of the kinks that forced cancellation of the event in California in early March.
Magna Entertainment's "Super Track Racing Series" Saturday, March 10, has been reduced to just a pair of races, carded as the ninth and 10th, on Gulfstream's Florida Derby card
Under Laffit Pincay Jr., California-bred Road to Slew edged clear of Hollycombe and held off the late challenge of a slew of horses to win the $400,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap (gr. IIT) by one length, Saturday at Santa Anita. On a turf track listed as good, Road to Slew completed the distance in 1:35.96.
The first of two rounds in Magna Entertainment's "Super Track Racing Series" has been canceled because of a lack of time to prepare and possibly complications tied to medication rules. The first round of the series -- six $100,000 races at Santa Anita Park March 3 -- has been scrapped, the Magna-owned California track announced Tuesday. The second round, scheduled for March 10 at Gulfstream Park, Magna's Florida track, will go as planned, officials said.
The Oak Tree Racing Association at Santa Anita Park has been officially selected as host site for the 2002 Breeders' Cup Championship. The Breeders' Cup board of directors made the announcement after a meeting Friday.
Santa Anita Park racing secretary Mike Harlow has noticed a trend for several years, and it doesn't bode well for California's Thoroughbred industry. Harlow said California horses are being claimed by out-of-state trainers who have them shipped elsewhere when a meet concludes. As a solution to the problem, Harlow and other racing secretaries have asked the California Horse Racing Board to amend a rule so that any claimed
Eight of the world's finest Thoroughbred jockeys will compete in the fourth annual British Airways International Jockey Challenge at Santa Anita Park on Sunday, March 11. The four-race event has proven an instant hit with fans and has been enthusiastically supported by horsemen. The competition has been keen, Team USA winning the event two of the first three years including a 56-28 margin in 2000. The event features four of Europe's best jockeys competing against four of America's finest riders.
The three major tracks in Southern California have acknowledged a need for backup generators in light of the possibility of power blackouts, but Hollywood Park is prepared to invest $4 million in equipment to ensure the facility doesn't go dark. Rolling blackouts brought on the by the state's energy crisis forced Los Alamitos to switch to afternoon racing for a couple of programs last week.
The re-entry of Magna Entertainment's seven racetracks into the National Thoroughbred Racing Association is expected to have an immediate impact on the NTRA's winter television schedule on ESPN and ESPN2, beginning with its first telecast on Feb. 3. That telecast will feature the Donn Handicap (gr. I) from Gulfstream Park and the Strub Stakes (gr. II) and San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) from Santa Anita. Both tracks are owned by Magna, whose chairman, Frank Stronach, announced on Jan. 17 in a joint statement with the NTRA that he has made a two-year commitment to rejoin the organization.
California Horse Racing Board chairman Robert Tourtelot on Thursday authorized the Los Alamitos Quarter Horse Racing Association to conduct its Friday racing program in the afternoon, beginning with a 12:35 p.m. post. The change, along with permitting the association to race Saturday and Sunday afternoons if necessary, is in the interest of conserving electrical energy during the current shortage, according to a statement from the CHRB.
Southern California horsemen will be allocated stalls based on a list of criteria that includes performance during individual meets and year-round totals, according to an agreement reached between officials of the region's three major tracks.
The officials in the California city said the meeting to discuss Magna Entertainment chairman Frank Stronach's plans for Santa Anita Park went well.
Magna Entertainment chairman Frank Stronach, in comments made to the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Manager's Club Tuesday night in Lexington, indicated his intention to create a circuit of "super tracks," and called for more democracy within the Thoroughbred industry. Stronach, who on two occasions during his talk took calls on his cellular telephone to bid on horses at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale -- "It's only monies," he told his agent during one conversation -- spoke for more than an hour and fielded numerous questions from the audience. He was at the podium the longest of any speaker at the monthly club gatherings in recent memory.
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