Ellis Park is seeking to reduce its number of race days per week in 2006 from five to four, but approval of the change has been stalled by opposition from the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protection Agency.
Retired riding legend Pat Day, the all-time leading jockey at Churchill Downs and a member of racing's Hall of Fame, will be honored when the home of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) salutes his career and contributions to racing with a special "Pat's Day" celebration at the track Saturday, Nov. 12.
- By Ron Mitchell
A committee established by Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher to come up with a recommendation on jockey insurance met again Monday and discussed various options but could not come to any definitive agreement on a final proposal.
Kentucky's blue ribbon panel on jockey compensation insurance formed subcommittees Wednesday to explore two different routes for jockey insurance coverage: a worker's compensation model and an accident health policy.
The spring meet at Churchill Downs, the first race meet since the completion of its ambitious $121 million renovation, ended its 52-day run on Sunday with double-digit gains in on-track attendance and wagering and a slight decline in off-track betting.
- By Ron Mitchell
With only a few differences, Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. will be utilizing the same testing procedures for "milkshakes" that are in effect at Keeneland Racecourse and similar to those at many other North American tracks during the spring meet that begins April 30.
Churchill Downs plans to make no changes to the security policies and procedures used in the past three years for the 2005 Kentucky Derby and Oaks (both gr. I), the first renewals of those events since the completion of the track's $121 million renovation.
Churchill Downs has ended its halt to shipments of horses from three Florida facilities where possible cases of the equine bacterial disease strangles had been reported, although restrictions remain for horses that have been housed in quarantined or restricted barns at those tracks and training centers.
Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have settled a disagreement over the distribution of a portion of revenue from some sponsored races at the Louisville, Ky., track.
The number of confirmed cases of the equine disease known as strangles has declined and there is no evidence that the disease has spread, results of a second round of tests performed on horses quarantined in a pair of barns at Churchill Downs' Trackside Louisville training center show.
Mike Keeling has been named facility manager for Churchill Downs, which will complete its $121 million renovation in early April.
Churchill Downs announced March 1 the appointment of Steve Cummins to serve as its new human resources director, responsible for the track's human resources, strategies, plans and practices.
The Derby is the Derby. But Churchill Downs doesn't want to take any chances with what it considers the signature event in Thoroughbred racing.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Kentucky Equine Education Project has fashioned a short list of legislative initiatives that includes tax breaks and a breed development program but not racetrack gaming--at least not yet.
Churchill Downs president Steve Sexton has set a Dec. 7 deadline for the Jockeys' Guild to respond to a letter asking the organization to account for the $1.25 million CDI racetracks have given to the rider's organization over the past three years.
During a season hampered by ongoing construction, near-record rainfall and the loss of several top jockeys in a dispute with management, Churchill Downs ended its 21-day fall meeting with increases in attendance and on-track wagering while experiencing a slight decline in total wagering from last year's record total.
The conflict over adequate medical insurance for jockeys continued to escalate Nov. 7 when Churchill Downs escorted several riders from the grounds after they refused to accept mounts for the Nov. 11 program.
Churchill Downs is trimming the maximum size of its overnight fields for races on the main track from 14 horses to 12 beginning Saturday.
The start of the fall meet at Churchill Downs coincides with Halloween this year, but track officials insist patrons who walk through the gates Oct. 31 will discover nothing but treats.
- By Tom LaMarra
Ellis Park is expected to return to a five-day live racing week next year on the heels of a 2004 meet that produced an increase in total handle but double-digit decreases in average daily handle and on-track business.
Jim Gates, the vice president for administration for Churchill Downs who has served as acting general manager of the track since 2002, has been appointed general manager.
Jockeys John Velazquez and Jose Santos said Wednesday they might not ride in the Kentucky Derby if a federal judge bars them from wearing ads during the race.
The former executive director of the abolished Kentucky Racing Commission could face ethics charges because he accepted a position as a consultant with Churchill Downs, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
Bernie Hettel, the former chief state steward and executive director of the defunct Kentucky Racing Commission, has been hired by Churchill Downs as a consultant on racing issues.
Churchill Downs reached another milestone in its historic $121 million renovation Tuesday as the final steel beam was lifted into place in the large section of the track's clubhouse that is being completely rebuilt in the project.
