In the aftermath of the failed passage of the legislation that would have allowed video lottery terminals at Kentucky racetracks, several Thoroughbred industry members voiced their opinions on how they will survive without the extra boost to the state's purse structure and breeders' incentive programs.
Ellis Park owner Ron Geary said June 24 it's too soon to say a commitment from the racing industry and legislators to fight for racetrack gaming will keep his track open beyond the 2009 season. Meanwhile, Turfway Park and the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association plan to sit down soon to devise a plan that could include reductions in purses and racing dates for future meets.
A party-line vote in the Republican-heavy Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee June 22 killed legislation to authorize video lottery terminals at racetracks in Kentucky.
As Ohio racetracks are busy working on a plan for racetrack gaming, horsemen's groups are lobbying the state legislature to get behind Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland's proposal for video lottery terminals at tracks.
There hasn't been much good news for Justin Vitek since the end of February, when he found out that his leukemia, which had been in remission, returned. But things may finally be looking up for the veteran jockey, who recently found a bone marrow donor and will have a stem cell transplant later this month.
Turfway Park ended its 2009 winter/spring meet with double-digit declines in handle and purses paid, and a significant drop in field size compared to the same period in 2008. The 2009 meet began Jan. 1 and ended April 2.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said he has been proactive in his support of expanded gambling to assist horse racing and breeding, and the "continued tough economy may further underscore that effort."
After 12 years of sponsoring the Breeders' Futurity Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, William S. Farish's Lane's End has relinquished its support of the $500,000 event. The 1 1/16-mile Futurity for 2-year-olds is run in early October and had been sponsored by the farm since 1997.
West Point Thoroughbreds' Fitz Just Right tops a field of 10 3-year-old fillies hoping to grab their first graded earnings and make a late splash on the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) trail in the $150,000 Bourbonette Stakes (gr. III) March 21 at Turfway Park.
Because of successful juvenile campaigns, West Side Bernie and Bittel Road both already have enough graded earnings to ensure themselves a spot in the starting gate for the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 2. But the connections of each colt will now get to see if they have legitimate contenders in their barns when they go to post in the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) March 21 at Turfway Park.
A field of at least 10, headed by Lori and George Hall's West Side Bernie, appears likely for the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes for 3-year-olds at Turfway Park March 21.
Turfway Park has canceled its third consecutive Monday program because of a shortage of horses, officials said March 13.
After going a month with no fatalities, Turfway Park in Northern Kentucky was the site of five catastrophic injuries during an eight-day period in February, according to state veterinarian Dr. Bryce Peckham.
Turfway Park has canceled live racing for Sunday, March 8, due to a water main break in the stable area.
Association purses paid at Turfway Park will be cut 5% and the 2009 Tejano Run Stakes and Fairway Fun Stakes have been canceled, track president Robert N. Elliston announced March 6.
Turfway Park's live racing card scheduled for March 2, has been canceled due to lack of entries. The card had been added to the schedule in an effort to make up races lost to six full or partial weather cancellations, five in January and one in February.
Turfway Park is having a tough time making up for programs canceled because of the weather during the current winter/spring meet.
The 38th renewal of the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park has drawn 112 nominations, it was announced Feb. 22.
Citing wind chill temperatures, Turfway Park canceled the Thursday, Feb. 19, live racing card after the third race.
More than 100 people who make their living in the Kentucky horse industry made their case to three Northern Kentucky legislators Feb. 16, and the message was clear: The economics must change or the state will lose a valuable asset.
Millionaire grade I winner Brass Hat returns to racing Feb. 14 in the $50,000 Dust Commander Stakes at Turfway Park, his first start in eight months.
SPECIAL REPORT: Horsemen who call Kentucky home year-round are taking a beating, and they predict even more owners and horses will leave the state. Whether there will be legislative relief any time soon, however, remains to be seen.
A month after Turfway Park experienced eight catastrophic breakdowns during its 21-day holiday meet, state veterinarian Dr. Bryce Peckham and Turfway president Bob Elliston were on hand at a Feb. 10 Kentucky Horse Racing Commission meeting in Lexington to present commissioners a much more positive report.
Parade Clown got a wise ride from veteran rider Bill Troilo Feb. 7 at Turfway Park to take home the $50,000 WEBN Stakes trophy. It was the first stakes win for the son of Distorted Humor and a decisive step toward the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) next month.
The field for the rescheduled $50,000 WEBN Stakes Feb. 7 grew to 12 when entries were retaken, and additional early speed adds new possibilities to the mile contest for 3-year-olds.
The Horseplayers Association of North America has introduced this year a rating system for 65 Thoroughbred racetracks in North America. Featured exclusively on BloodHorse.com is a countdown of the top 10 tracks. Turfway Park is #10.
