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After Being Pulled from Keeneland November Sale, the Plan is to Bring Rich Strike Back to the Races

Thu, 2023-11-30 17:24

Owner Rick Dawson has changed his mind a few times regarding the career of his GI Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike (Keen Ice). One day's he's coming back to the races, another day he's to be sold as a stallion prospect, the next day it's back to trying to get him back to the races.

It's not that Dawson is indecisive, it's more a matter of him reacting to what is a constantly changing situation.

“A few weeks before the sale we had made plans to ship him to Gulfstream Park to Bill Mott to prepare for racing,” Dawson said. “We decided to have him examined one more time at Rood and Riddle and have an ultrasound to play it safe. The previous ultrasound had been really good so we were confident. This ultrasound showed he had regressed in his healing of the suspensory ligament. We had almost replaced all the scar tissue and it seemed to be repaired. We canceled transportation the next morning to Florida.”

So they entered him in the Keeneland November Horses of Racing Age sale as a stallion prospect. But Dawson was able to read the room. With Rich Strike coming off dismal performances in the GI Clark S. and in the GII Alysheba, his value as a sire prospect had never been lower.

“Throughout the process and up until a couple days before sale, the gut feeling I had so far as Rich Strike becoming a stallion at this point in his career was that I was not going to get what I was hoping for,” Dawson said.

So it was on to Plan C., try to get him back to the races after all.

Under the advice of Dr. Larry Bramlage, Rich Strike has been, since exiting the sale, undergoing stem cell treatments aimed at healing the problems he's been having all along with the suspensory ligaments in his two front legs.

“After the sale I was thinking 'what am I going to do now?'” Dawson said. “I started checking options. I started further researching other options. We visited with Dr. Bramlage at Rood and Riddle and we talked about stem cell treatment. We were so close to getting him back before. If stem cells could bring anything to the party it could really make a difference. He's not terribly injured. He just has this on-going nagging-type issue and so we thought if we could get him healed he could race again and do so at a high level and win. That would make his stallion value a lot better. It's not a matter of dollars to me. I just want to get him into a situation where he has access to really good mares and therefore get him to a level playing field to produce great offspring. If you're covering mediocre or less-than-mediocre mares your stallion career is going to be pretty short.”

So the hope is that they can get Rich Strike over his problems and then turn him over to one of the best in the business in Bill Mott.

“Bill Mott believes that if we can get him back to 100%, he can return to a similar level as his Derby race, his Travers, the Lukas Classic, races where he did really well,” Dawson said. “Bill doesn't think there's anything that can prevent him from doing that and I tend to agree.

“With the stem cell treatments, I talked to one trainer and owner and they'll tell you they had little or no success with stem cell treatments. Then others tell you they had a lot of success. If I can't get him healed and back to a point where he can withstand training and racing and being safe doing so then I will retire him. As long as I feel like we're improving his health, taking our time and giving him every opportunity to heal I'm all in favor for it. We have no time clock.”

Rich Strike remains at Margaux Farm, where all he is doing is walking and is not yet back under tack. Dawson is aiming for him to join Mott in April and begin serious training. Of course, that plan could go up in smoke if the vets don't like what they see from future ultrasounds. Dawson understands this plan is no sure thing, but believes it's the best possible route to take.

“All this means is that we're going to have a year off and haven't gotten beaten up,” the owner said. “In his age group, every time I look I see that someone else has been retired. The older class just gets smaller and smaller. My hope is that when he turns five, he'll be back in great condition and he'll be in great position. He can be older, bigger and better. I feel like if we get him back well and he could win a race or two will that will not only further his resume as a race horse, but it's also going to increase his value as a stallion. The risk is worth taking.”

The post After Being Pulled from Keeneland November Sale, the Plan is to Bring Rich Strike Back to the Races appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Buses Donated by Horseshoe Indianapolis

Thu, 2023-11-30 15:47

Two 2020 Shuttle buses were donated by Horseshoe Indianapolis to two organizations in Shelby County. The J. Kenneth Self Boys & Girls Club and Girls, Inc each received a shuttle from the previous fleet utilized by guests for the racetrack and casino visiting the facility.

“Each of these shuttles have less than 300 miles on them, so we hope they will be beneficial for both organizations for many years to come,” said Anna Dougherty, Vice President of Finance. “I'm very passionate about these organizations as my kids attended both facilities. They provide an incredible resource for our community and our families.”

Scott Spahr, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club, added, “The addition of this shuttle to our facility will make life a lot easier. Transportation is one of the hardest things to conquer, and we always have to figure out how to get the kids to sporting events and field trips. This shuttle will ease those concerns.”

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Striving to Illuminate the Path to Transparency, Light Up Racing Launched

Thu, 2023-11-30 15:24

'Light Up Racing', an initiative led by a group of industry participants, striving to illuminate the path to transparency, awareness, and accountability in horse racing, has been launched, according to a press release.

Light Up is spearheaded by a group of industry participants, including Price Bell, Roderick Wachman, Jason Litt, and Dr. Jeff Berk. Kick Collective, the marketing agency behind the Australian-based initiative Kick Up for Racing, is driving the marketing and communications.

“We have been inspired by the impactful work of Kick Up in Australia and believe we have a similar opportunity in the US,” said Price Bell, one of the founding directors of Light Up.

“Kick Up informs the public conversation about horse racing in Australia through grassroots education and engagement. Fundamental to its success is using data and factual information to provide transparency, and accessibility to our horses. This has created a culture of accountability to the horse. We believe we have similar opportunity, to support and inspire the collective voice of our industry participants.”

Established in 2022, Kick Up has quickly become a valuable resource for the Australian racing industry with content focused on addressing the common concerns surrounding horse racing. In addition to a digital presence via its website and social channels, Kick Up has fostered a community who are empowered to address misinformation about horse racing and share positive stories to their networks.

Vin Cox, Managing Director of Godolphin Australia and a Director of the Victorian Racing Club who host the iconic Melbourne Cup at Flemington, said:

“The anti-racing groups are well-funded, well-organized, and have been allowed to shape the public narrative of our industry, unopposed. Kick Up stepped in and empowered and emboldened racing supporters by providing fact-based articles that correct the misinformation being propagated by the anti-racing community.

