Archives for December 2017

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS): Is it gambling?

A Game of Skill or Gambling?

Some states, such as Nevada recently banned sites like fantasy sports website DraftKings after accusations surfaced of employees participating in the contests with insider information. Some believe the websites should be regulated like gambling websites.

Source: Daily fantasy sports: Is it gambling?

Famed Racehorse Trainer Jack Van Berg Passes Away at 81

He fell one win short of Triple Crown prestige with Alysheba

LOS ANGELES — Jack Van Berg, who walked the barns of Southern California race tracks for more than 40 years and remained haunted by the Triple Crown he never won, died Wednesday in Little Rock, Ark., from complications of cancer. He was 81. Van Berg, always adorned in a cowboy hat befitting his upbringing in rural… [Read more…]

More Gains. 2017 Remington Park Meet Up.

Remington Park LogoPress Release

The 2017 Remington Park Thoroughbred Season experienced increased handle, average field size and total purses compared to the previous year. The final program on Dec. 17, Springboard Mile Day, was the second-largest betting day on Remington Park racing in the track’s history.

The all-sources pari-mutuel handle on Remington Park racing during Springboard Mile Day was $2,775,655, becoming the second-highest program for handle on Remington Park in the history of the track. The record was set on Feb. 24, 1990 when $2,808,243 was played on the Remington Park races.

Greyvitos won the 2017 edition of the $400,000 Springboard Mile, picking up 10 valuable points for 2018 Kentucky Derby eligibility in the process. This was the first year for the Springboard Mile as a Kentucky Derby points-race.

The big final day of the season capped the 67-dates with total handle on Remington Park racing of $66,844,252, up 16.6% over the 2016 total of $57,332,509. The increase was boosted by export handle on Remington Park of $63,188,252, up 18.2 % from last year when the export betting was $53,466,844.

“Remington Park enjoyed a successful Thoroughbred season thanks to our fans, horsemen and business partners, helping drive our pari-mutuel handle,” said Matt Vance, Remington Park vice president of operations. “We had an increase in field size this season, and our stakes program was well supported both locally and from connections shipping horses from across the United States to compete in Oklahoma City.”

The Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby was won this year by Untrapped, the first derby win here by National Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen who wrapped up his record 13th leading trainer title at Remington Park. The Oklahoma Derby had three competitors who raced in the Kentucky Derby earlier in the year. Battle Of Midway, Girvin and Untrapped represented the first time a trio of runners that raced in the Kentucky Derby competed in the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park that fall.

Eclipse Award winner Champagne Room won the Remington Park Oaks, on the Oklahoma Derby undercard. Her resume and success in the race helped bring it graded status for the first time in its history. The 2018 Remington Park Oaks will now carry a Grade 3 title, joining the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby as Remington Park’s graded Thoroughbred events.

Remington Park purses grew in 2017 to $16,144,945 for an average of $240,969 per day. The total is up 1.8% over the $15,855,080 distributed a year ago.

A total of 5,410 horses took part in the 604 races at Remington Park this season, for an average field size of 8.96, up from the average of 8.4 in 2016.

Remington Park’s on-track handle of $3,454,413 slid 4.4% from a year ago when it was $3,613,712. Thunder Roadhouse in north Oklahoma City had handle on Remington Park of $201,587 as the track’s lone off-track location. There were three off-track sites in 2016, playing a total of $251,953 on Remington Park racing.

Remington Park conducted one less race in 2017, running 604 events, compared to 605 in 2016. Both seasons had 67 race dates.

Live racing is now on hiatus until the start of the 2018 American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa Season starts on March 9. Until then, simulcast racing is available daily and the Remington Park Casino is always open. Admission, parking and valet parking are always free at Remington Park.

Great Horse Racing Videos – R.I.P. Jack Van Berg

We’re sad to hear of the passing of legendary horseman and trainer Jack Van Berg.  Jack’s accomplishments are too long and deep to list here, but the first major horse of his that was a favorite of mine was the exciting runner Gate Dancer.  The Hall of Fame trainer would parlay that success on the national stage to  Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Breeders’ Cup Classic wins with the great Alysheba.