The quarantine imposed on Barn 17 at Turfway Park Friday, Jan. 30, was lifted Saturday morning after samples from a horse euthanized at the track Friday tested negative for equine herpes virus and other communicable disease.
Turfway Park has canceled live racing for Jan. 31, with officials saying that several days of snow and ice and deep cold overnight had created stubborn clods in the track surface.
A barn at Turfway Park was quarantined Jan. 30 after a horse that showed signs of equine herpesvirus was euthanized, track officials confirmed later that day.
Lingering effects from a strong winter storm have led Turfway Park to cancel live racing the afternoon of Jan. 29.
A winter storm that has spanned half the country has led to cancellation of live racing and full-card simulcast programs at various tracks.
With windchill temperatures again expected to plunge well below zero, Turfway Park has canceled live racing for Friday, Jan. 16. The track will remain open for simulcasting, with gates opening at 11:15 a.m.
Freezing temperatures have forced a pair of racetracks to cancel live racing over the next two days.
Management at Turfway Park is continuing to be diligent in seeking answers to why the number of catastrophic (fatal) injuries doubled during the Northern Kentucky track's recent holiday meet.
Veterinarians with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and management at Turfway Park are looking into reasons why the number of catastrophic injuries over the Polytrack surface spiked.
Loch Dubh proved himself a good investment Jan. 3 at Turfway Park, drawing off to win the $50,000 Turfway Prevue Stakes in his second start off a $15,000 claim at Churchill Downs.
Turfway Park closed its 2008 Holiday Meet with slight increases in average daily handle both on-track and from all sources. Daily on-track wagering on Turfway races was $127,992, an increase of 0.3%, while daily all-sources wagering on Turfway races was $2,775,799, up 1.8%.
The first stakes race of Turfway Park's new winter/spring meet is also the first chance to gauge hopefuls for the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) later in the meet. The $50,000 Turfway Prevue Stakes on Jan. 3, written for 3-year-olds racing 6 1/2 furlongs, is the first of three local prep races for the Lane's End, which is in turn a major prep for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
With forecasters promising strong winds and single-digit windchill temperatures, Turfway Park and Hawthorne Race Course have canceled live racing for Dec. 21.
Marble Cliff, disqualified in all five of his starts -- including two stakes wins--after it was determined he wasn't Ohio-registered, returns to the races a maiden in search of his "first" victory the evening of Dec. 12 at Turfway Park.
- By Esther Marr
Following the Oct. 15 unveiling of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's Safety and Integrity Alliance, four of the organization's principle figures were on hand to further explain their roles and the details of the equine health and safety reform plan, which will be implemented gradually over the next two years.
Turfway Park closed its 2008 fall meet with declines in all-sources and on-track handle, the Florence, Ky., track reported Oct. 3.
The foray from Canada to Kentucky's Turfway Park proved even more profitable for owner Bear Stables, trainer Reade Baker, and jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva as Bear Now cruised to a four-length victory in the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Distaff (gr. III) Sept. 27. The win came barely an hour after the connections teamed up to take the Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. III) with Fatal Bullet. The two runners' connections leave Turfway with a pair of impressive prospects for the Breeders' Cup World Championships October 24-25 at Oak Tree at Santa Anita.
Benefiting from a patient ride by Shaun Bridgmohan, Zanjero bided his time early, then split horses decisively in mid-stretch to score a 1 1/2-length victory in the $350,000 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park Sept. 27.
Four graduates and five second-year students from the North American Racing Academy lined up for an exhibition race at Turfway Park in Kentucky Sept. 27, with Matthew Straight, a member of the academy's 2008 inaugural graduating class, getting the win aboard Pointing Home.
Bear Stables' Fatal Bullet left no questions unanswered Sept. 27 with an authoritative track-record victory in the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Turfway Park and appears headed to the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.
Multimillionaire Perfect Drift will return to Turfway Park one more time for congratulations and honors as he begins his retirement with a special celebration and ceremony Sept. 27 as part of festivities surrounding the Kentucky Cup Day of Champions.
On Sept. 27, Honest Man will tell trainer Larry Jones if he is ready for prime time, as he makes what could be his final Breeders' Cup prep in the $350,000 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park. He will take on five rivals in the 1 1/8-mile test on Polytrack.
Before trainer Larry Jones saddles Honest Man in the Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park Saturday, he will send out multiple graded stakes winner Maren's Meadow in the Kentucky Cup Distaff (gr. III).
Keeneland, whose fall meet begins Oct. 3, is launching a "PolyCapping" online database to provide more information for handicappers.
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