“The social capital surrounding the Melbourne Cup carnival is now at its strongest in many years, and although anecdotal, I firmly believe that the work done by the Kick Up team has had a hugely significant impact.”

In a similar theme, the primary objective of Light Up is to empower the industry community with accurate knowledge by providing transparent information and distilled research.

Every industry issue Light Up will challenge is guided by a fundamental question: “What is in the best interest of the horse?”

Dr. JR Coffman, a past President of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, captured this sentiment when he wrote, “whenever a question is answered based upon the welfare of the horse, the human principles involved are also best served in the long run. We are here for the horse; to the extent that we are responsive to that concept, we will prosper both as individuals and as an organization.”

Light Up is committed to dismantling the wall of secrecy that often surrounds the industry, empowering participants with the knowledge and confidence to engage in meaningful conversations with the concerned public and external media, and most importantly, provide the information needed to make informed decisions that prioritize equine safety.

The post Striving to Illuminate the Path to Transparency, Light Up Racing Launched appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Annual Sponsor-A-Family Program Highlights Holiday Season for NY Backstretch Community

Thu, 2023-11-30 13:56

Of all the events, activities, programs, and services that the New York Race Track Chaplaincy provides to the backstretch communities at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course, the Christmas Sponsor-A-Family program closes out the year in a very special way that touches the hearts of donors and families alike.

Months of preparation culminate with the distribution of food, clothing, toys, and gifts for approximately 250 families just before Christmas each year. (This year, the distribution will take place at the new Chaplaincy Center at Belmont Park on Tuesday, December 19, 2023.)

“It is almost impossible to describe the joy and gratitude these recipients feel each year,” said Karen Chavez, the general manager of the New York Race Track Chaplaincy. “Virtually all of the recipients are spending the holidays thousands of miles away from their place or birth and their original home and the donations to this program help them enjoy the holidays in a way that they could not otherwise afford.”

Chavez often hears directly from donors and how it “puts them in the Christmas spirit and helps them enjoy the holiday season a lot more.”

“They are all very glad to pitch in and we are eternally grateful for their humanitarian spirit,” she said.

In the Saratoga area, Stephen Sullivan, the owner of the Olde Bryan Inn restaurant in Saratoga Springs, provides a delicious dinner free of charge to recipients of the gifts which makes for a very special evening.

West Point Thoroughbreds and The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation also serve as sponsors of the Sponsor-A-Family Program.

A year ago, the program was able to find sponsorship for every one of the families in need and Chavez said the Chaplaincy is striving to match that achievement in 2023.

Chaplaincy Photo

“It has been a challenging year in many ways, and we would love to bless all these families again this year,” she said.

Online donations for this program can be made on the Chaplaincy website at
To donate by check, please make checks payable to the NY Race Track Chaplaincy and mail to:
NY Race Track Chaplaincy, PO Box 37191, Elmont, NY 11003.

The chaplaincy ministers to the needs of the backstretch community at the NYRA racetracks (Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course) as well as surrounding farms through a wide variety of programs. They include enrichment programs for children, teen mentoring, women's enrichment, social service, and recreational programs, as well as educational opportunities, and non-denominational religious services.

The post Annual Sponsor-A-Family Program Highlights Holiday Season for NY Backstretch Community appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

NYTHA President Nominee Q&A: Tina Bond

Thu, 2023-11-30 12:03

The position of New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NYTHA) president is up for grabs at a time of great upheaval for horse racing in the state.

The TDN has given time to each of the candidates for president, speaking with Chad Summers in Thursday's TDN, and today, with Tina Bond. Tina Bond is managing partner of Bond Racing Stable, with her trainer husband, James. She has also served on the NYTHA board for the past nine years, six of those as vice president.

The winner of the election will replace outgoing president Joe Appelbaum.

The following has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

TDN: In your biographical statement, you say that you are “committed to bringing stability to our industry and to ensuring the future of year-round racing in the state by bringing in new and younger owners and fans.” What exactly do you think needs to happen to stabilize the industry and attract new young talent and fans to the game?

Tina Bond: I think that in New York we need to have a strong annual race-day calendar so that all of our fans and our bettors know that we're going to race on these days, and I'd love to see the racetracks work together to stop conflicting with each other's post times.

I think there are a lot of programs that we could start to bring in more trainers and more horses to New York, especially during the winter. I think there's a lot of opportunity to grow our winter program in New York.

As far as the younger generation and the younger fans, we have the new Belmont redevelopment, and once that's done, we'll have a facility that will help, hopefully, bring in new fans. But I think there's a lot of other things that we can do to appeal.

I want to make sure this sport is here for future generations. For future owners, for future horsemen, like both of my sons, Kevin and Ryan who followed in their father's footsteps. Riley Mott. Miguel Clement. They've all chosen this path. They've all gone to college but they've all come back to this industry. And so, I feel very strongly that it is important to grow and make this sport stronger so that it will be here for them and maybe their children.

TDN: What programs do you think would bring trainers and more horses to New York?

TB: We have to start our program earlier–in July and August–to put out what we're going to do in the winter and maybe just embellish or make that program appealing. We have to do that in July and August so people can make plans. And we have to make it appealing enough for them to say, 'I want to do this.'

TDN: What kind of things could appeal for them to say, 'okay, I do want to do this'?

TB: I do think the consistency of a good racing calendar, and I think a very strong purse structure will do that.

TDN: Another thing you say is how you will “always prioritize the safety of the horses.” Are there current safety-related protocols or programs you'd like to see changed, introduced?

TB: I think we've made great strides in the last several years, and the breakdown rate has diminished greatly. But there is always room for improvement.

I think there are some new technologies that could make racing safer–whether it's the wearables on the horses=–nd I think there's a lot that we have to learn.

I think in terms of racing surfaces, Glen Kozak [New York Racing Association (NYRA) executive vice president of Operations and Capital Projects] is one of the best in the country. He does a great, great job with the racing surfaces. I just think that we can always do better and the safety of the horse has to come first.

TDN: Equine safety and welfare obviously overlaps with the work under the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA). How do you see progress under HISA?