Rest in peace, Jack.




2017 November U.S. Handle Rises 6.39% Due to New Tax Rules

New tax rules regarding withholding and the reporting of pari-mutuel wagers have driven total U.S. wagering above $890.8 million for November. The average handle per race day is up 9.7% for the month compared with a year ago, according to Equibase.

Source: November U.S. Handle Up 6.39% Due to New Tax Rules

Is Horse Racing Dead? Golden Gate Meet Sees Healthy Gains

Golden gate turf breakGolden Gate Fields concluded a successful fall meet on December 10 with very strong year over year gains in handle. The all-source handle saw a double digit increase of 12% while on-track handle was also up, showing an 8% gain. Total on-track attendance for the fall meet was steady, with a slight increase from 2016.

“We’re very pleased with the performance of this meet. We’re also absolutely thrilled that our loyal fans come out to support this game in which we all have such a strong passion for,” said general manager David Duggan. “A lot of credit goes to the hard work of our horsemen, jockeys, and dedicated team.”

The gains from the fall meet continue the overall upward trend of 2017 at Golden Gate Fields. The bayside track saw increases in both attendance and on-track handle at the conclusions of the winter/spring and summer meets.

Juan Hernandez led all jockeys in wins during the fall meet with 38 trips to the winner’s circle. Trainer John Martin, who won 3 races on closing day Sunday, scored a 21-20 win total over Jonathan Wong in the training standings. In fact, Martin and Wong were tied with 20 wins apiece heading into the last race of the meet. Country Road, conditioned by John Martin, made a last to first blitz to the front in the finale to secure the training title for the Martin stable. Hernandez and Martin also won the jockey and trainer titles at the 2016 Golden Gate fall meet.

Racing resumes at Golden Gate Fields on December 26 with an early 12:15 p.m. PT first post. The winter/spring meet, which is the longest of the three live racing seasons at Golden Gate Fields, runs through June 10.

Melania Trump Responds to Author of Best Pal Book

Melanie Trump

WARSAW, POLAND – JUNE 6, 2017: Donald Trump, Melania Trump with visit in Poland
o/p Melania Trump

When James Val authored a children’s book eight years ago called “Best Pal” on the champion California-bred, it became an instant favorite with racing fans but he never dreamed he would get the surprising response he did all these years later.

“After several book signings at Hollywood Park, Del Mar and Santa Anita,” said Val, also a racing correspondent for the San Gabriel Valley Reporter, “the first printing edition was sold out. The book also has been very popular with the general public.

“Several months ago, I read an article about President Trump’s 11-year-old son, Barron, which stated that he had a fondness for horses. I thought it would be fun to send him an autographed copy of ‘Best Pal,’ never expecting to receive any kind of response from The White House.

“I had forgotten about sending the book after four months, but last week I received a very special surprise, an envelope postmarked from The White House! To my astonishment, when I opened the envelope, there was a personal thank you card from the First Lady of the United States, with a gold-embossed symbol of the President. It was signed personally, ‘Mrs. Melania Trump.’

“Needless to say, I was overwhelmed. After all, how often does one receive a personal letter from the President of the United States, or from his wife?

“What makes this event extra special is that not only is this children’s book now in the personal library of the First Family, but that somehow, through this little book, the First Family has become more aware of our beloved sport of racing!”

Ramon Dominguez’ Appeal to Horse Racing Friends

Please consider donating to the NY Race Track Chaplaincy

Dear Friends:

If you have already donated to the NY Race Track Chaplaincy’s year-end appeal, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. If not, I ask you toHall of Fame rider Jockey Ramon Dominguez hear our story and consider supporting our important programs. Donate Now

As a member of the Executive Board of the NY Race Track Chaplaincy, and a long-time volunteer and supporter, I invite you to step inside the office of the Chaplaincy where the harsh realities and challenges of life on the backstretch are starkly evident.

