A lawsuit between Churchill Downs Inc. and a horsemen's group and some individuals over alleged antitrust violations has been settled between the parties.
A federal judge presiding over the antitrust lawsuit filed by Churchill Downs Inc. against horsemen's groups basically said Feb. 19 he has his work cut out for him in trying to resolve the complex issues involved in the case.
An official with the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group said the organization intends to continue its work into 2009 and beyond, depending on the needs of its members.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said Dec. 22 it has reached agreements on advance deposit wagering contracts with Calder Race Course and Gulfstream Park.
With a little more than two weeks remaining before the scheduled shutdown of the barn area at Beulah Park, management and horsemen still have no deal to continue live racing in January. But developments on a national level could quickly turn things around.
An impasse in California over fee rates for interstate advance deposit wagering that has had a negative impact on Hollywood Park's fall meet ended Nov. 21 with the announcement that one-year deals with the four licensed providers in the state have been reached.
Winter racing at Beulah Park was plowed under and the spring/summer meet at River Downs went up in flames Nov. 21 when the Ohio State Racing Commission awarded 2009 dates that represent a loss of more than 160 days of Thoroughbred racing at the two tracks.
About 1,000 Thoroughbreds could be forced to leave the grounds of Beulah Park by the end of this year if the racetrack and horsemen's association don't have a deal for advance deposit wagering revenue in place by Nov. 21, the day the Ohio State Racing Commission will award racing dates for 2009.
The Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, which represents owners and trainers at Arlington Park and Hawthorne Race Course, and the Oregon Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, comprised of horsemen competing at Portland Meadows, have voted to join the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group.
California horsemen and Hollywood Park reached a tentative agreement Oct. 10 that allows the track to operate its 40-day autumn race meet, but a stalemate over host fees to be paid by account wagering companies for interstate bets remains unresolved.
Barring fruitful negotiations -- and that scenario currently doesn't appear possible -- it could be months before decisions on Thoroughbred racing dates in Ohio are made.
Support for reform of the revenue model for advance deposit wagering continues to increase, but as evidenced Sept. 30 during the International Simulcast Conference, it's looking more and more like a long-term project.
Michael Konik, author of The Smart Money: How the World's Best Sports Bettors Beat the Bookies Out of Millions, will address the subject of programmed wagering and offshore booking Sept. 29, first day of the International Simulcast Conference in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Magna Entertainment Corp., in a statement issued the evening of Aug. 28, acknowledged it is having discussions with the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group on what company chairman Frank Stronach called "a new framework" for pari-mutuel economics.
Churchill Downs Inc. has fired back at horsemen's groups it has sued over alleged federal antitrust violations, calling their collective actions "price-fixing, pure and simple."
Betfair, the Great Britain-based online betting exchange, continues to negotiate with officials in the United States and is inching closer to a deal by which it would compensate horsemen for use of their product.
The Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group, which advocates a new economic model for pari-mutuel wagering and has been engaged in high-profile battles in the racing industry, isn't going away anytime soon, its president said July 18.
A fan-friendly experiment to share racetracks among California's advance deposit wagering companies has ended with the start of the Del Mar meet July 16.
At least two racetrack operators aren't pleased with recent developments concerning advance deposit wagering revenue, and one indicated closure of his track isn't out of the question should the conflict continue.
The Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group is calling for a meeting with the Thoroughbred Racing Associations to discuss advance deposit wagering revenue given ongoing conflict between horsemen, racetracks, and ADW providers over equitable revenue splits.
The Thoroughbred Owners of California board of directors has unanimously endorsed the negotiating model created by the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group, and has authorized the THG to represent the TOC in future simulcast negotiations, including in advance deposit wagering negotiations.
Players involved in the fractious negotiations with Churchill Downs over revenue sharing on the evening of May 13 exhorted a gathering of more than 150 horsemen to stay the course in the standoff and support their efforts.
Calder Race Course and all other Florida tracks are facing the prospect of not receiving the signal for the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and its Pimlico Race Course undercard.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has given the new national Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group authority to negotiate terms with advance deposit wagering companies for betting on races at South Florida Thoroughbred racetracks. Also, Florida horsemen want an agreement on slots revenue with Calder before any contracts are signed.
Account wagering companies that take bets on races from Lone Star Park must agree to a new formula that gives an equal share of pari-mutuel revenue to the racetrack, horsemen, and the wagering provider.
The Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario is the latest horsemen's group to join the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group, which was established Dec. 5 to facilitate simulcast activities for horsemen and improve pari-mutuel economics.
The Thoroughbred Owners of California and Arkansas Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have joined the new Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group, launched Dec. 5 to facilitate simulcast activities and improve the economics of the pari-mutuel model.
Eight horsemen?s groups from around the United States have joined together to form a coalition designed to improve racing economics, specifically in the area of generating more purse revenue from interstate simulcasts.
The California Horse Racing Board is planning for the first anabolic steroid-free Breeders' Cup World Championships in 2008 at Santa Anita Park.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - Human sports and racing have faced the same challenge: the cheaters are ahead of the labs.
Tetrahydrogestrinone, a new designer steroid that has rocked human athletics in recent months, has been duly placed on the radar of North American racing. But there are no plans to take action against the potential performance-enhancer, racing officials said.
A formal Royal trainer is the latest in Great Britain to propose the Jockey Club freeze post-race samples from group stakes events to protect against new designer drugs that cannot be tested.
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