TB: HISA right now is in its infancy stages. There's a big learning curve. It's a huge project to take this on as a national endeavor.

One thing that I would really like to explore is funding possibilities. Whether it's grants or [something else], I just want to identify some alternative funding for HISA, which impacts a lot of the owners with the cost of this program.

TDN: You also mention how you'll “continue to fight for New York Racing and Breeding because of the wonderful platform it provides for the sport.” Are there additional things to be done to make the state's breeding industry stronger?

TB: The breeding program in New York is the strongest and the best breeding program in the country. That speaks for itself.

Number two, in 2026, there's going to be purse parity for the New York-breds in open company. That's going to have a huge impact. I think that we can all look forward to that.

As far as doing more, I think the New York breeders have looked into bringing more mares into New York state. I think they're working on other programs to do that.

While the New York-bred program is very healthy, the foal crop has gone down nationwide, and so, it's had an impact on every area of breeding in the country, not just New York.

It's the cost of breeding these animals to get them to the races. I mean, we [the Bond Racing Stable] do it all. Soup to nuts. From breeding to breaking our horses here at the farm to training and then we retire them. So, I know the economic impact is huge.

But I think these are industry-wide economic impacts. And I think we have fewer owners because of the economics of this whole industry.

TDN: This taps into a recent NYTHA-backed study by three interns from Yale highlighted some worrying industry-wide declines over the past 20 years. What are your key takeaways from that study?

TB: The economics don't work out to where it's a very profitable business plan.

TDN: So, where do you step in to change things?

TB: I'd like to work together with NYRA on making the purses stronger year-round. And I would like to be able to help owners tap into other revenue sources.

The owners bring their equine investments, which is their property, to the racetracks–presently, I don't believe that the owners are properly compensated for all they bring to the table. When I'm president, I'll discuss this with the new NYTHA board, and other industry leaders, to see if this is attainable. I believe it is.

TDN: What other issues do you see as priorities for any NYTHA president?

TB: We have to promote racing and highlight the positives of the sport if we're going to bring new and younger fans to it.

This year we partnered with NYRA. We did some farm tours at our farm, Song Hill Thoroughbreds, and it was amazing. We did it one day a week. There were two trolleys that came in with probably about 54 to 56 people each time. They just couldn't get enough.

I talked about bloodstock. I talked about pedigree analysis. I showed them mares and babies. We went through the whole thing–how we break horses. How we get sales candidates ready. They just couldn't get enough of it.

There are people out there that we just haven't tapped into yet. But they come to Saratoga, they love Saratoga, and this shows them behind the scenes. It's going to strengthen our fan base and give people an appreciation for these majestic animals and what we do.

The other thing: I'm probably going to operate a little bit differently, be a little bit more transparent. I would love to tap into not just our board members–there are a lot of wonderful people that are owners and trainers, and I would love for them to be able to come forward and help in whatever capacity they can.

I think there's a lot of untapped energy and assets that we just haven't even thought about yet.

TDN: What other ways do you propose to do that?

TB: As far as the good stories, whether we use a PR firm or whether we do a lot on social media. Maybe it's segments that air on “America's Day at the Races,” a wonderful program that NYRA and FOX has put together. It reaches a huge market of our fans and potential fans.

I talk about Bond Racing Stable, which is a partnership that I run. I've brought in over 100 new partners doing this. They're from all over the country. It allows them to do it on a fractional cost and fractional ownership to see if they like it. And some of them have gone on to buy their own horses. I think there are a lot of ways to tap into bringing people into the industry.

TDN: Chad Summers, in his Q&A, was critical of the NYTHA board, arguing that it hasn't done a good job at keeping its constituents informed of important goings on. Given your long standing on the board, what's your response? And what makes you the best person for this position?

TB: I believe I am the right person, with my background in breeding and racing and retiring horses. I've been on the board for nine years, six of them vice president. There's a lot that I've learned in those nine years. And there's a lot to becoming the president of NYTHA, including a strong alliance with the people in Albany. I've worked very hard over the years with the constituents in Albany.

I would like to be a little bit more proactive. Especially with the redevelopment, we have to make sure that everybody is up to date on what's going to happen. I understand what the industry is, and I am going to be as transparent as I possibly can be.

I have access to all parts of the industry from the horsemen to the backstretch. I do speak to a lot of the trainers on a daily basis. I think that I have a good network, and I will be accessible to whoever needs it. I believe that we have a great staff at NYTHA. There are boots on the ground. We just have to tap into those boots on the ground.

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Butzows Win John Deere Award For Breeders

Thu, 2023-11-30 11:43

Barry and Joni Butzow, who bred and race graded-stakes winning 'TDN Rising Star' Zozos (Munnings), are the recipients of the 2023 John Deere Award, which recognizes breeders who were represented in this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships and the Breeders' Cup 'Win and You're In' Challenge series over the course of the year.

The Deere Award winner was determined by a drawing among all breeders who either won a Breeders' Cup race or a Challenge series race. NTRA Advantage and John Deere will award the Butzows a John Deere Gator TX Utility Vehicle.

Zozos won this year's GIII Ack Ack S. en route to an appearance in the GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.

“Congratulations to Barry and Joni Butzow as the recipients of this year's John Deere Award, highlighted by the Win and You're In victory of Zozos in the Ack Ack Stakes,” said Dora Delgado, Breeders' Cup Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Officer. “The John Deere Award shines a light on the vital contributions breeders have made to the Breeders' Cup program since its inception and honors their accomplishments. We also thank John Deere and NTRA Advantage for their sponsorship of this award.”

“Zozos has given us a wonderful trip for the last two years, culminating with the Breeders' Cup this year,” said Barry Butzow. “It's a journey we couldn't have made without great people helping us along the way. Starting with the folks at Woodline Farm, Mike and J.B. Orem, Beau Lane, and the patient and great care of Brad Cox and staff, and of course the riding skills of Florent Geroux.”

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Report: Racing To Resume at Turf Paradise in January

Thu, 2023-11-30 10:02

Racing is set to resume at Turf Paradise in suburban Phoenix in late January 2024, according to a post on X from the track which displays a message from the Arizona HBPA bulletin board.