You will find our chairs are filled by those patiently waiting to be heard as they face any number of difficult or frustrating circumstances. The first person may be facing eviction, and the next may be in need of food or clothing. The next may need assistance with a visa application or have questions about a path to citizenship. An injured worker may need help with a workers’ compensation hearing. A father with a sick child may need a translator to speak with a pharmacist, or may not be able to afford needed medication. A mother may need diapers for her baby or a ride to the doctor. Parents may need a translator to assist at a school conference.

While we help so many on a daily basis, we are keenly aware of the unmet need on the track. Will you help us to grow in our mission and to better serve the backstretch community and their families?

The NY Chaplaincy does not employ a fundraiser, a spokesperson, or a development staff. You are hearing directly from us, and if you choose to contribute, you are contributing directly to us. Your contribution goes straight to work, and impacts lives in a very direct way. I can speak firsthand to the benefit of the work of the Chaplaincy. When I sustained my injury, the Chaplaincy was there for me emotionally and spiritually, and with your help we could be there for many more.

Whether you are able to help financially, or with your time and talents, we need you. We ask you to partner with us, learn with us, and serve with us. Whether we have known you for years or this is your first introduction to the Chaplaincy, we are praying you will give us the opportunity to allow us to get to know you better, and for you to find your place with us.

Please use this link to donate or to volunteer, and join us on a journey that will change your life even more than it changes those we serve. We pray we will hear from you soon.

God Bless You,

Ramón Dominguez, Hall of Fame Jockey
Executive Member, Board of Directors,
NY Race Track Chaplaincy

Son of Charles Cella to Lead Oaklawn Park into the Future

Logo Oaklawn Park racingPress Release

Louis A. Cella, whose family founded the Oaklawn Jockey Club in 1904, has been named president of the Hot Springs, Ark., racetrack and gaming facility as well as Southwestern Enterprises, Inc., the parent company of Oaklawn. He succeeds his father, Charles J. Cella.

In addition, John G. Cella has been named president of the family’s Southern Real Estate and Financial Company, Inc., also succeeding his father.

“It is truly an honor to follow in the footsteps of my father and grandfather,” Louis Cella said. “Racing has been part of the Cella family DNA for generations and we are committed to keeping Oaklawn one of the premiere racetracks in the country for generations to come.”

Earlier this year, Cella became the third generation of his family to serve on the Board of Directors of the Thoroughbred Racing Association (TRA). His grandfather, John G. Cella, served as president of the organization from 1959-’60 and his father, Oaklawn president Charles J. Cella, served as president from 1975-’76. In late August, he was elected to The Jockey Club, which establishes the recommended standards for the industry, along with four other prominent figures in Thoroughbred racing.

“The appointment of Louis Cella as president of the Oaklawn Jockey Club will be welcomed news throughout the racing industry as it continues the legendary involvement of the Cella family,” said James (Ted) Bassett III, a longtime family friend, Keeneland and Breeders’ Cup director and a member of The Jockey Club. “For over a century, four generations of this family have dedicated themselves to maintaining the highest and traditional standards of racing, insuring public trust and the well-being of the horse. For most of his life, Louis has been actively involved in every aspect of racing and with this experience and the Cella family’s commitment to excellence this continues the success of Oaklawn Park for years to come”

Cella, a 1990 graduate of the University of Arkansas Law School, is also vice chairman and director of MUNY, America’s oldest and largest outdoor musical theatre. He is past chairman of the Arkansas Cancer Research Center Foundation, director of the UAMS Foundation Fund Board and director of the Myeloma Institute.

He and his wife Rochelle live in Ladue, Mo.. and have two children.

Report Supports Online Poker Legalization in Australia

Only after Comprehensive Research is Completed

Some of the submissions in the inquiry have argued that online poker is a game of skill or at least one that represents a mixture of skill and chance and that players can spend longer period of time playing with without spending too much.

Source: Report Supports Online Poker Legalization in Australia but Only after Comprehensive Research