Churchill Downs marked a milestone in the second phase of its sweeping $121 million renovation on Wednesday when a special beam was lifted into place at the highest point of the track's rebuilt Clubhouse to highlight a "Topping Off" ceremony in the track's paddock.
In spite of ongoing construction that prohibited the use of most of the track's Clubhouse and wintry weather on the meet's final weekend, Churchill Downs reported gains in on-track attendance and wagering and set another record for total wagering during its 27-day "Fall Festival Of Racing" that drew to a close on Nov. 29.
Churchill Downs will mark the progress of its sweeping $121 million renovation next week when it holds a special "Topping Off" ceremony. The track has asked its fans to leave their imprint on the renovated facility by adding their signatures to a steel beam that will be placed at its highest point.
Representatives from Kentucky's racetracks submitted their preliminary applications for 2004 racing dates to members of a subcommittee of the Kentucky Racing Commission Sept. 2. The Thoroughbred schedule is typical, but there are other proposed changes.
The second phase of Churchill Downs' $121 million renovation project took another step forward on July 11 as the demolition of a large section of the historic track's clubhouse began.
Fueled by record wagering on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), strong growth in simulcast betting and a rebound in on-track support, Churchill Downs reported total wagering surpass $600 million for the first time during the 129th Spring Meet that ended on July 6.
Record wagering on the Kentucky Derby, steady on-track business and a significant increase in simulcast wagering on its races have combined to enable Churchill Downs to announce a 10% increase in its overnight race purses for its 2003 spring meet.
The panel of stewards that oversees racing at Churchill Downs has initiated an investigation into questions surrounding a published photograph of the finish of Kentucky Derby 129.
Bits and pieces from around the industry...
Wagering on Einar P. Robsham's Trust N Luck in Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager has been suspended after trainer Ralph Ziadie notified officials at Churchill Downs that the winner of the Fountain of Youth (gr. I) would not compete in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on May 3.
In spite of a brutal winter storm that hampered wagering in several key racing markets in the Midwest and East, Pool 1 of Churchill Downs' 2003 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) closed strongly on Sunday and ended with the mutuel field as a record-setting favorite.
Cliff Goodrich and Steve Sexton will head Arlington Park and Churchill Downs, respectively, Churchill Downs Inc. announced late the afternoon of Dec. 10.
The 107-day 2002 Arlington Park race meet that concluded Sunday posted a 14.3% increase in total average daily wagering and a 4.8% gain in on-track attendance.
It came down to the final week, but the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Arlington Park is a sellout.
When Breeders' Cup Ltd. selected Arlington Park to host the World Thoroughbred Championships, the organization and racetrack were sailing into uncharted water. With Arlington having seating capacity of 12,000, no track that small had ever been considered for racing's biggest event.
Arlington Park has joined forces with local, state and federal law enforcement and government agencies to devise and implement a series of safety and security procedures for the 19th running of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2002.
Some 35,000 temporary seats will be added to Arlington International Racecourse for the 19th running of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
Some 35,000 temporary seats will be added to Arlington International Racecourse for the 19th running of the Breeders' Cup championships, increasing the track's capacity to 45,000.
Arlington Park's first meet to run through October produced a new single-day record handle and a 10.4% increase in average daily total handle. The tragedies of Sept. 11 were blamed for double-digit losses in on-track handle and attendance.
Arlington Park reported the $14,519,027 wagered on the track's 12-race Arlington Million card Saturday is the highest in ttrack history and for any track in the state of Illinois on Illinois races.
Steve Sexton, who left Lone Star Park in Texas earlier this year to become executive vice president of Arlington Park, has been named president of the suburban Chicago racetrack. The announcement was made by Thomas Meeker, chief executive officer of Churchill Downs Inc., which acquired Arlington in a stock merger last September, and by Richard Duchossois, Arlington's former owner and the largest individual shareholder of CDI stock.
Steve Sexton is the new executive vice president of Arlington Park. The announcement was made Monday by John Long, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Churchill Downs Incorporated ("CDI") (Nasdaq: CHDN). Sexton will report directly to Scott Mordell, Arlington's president and chief executive officer.
Steve Sexton, executive vice president and general manager at Lone Star Park, will take over as executive vice president of Arlington Park, effective May 7.
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