The message read: “There was an emergency HBPA meeting tonight. A race meet will take place. Race dates are Jan. 29 through May 4. Horsemen can arrive in their stalls Dec. 18 with the track opening for training on the 26th. All is based on the approval of the commission. Stall applications will go out asap after dates have been requested. If anything further develops, we will post an update.”

The communique was signed by HBPA President Lloyd Yother and consultant Leroy Gessmann.

AXIOS Phoenix was first to report the news that Turf Paradise was to be sold for redevelopment last April, at which time the continuation of racing at the track was possible as a 'placeholder' for a short period of time. In August, track officials announced that racing would not resume in November as the deal to sell the property appeared on its way towards closing. At that point, Gessmann told stakeholders that should the deal be concluded by mid-December, a race meet could take place beginning in January.

On Sept. 18, the initially announced sale was pronounced dead, but 10 days later, owner Jerry Simms revealed that a new buyer had suddenly emerged. It was also announced that Turf Paradise would cease operations and would be closing the 37 off-track-betting facilities operated by the track as of Oct. 1, leaving horsepeople in a state of flux.

The post from Turf Paradise indicated it would have more to say on the issue, but no further details emerged during the course of the day Thursday.

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Trainer Whit Beckman Talks Honor Marie on the TDN Writers’ Room

Wed, 2023-11-29 17:25

Whit Beckman has been the assistant to two of the top trainers in the country, but this past week, he landed the first graded stakes win of his own career when Honor Marie (Honor Code) won the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club S. at Churchill. Beckman was the Green Group Guest of the Week on this week's TDN Writers' Room Podcast presented by Keeneland.

“Going into it, I was fairly confident we were going to see that new dimension of him being able to really close, and kind of find his stride. Some of those one-turn races you could see kind of takes a while to get himself kind of geared up. Fortunately, in that first start, everything kind of worked out. He got there that second start on a real sloppy track. It was just some tough conditions. But he still ran a really legitimate race. And I mean, going into this prior to it, I wasn't worried.”

Honor Marie, a $40,000 KEESEP yearling, was a debut winner of a restricted maiden special weight at Churchill Downs Sept. 29. He was second to Otto the Conqueror (Street Sense) in an optional claimer in the slop at Churchill Downs Oct. 29, and was making his two-turn debut in the Kentucky Jockey Club. He will now head to Fair Grounds to prepare for his 3-year-old career.



“He's done everything right to this point,” said Beckman. “He's a young horse, a May foal. So him early on, he just had some maturity things and just kind of a rawness about him. We needed a little bit more time to get him going. But now that he's starting to kind of figure things out on the mental side, we've always known the physical side was there. At this point, the way he won, the way the gallop-out went, he could go on to be a very legitimate horse.”

Beckman discusses what he learned from Brown and Pletcher–but doesn't give away any secrets–and also talks about his stint in Saudi Arabia.

Elsewhere on the podcast, which is also sponsored by the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association, West Point Thoroughbreds, Kentucky-breds, WinStar Farm and, Randy Moss and Zoe Cadman reviewed the slate of Thanksgiving weekend's races, discuss this weekend coming up, and talk about Bill Finley's interview with Stuart Janney about the 60 Minutes broadcast in Wednesday's TDN.

To listen to the audio version of the podcast, click here.

To watch the video version, click here.

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Over $40,000 Raised to Support New Vocations on Giving Tuesday

Wed, 2023-11-29 15:21

New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program celebrated a successful Giving Tuesday, raising over $40,000 for their mission to rehab, retrain, and rehome retired racehorses.

Churchill Downs Incorporated, alongside their nine racetrack properties, pledged to match the first $20,000 raised by New Vocations in support of both Thoroughbred and Standardbred aftercare.

Over 100 supporters in the equestrian and racing communities rallied together in support of New Vocations' aftercare program.

“It was really great to see support come in from so many of our adopters and supporters along with many new contributors via our social media communities,” said Anna Ford, New Vocations Thoroughbred Program Director. “We are very grateful for Churchill Downs Incorporated's match as it was a huge help and definitely jump started the campaign. The funds raised will go towards the day-to-day costs associated with caring for the over 150 horses currently in our program.”

The post Over $40,000 Raised to Support New Vocations on Giving Tuesday appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Toys for Tots Day of Giving to be held Saturday at Aqueduct

Wed, 2023-11-29 14:25

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA)'s annual Toys for Tots day of giving will take place on Saturday, Dec. 2 at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The event is a longtime holiday tradition at the Big A held annually on Cigar Mile Day and offered in partnership with the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation.

Founded in 1947, Toys for Tots collects and distributes new, unwrapped toys to local children in need each holiday season. Fans in attendance on Saturday can find donation boxes located at the Turf and Field entrance and the Clubhouse lobby.

As part of its support of the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation, NYRA is making a financial contribution to the organization. Toys for Tots is also supported by generous contributions from the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NYTHA) and Thoroughbred owner Harold Lerner.

“NYTHA applauds the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation for all they do to support children in our communities,” said NYTHA President Joe Appelbaum. “New York's horsemen take pride in giving generously each and every year.”

Lerner agreed, calling his support of Toys for Toys a way of making the holidays more meaningful for everyone.

“Toys for Tots is an incredible organization that supports countless children and families here in New York,” Lerner said. “It is an honor to be able to support their important work, and I thank NYRA for once again committing to a day of giving. It's our goal to make kids smile, especially at this time of year, and we want to reach as many children as possible.”

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Readers’ Up! Program Launched By NMRHOF

Wed, 2023-11-29 12:34

Readers' Up!, a free program designed to expand learning opportunities and bring the experience of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame into a classroom setting, has been launched by the museum. The program will offer free copies of equine-related literature to schools throughout the U.S. for use in their English Language Arts curriculum. Stewart's Shops is sponsoring the program.

Representatives of the Museum will visit participating schools in person or virtually with items and artifacts relating to the books the students are provided. The program sets out to develop a passion for reading at the youth level by providing a tangible, historical backdrop to connect students to Thoroughbred racing in a new and unique way. There are no costs for participating schools.

“The Museum is committed to inclusive and accessible education, and a big part of that is removing as many barriers to entry as we can,” said Matt Reichel, the National Museum of Racing's Educator. “We recognize that some schools may lack the time or resources to visit us, so we've decided to bring elements of the Museum experience to them. Readers Up! is a remarkable program that both encourages reading and connects students with our sport in new and unique ways. We are ecstatic to share this initiative with our local community and with schools throughout the country and we are thankful to Stewart's Shops for sponsoring the program.”

The post Readers’ Up! Program Launched By NMRHOF appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

Grade III Winner, Grade I-Placed Warrant Retired To Blackstone Farm

Wed, 2023-11-29 11:22

Warrant (Constitution–Whisper Number, by First Samurai), winner of the 2021 GIII Oklahoma Derby and narrowly defeated into second in the GI Santa Anita H. the following spring, has been retired from racing and will enter stud in 2024 at Blackstone Farm in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania. He will begin his stud career at a fee of $4,000 S&N terms.

A homebred for Twin Creeks Farm and trained by Brad Cox, Warrant won the 2021 Texas Derby and was runner-up in the GIII West Virginia Derby before winning the Remington feature by 1 3/4 lengths. A head second behind Express Train (Union Rags) at less than 4-1 in the 2022 Big 'Cap, Warrant added this year's Isaac Murphy Marathon S. over 12 furlongs and retires with five wins from 19 starts for earnings of $1,102,833.

“Warrant being a Grade III winner and Grade I-placed millionaire by emerging elite sire Constitution, we are very excited and can't wait to introduce him to Pennsylvania breeders,” said Christian Black. “We will be supporting him heavily with our own mares.”

Added Twin Creeks' Randy Gullatt: “From day one, Warrant has been our favorite Constitution that we have. We have a ton of confidence in what Warrant can do as a stallion and look forward to supporting him.”

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NYTHA President Nominee Q&A: Chad Summers

Wed, 2023-11-29 10:33

The position of New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NYTHA) president is up for grabs at a time of great upheaval for horse racing in the state.

Belmont Park is poised to undergo a $455-million overhaul, after which Aqueduct is set to close its doors. Within a few years, horse racing in New York will look drastically different to what it looks like today.

This is also a period of tremendous existential challenge for the sport, as evidenced by a recent 60 Minutes expose on the industry's doping problems. Among the issues figured prominently in the program was another year of high-profile equine fatalities, including 13 during the summer Saratoga meet.

One of two individuals running for the position is trainer Chad Summers, who has held a license since 2017. Before that, he held an assortment of positions in the game including hot walker, groom, foreman, racing manager, and clocker's assistant.

The TDN recently spoke both Summers and Tina Bond about their bids for NYTHA president, digging into the specifics of their platform.

First up today: Chad Summers. The following has been heavily edited for brevity and clarity.

TDN: In your biographical statement, you say that “NYTHA has not been represented by someone with boots on the ground. We need our voices heard now more than ever.” What exactly do you mean by that?

Chad Summers: When Rick Violette was in charge for years and years, his door was always open. Any time there was a question, a concern, you would be able to find him and he would either lead you in the right direction or have the answer himself.

Unfortunately, over the last six years, the management has not had skin in the game. They own very, very few horses. They're not there on the day-to-day. They've been there for the ribbon-cutting ceremonies, but they haven't been there on the Tuesdays in February. I just feel like the horsemen and women are best represented by somebody who's in the trenches with them.

TDN: You've mentioned in a prior conversation other areas of focus, including the sharply rising costs of everyday training commodities. What specific things do you have in mind to tackle those areas?

CS: NYTHA is in a unique situation because most every track is represented by an HBPA organization, which then leads to the bigger HBPA, led by Eric Hamelback. Eric can't work with New York right now because of an antiquated rule that changed back in the 1970s.

HBPA organizations have trainer co-ops designed to kind of protect their own investments or make them part-owners of businesses such as bedding or feed companies, which would allow us to cut costs and manage it ourselves. Those are things that need to be examined and looked at and priced out. Then go from there.

I was in Ohio at Mahoning Valley just last week and the cost of shavings over there was $5.59 a bag. In New York right now, I'm paying $12.18. That needs to change. When you're paying $50 for a bale of hay, $30 for a bag of feed and minimum wage is set to rise to $17 an hour in New York, it is a struggle for trainers to stay in business.

Owners are not happy paying the fees on the day rate. And they think that trainers are making money on the day rate, which I assure you they are not. We need to work together to come up with solutions to try and save costs while still allowing our horses the luxuries that they're used to and they're entitled to.

TDN: As NYTHA president, you are going to be presiding over a period of great upheaval in New York racing. Where do you see the NYTHA president's responsibilities during this whole rigmarole?

CS: My responsibility as NYTHA president is to represent my organization's views and my organization's thoughts. That's something where immediately upon becoming president, you're making these phone calls and you're talking to your constituents and figuring out what does everybody want. What does everybody see as best? How do we figure out what's going on with the turf courses? What is going on with the synthetic surfaces? What is going on with racing next year?

New York still doesn't have a [2024] calendar yet. They still haven't applied for the dates with the gaming commission if the Belmont S. is going to be at Saratoga. Are we going to stay in Saratoga for an extra month in September?

NYTHA has a seat on the [NYRA] board, which is very, very important. It's just one seat, but your voice needs to be heard in those board meetings. I think that's very important when the NYRA board is made up mainly of people in outside businesses right now that don't have the day-to-day understanding of what's going on at the racetrack.

TDN: A recent NYTHA-backed study by three interns from Yale highlighted some worrying industry-wide declines over the past 20 years. I know you haven't seen the paper, but where do you see your role in helping to reverse some broader industry declines?

CS: And it's not something along the lines of, 'well, we need fresh blood and we need new trainers and new owners.' We talk and talk and talk and talk ourselves blue in the face and nothing ever gets done. We're famous for doing that, not just at NYTHA but as a horse racing industry in general.

We represent a big majority of what's going on [nationwide]. Where we go, others follow. We have to work together with the other states and the other racetracks and the other HBPAs, which hasn't been going on. We've been trying to be Switzerland and that's not the right answer.

TDN: What specific things would you do that would make a tangible difference?

CS: For one, you start with workers' comp policies. You look into proper ways to come up with a workers' comp plan where people aren't deathly afraid of coming to race in New York with the fees that they have to pay.

We did some work where the [fees] were lowered, but it's still not where it needs to be. There's medical and dental and things of that nature where the plan that we ended up putting in place last year was not a very good plan. We could have followed suit and done what Parx [Racing] did, which has gotten rave reviews from all its members over there in Pennsylvania.

How do you get people here? How do you improve your field size? How do you improve your handle? These are all things that are based on people wanting to be here. And for a while, New York had the best purses. We would puff out our chest and we'd say, 'come to New York because it's the best of the best and we have the best purses.'

But with the slot machines and the historic slots that you're seeing in Kentucky and these other places, we can't boast that claim anymore. And people are running out of town, they're going to different places.

The races here seem to only go for the same three or four super trainers. It doesn't allow the little person to compete. You're seeing the middle trainers having to leave New York and maybe not come back.

TDN: So, what specific actions do you have in mind to help the smaller barns?

CS: It's coming to an understanding with NYRA that they need the middle trainer instead of just catering to the upper echelons to understand that everybody has a role and everybody plays a part.

They had a shipping incentive where they would pay your shipping costs in the wintertime if you came in from Parx or Fair Hill or Laurel to help offset the costs. And after a while they go, 'oh no, it doesn't make sense.' But if you analyze the numbers, it was a big deal.

Look, NYRA itself is a non-for-profit organization. But where's the motivation for NYRA to be successful if they can't see any of the profit? You have to have pride in your work. You have to love what you do.

There's a core group of people that work at NYRA that do fit that mold. So, it's working closely with those people, getting together with president Dave O'Rourke, who wants what's best for the industry. But I just feel like he needs to hear more from what the actual owners and trainers are saying more so than what certain people are saying who are trying to parlay into other jobs.

TDN: Let's shift gears to HISA. How do you see progress under this new federal law?

CS: HISA needs to understand that we have a voice in this and they rule with an iron fist sometimes. They say certain things, but then they don't always allow follow ups.

If HISA wants to be an open door, then be an open door. If you call them on the phone and you talk to somebody, you say, 'I had a good conversation with you. What's your name or your phone number or your contact information?' Their immediate response is, 'we're not allowed to give that to you.' They're the Wizard of Oz. Open lines of communication are completely missing.

Ultimately, we agree that this sport does need federal oversight. But again, 99% of the people that work with HISA have never been a part of horse racing before, and they're coming in with rules that make no sense. I'll give you a perfect example here.

They don't want you to give anything to the horse the day before the race–electrolytes or anything. You're sitting there and you're seeing horses badly bleeding and things of that nature. I brought a case up to Dr. Scollay [HIWU chief of science].

I said, 'everywhere else in the world, they're allowed to give Duphalytes the day before.' She goes, 'it has vitamins in it so you can give it to them orally in the mouth, but you can't give it in the vein.' I just don't understand that.

To me, if you're giving it in the vein, you know that it's going in there. If you're giving it orally, you don't know that it's actually going to be ingested into the horse's system. You're trying to keep them hydrated because they're going to be in a competition where they're working their hardest.

TDN: Like quite a few trainers, you've fallen foul of the program's rules on intra-articular joint injections before timed workouts. Some might read your comments about HISA as personally motivated.

CS: I'm not trying to hide anything. It wasn't like the horse tested positive for something illegal. It was literally just the system being the system. I wrote down the wrong day on my medication logs. And so, because of that, I breezed the horse a day earlier. He did not test positive for anything along those lines.

I just find it curious more so than anything else how the first time I did it, I was not given a warning or anything like that. When it first came out and there were [dozens of] trainers that [initially broke the intra-articular injection rules before a timed workout]. Those all went away, including some of the bigger Hall of Fame trainers that had it. And now the first time that I did it, right away I was given a $3,000 fine and three points, was the worst human being in the world.

TDN: Finally, what makes you think you've the experience for such a prominent position?

CS: It's a matter of passion, first and foremost. You won't find a more passionate person about this industry than me. I'm not afraid to speak my mind, as you can tell. I'm not going to sit there and sugar coat things.

Not only am a trainer, I'm an owner, I'm a bloodstock agent. I've pinhooked horses. I've done everything in this industry that you can do. I've lived in tack rooms. I've lived in my car.

I know what it's like to be the little person, but I've won $2- million races. I know what it's like to be the big person so I can sit there and feel comfortable being in anybody's shoes and having a conversation with anybody and understanding–truly, genuinely understanding–what their position is.

I'm not afraid to make a phone call, whether it's to Eric Hamelback at the HBPA. Whether it's to Aidan Butler at 1/ST. Whether it's Dave O'Rourke here at NYRA, whether it's to Dubai or Saudi Arabia or England.

But I promise, if I'm elected NYTHA President, I won't stop until every one of our members is happy. And I know everyone says it's not possible. One guy wants this and one girl wants that. But we'll do everything in our power between me and my team to make sure that everybody's needs are met.

The ballots for the NYTHA elections have already been mailed out. Voting will take place, in person or by proxy, at the NYTHA Annual Meeting, to be held on Wednesday, Dec. 27, the location yet to be decided.

Tomorrow: Tina Bond makes her case.

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Keeneland To Donate $100K to Grayson-Jockey Club

Wed, 2023-11-29 09:56

As a signal of its commitment to supporting equine safety and welfare research, Keeneland will pledge a total of $100,000 over the next four years to the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation.

“The best interest of the horse is the beginning and end of all we do at Keeneland,” said Shannon Arvin, president and CEO of Keeneland. “In furtherance of our mission, Keeneland has long championed the important work of Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, which is a leader in equine safety, integrity, and research. Especially exciting is Grayson's study of advancing technology and veterinary science and their roles in keeping our equine athletes safe.”

Some of those funds will support a study to compare positron emission tomography (PET) to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for assessment of fetlock injuries in sport horses. The project is a one-year grant to Dr. Mathieu Spriet, University of California, Davis.

In 2015, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation funded the first project that employed the use of PET scans on equine athletes, and there was additional funding in 2019. At least 10 PET scans will have been installed through the end of 2023 in North America.

“Although the PET project is geared toward sport horses, we think it resonates with a tangible topic being discussed in the Thoroughbred industry today,” said Dr. Stuart Brown, Keeneland's vice president of equine safety. “Investment in furthering our understanding of the benefits of this new imaging modality and its application in the diagnosis and prevention of bone injury in our equine athletes remains an intense area of interest for interventional opportunities on behalf of the horse.”

“I can't thank Keeneland enough for its support of Grayson's invaluable research that helps so many of our horses,” said Dell Hancock, chair, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. “I challenge other racing associations to show their commitment to the safety of our equine athletes by incorporating funds for Grayson into future business expenses.”

Keeneland is a long-standing partner in support and funding of Grayson's research initiatives and has hosted its Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit, which brings together breeding, racing, and veterinary communities to improve safety and soundness of racehorses.

More information on the PET project and other current research being funded by Grayson can be found here:

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Grade I Winner Americanrevolution Anchors Rockridge Stallions for 2024

Wed, 2023-11-29 09:39

Standing in partnership with WinStar Farm, CHC Inc., Taylor Made Stallions, Mill Creek Farm and Fortune Farm, Grade I winner Americanrevolution (Constitution) will stand for a fee of $12,500 in his first year at stud at Rockridge Stud in Hudson, New York.

Bred in New York by leading breeders Fred W. Hertrich and John D. Fielding, the chestnut was the top 3-year-old of his generation in the state-bred ranks in 2021, winning the Empire Classic by nearly 12 lengths before validating favoritism in the GI Cigar Mile H. He was also second in the GII Stephen Foster S. and GI Jockey Club Gold Cup in his lone start over a mile and a quarter and retires with five wins from 12 starts for earnings of $1,286,810 while racing for WinStar and CHC.

As previously announced, fellow Cigar Mile winner Mind Control (Stay Thirsty) will cover mares at $8,500 at Irish Hill/Dutchess View Stallions for 2024 as the property of IHDV Stallions, Waldorf Farm and Hidden Lake Farm. Slumber (GB) (Cacique {Ire}, $7,500), Tourist (Tiznow, $3,500), Al Khali (Medaglia d'Oro, $1,500) and Disco Partner (Disco Rico, private) round out the Rockridge roster.

A special 'Brunch with a Champion' will be held Saturday, Dec. 9 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Mill Creek Farm in Stillwater for breeders to inspect Americanrevolution. The farm's annual stallion show and open house will be held Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024 with a full buffet lunch to be served. A drawing for free seasons to each stallion will also be held at the end of the show (winners must be present to win).

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HISA: No Specific Cause for Laurel Fatalities Last Spring, Mirroring No-Fault Findings in Churchill Deaths

Tue, 2023-11-28 20:07

A months-long investigation by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) Authority on a cluster of 13 Thoroughbred fatalities at Laurel Park during this year's winter and spring meets has determined that the deaths could not be attributed to any specific, obvious cause.

The Nov. 28 report essentially reached the same no-obvious-fault finding that HISA announced back on Sept. 12 after it completed a separate-and similarly exhaustive-report on the 12 equine fatalities that occurred at Churchill Downs in April and May of 2023.

“Based on the evidence and information available to HISA, the cluster of fatalities cannot be attributed to a singular cause,” stated the conclusion of the Authority's 237-page Laurel report.

“However, HISA's review does establish that both the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (MTHA) and Maryland Horse Breeders Association expressed concerns about the consistency of the [main] track surface during March and April which led to the track inspection visits of [Dennis] Moore and [John] Passero,” the HISA report continued.

“Following those visits, in late April, Laurel Park implemented changes in track maintenance practices that were designed to increase the consistency of the track surface pad and cushion. It is notable that following the track maintenance procedures that were implemented after Mr. Moore's and Mr. Passero's visits, there were no further fatalities during the spring meet.

“Therefore, it would be reasonable to assume that those changes contributed to a safer surface going forward,” the HISA report stated.

The causes of the fatalities were summarized as six fractures sustained in training on the dirt track; four fractures sustained in racing on the dirt track; one case of exercise-associated sudden death; one case of hindlimb cellulitis, and one traumatic injury in the barn area.

Two of the incidents also caused human injuries, to a jockey and a trainer.

The report spanned racing at Laurel between Jan. 1 and May 7, 2023.

In March, three horses sustained fatal musculoskeletal injuries while training or racing on Laurel's dirt surface. After two additional horses sustained fatal musculoskeletal injuries while training on the morning of Apr. 8, Laurel (which is owned by 1/ST Racing), cancelled that afternoon's racing to allow for a full evaluation of the racing surface.

Racing resumed on Apr. 13, and, between then and April 20, three additional horses sustained fatal musculoskeletal injuries while training or racing on the track.

At that time, TDN reported that after the Apr. 20 deaths, 1/ST Racing initially announced that racing would be canceled indefinitely, then later tried to fill an Apr. 27 card that was abandoned when horsemen withheld entries. Management maintained that the track was safe, while the horsemen disagreed, at one point calling the situation a “catastrophic emergency.”

The MTHA then lobbied for Passero's consultancy and inclusion in trying to optimize maintenance of the main track, which has been problematic for years.

Passero used to be the superintendent for Maryland tracks several decades ago, and the horsemen had advocated for his inclusion as a consultant during the winter of 2021-22, which was when the last significant spate of equine deaths occurred over the Laurel dirt.

Passero recommended some tweaks to the track and the way the surface was conditioned, and racing resumed Apr. 29.

The meet ended May 7 without further fatalities, but the HISA report couldn't pinpoint for sure if the maintenance fixes that were implemented caused the reduction in deaths. Nor could it state for certain if problems with the track caused the deaths in the first place.

Based on necropsies, the report stated that veterinarians were “unable to identify a singular cause for the fatalities.”

Rulebreakers also didn't appear to factor into the deaths, according to the report, which stated, “HISA's review did not reveal any violations of HISA's rules by any Covered Persons that contributed directly to the injuries.”

But a footnote in the report also pointed out that HISA's Anti-Doping and Medication Control drug-testing program did not take effect until May 22, more than two weeks after the conclusion of the Laurel meet.

HISA's analysis of high-speed exercise analysis yielded data that “revealed that injured horses had: (i) more races per year in their career and (ii) more days between their last high-speed event and date of death.”

The report added that “this is consistent with [findings from] high-speed analysis performed in connection with the Churchill Downs Report [and are] consistent with our knowledge of repetitive, overuse (fatigue) injuries in racehorses.”

Although the idea of switching Maryland racing from Laurel to Pimlico Race Course was suggested during the spring fatality crisis, it never happened (1/ST Racing owns both tracks).

Yet it was a different story about a month later in Kentucky after the dozen deaths occurred at Churchill, and that track's corporate parent switched racing to another in-state track in its gaming portfolio, Ellis Park, while keeping Churchill open for stabling and training.

Pimlico hosted an extended meet through the spring and summer of 2021 the last time Laurel's track needed extensive repairs.

After years of freeze/thaw and drainage troubles, Laurel's main track was in such bad shape in April 2021 that Laurel ceased racing on it to begin an emergency rebuild from the base up. The project was repeatedly delayed and had its scope expanded, and it ended up taking five months before racing could resume instead of the initially projected one month.

When racing resumed in September 2021, the main track had no apparent safety issues. But the onset of cold weather revealed problems with seams in the base of the homestretch, then the cushion atop that layer needed substantial reworking to give it more body and depth.

Eight horses died from fractures while racing or training over Laurel's main track between Oct. 3 and Nov. 28, 2021, leading to weeks-long halts in racing through early the winter of 2022.

HISA mentioned in the Laurel report that a separate study on 17 fatalities that occurred at Saratoga Race Course this summer would be released “as soon as it is complete.”

In conjunction with the issuance of the Churchill fatality report back in September, the Authority had also announced the formation of a Track Surface Advisory Group that is available to respond immediately when racetracks are facing an ongoing crisis.

“The findings and observations noted in this [Laurel report] underscore the necessity of implementing the critical initiatives previously identified” in HISA's “strategic response” to the Churchill deaths.

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Kentucky Derby Museum Kicking Off the Race to 150

Tue, 2023-11-28 17:55

December 6, 2023 will mark 150 days until the 150th Kentucky Derby, and Kentucky Derby Museum is kicking off the Race to 150 with a free all-day celebration.

The Kentucky Derby Museum will offer free admission from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Dec. 6, and the first 150 guests will receive a commemorative Race To 150 gift. The day will include a fashion contest, prizes, time capsule, kid-friendly activities, complimentary Derby treats and more.

“If Kentucky can party for two weeks ahead of Derby, then we can certainly find a way to celebrate for 150 days ahead of such a momentous year,” said Patrick Armstrong, Kentucky Derby Museum President and CEO. “From families to fashionistas, historians to horse racing fans, there's something for everyone in our Race To 150 lineup. Wear your favorite Derby hats and join us at the Museum to celebrate the joy and magic of Derby!”

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Enforcement of HISA Rule Modification Regarding Iron Dextran Begins Dec. 27

Tue, 2023-11-28 15:00

Following the Federal Trade Commission's approval to add iron dextran to the Banned Substances list under the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority's (HISA) Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) Program rules, the Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit (HIWU) announced Tuesday that it will use the next 30 days as an educational period to give Covered Persons time to adapt to the new rule. Enforcement of the iron dextran rule will begin December 27, 2023.

As a reminder, the use/attempted use, administration/attempted administration, possession, or trafficking of a Banned Substance constitutes an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under the ADMC Program. HIWU urges Covered Persons to remove iron dextran from their barns, offices, trucks, and other areas connected to their business with Covered Horses.

HISA recommended the designation of iron dextran and products containing iron dextran as Banned Substances due to the substance's potential to compromise equine welfare. Questions related to iron dextran and the respective rule update should be directed to

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Del Mar to Open Slightly Later, and on a Saturday, in ’24

Tue, 2023-11-28 12:06

Del Mar will open its 2024 summer meeting Saturday, July 20, according to a press release from the track.

The slightly later-than-usual start to the season was keyed by the fact that the San Diego Country Fair will operate a bit past its usual closing date July 4, going forward instead to Sunday, July 7.

Del Mar will need the extra time from July 8 onward to prepare its racing surfaces and stable area for the start of the meet and to ensure its safety protocols are all in place, the release stated.

The summer meet will conclude Sunday, Sept. 8.

Del Mar also has finalized fall racing dates, which will be highlighted by the 41st edition of the Breeders' Cup, the third time the championship event has come to the track.

Opening Day of the Bing Crosby Season will be Thursday, Oct. 31. Then that Friday and Saturday, Nov. 1 and 2, will showcase the 14 Breeders' Cup races.

The fall meet will operate for five weeks and conclude Sunday, Dec. 1.

Del Mar's allocation of the 2024 Southern California racing calendar was approved this past August by the California Horse Racing Board.

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Finger Lakes Reports Handle Growth at ’23 Meet

Tue, 2023-11-28 11:25

Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack (FLGR) reported growth in handle at the recently concluded 2023 race meet, according to a press release.

Total handle increased by 18.7 percent to $120,541,745. On-track handle also bumped up by $4,024 to $1,973,368.

The 2023 numbers built off of the increases from the previous year, when total wagering was up 16.5 percent, despite racing one fewer day (88 total).

The total number of races dipped 2.9 percent from 730 to 714, but field size grew to an average of 6.88 starters per race compared to 6.78 in 2022.

Average per-race handle surged by 21.4 percent, from $139,014 to $168,825.

Purses paid out decreased to $14,442,094, or 3 percent. That was a result of fewer races being run and the cancellation of the New York Oaks due to lack of entries.

“We thought offering free Equibase programs online would help us and based on the number of downloads, our fans responded in kind,” said Chris Riegle, president and general manager of FLGR.

Riegle said he was optimistic purses will increase in 2024.

“It seems like we're all fighting for racehorses and based on back-to back excellent seasons we're looking at an across-the-board purse increase for next season,” Riegle said.

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