Archives for October 27, 2021

Huge Week in Sports: NY Mobile Sports Betting Deadline, BC News and More

The New York Gaming Commission completed a key procedural step Monday in the state’s complicated bidding process for licensing mobile sportsbook operators. Last week, the commission informed applicants that they had five business days to amend their initial “pricing matrices” to conform with the state’s “final tax rate matrix.” Bidders have until 5 p.m. ET to modify their preferred tax rate scenario within the applications. Based on the matrix released by the commission last week, the final tax rate for successful applicants could be as high as 64% on a licensee’s online gross gaming revenue. Sen. Joseph Addabbo, chair of the Senate’s Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, is still hopeful that the Empire State will go live with mobile sports betting before the Super Bowl.

Breeders’ Cup pre-entry lists revealed

Over the last four years, trainer Brad Cox has been on a tear at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, notching seven victories over the span. Though Cox captured four wins last year, he has yet to capture the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, the signature event of the two-day world championships. Cox will pack a formidable one-two punch in this year’s Classic, though, with Whitney Stakes winner Knicks Go and Belmont Stakes winner Essential Quality. The trainer is expected to enter both horses when the Breeders’ Cup pre-entry list is unveiled on Wednesday.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is also expected to enter Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit in the Classic. While Medina Spirit tested positive after his Derby win for betamethasone, a banned corticosteroid, Churchill Downs has still not disqualified the horse from the first leg of the Triple Crown. Baffert was suspended by Churchill Downs and the New York Racing Association, however, in light of the positive test. The Breeders’ Cup announced on Oct. 18 that Baffert’s horses could compete at the world championships on Nov. 5-6, but under enhanced testing protocols…

Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approves Ellis Park’s Owensboro expansion

Ellis Park officials say they could close if a solution isn’t reached on historical horse racingOWENSBORO, Ky (WEHT) – The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approved Ellis Park’s request on Tuesday to build an off-track betting site in Owensboro.

Officials say that the site will be a non-contiguous extension and will have hundreds of historical horse racing machines. Ellis Park officials say the 60,000 square-foot building will be located in the Town Square Mall development.

“We at Ellis Entertainment are incredibly excited to bring our Quality, Value, and Service core values to a new venue in a new market in Kentucky,” said Jeffery Inman, General Manager of Ellis Entertainment. “In addition to this being a major addition to the Owensboro community, we believe the new venue will create $6m to $8m in additional purse money per year at Ellis Park, which will help improve the quality of racing for the summertime leg of the Kentucky Thoroughbred circuit.”

Officials say they expect to create 200 new jobs in the Owensboro community, including more than 100 new construction jobs and over 100 permanent jobs once operations commence.

The park hopes to close on expansion financing later this week. Construction is expected to begin in early 2022 and end in early 2023.

Minella Indo Ready For Gold Cup Defence

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the most prestigious National Hunt contest in the world and as the new season gets underway, many of the leading trainers in jumps racing will be preparing their horses for the contest at the Cheltenham Festival.

Last year’s winner Minella Indo tops the betting to prevail again in the 3m2f race. Only two horses in the last 50 years have been able to defend their crown. Best Mate won three straight races between 2002 and 2004, while more recently, Al Boum Photo was successful in 2019 and 2020.

The eight-year-old from Henry De Bromhead’s yard has not featured since his impressive Cheltenham result last March. He had to miss the Punchestown Festival back in April due to a bruised foot. He has now had the summer off which should ensure he is fresh when he returns to action.

Cheltenham is a course the Irish horse has produced his best at throughout his career. He was successful in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle in 2019, while in 2020, he finished second behind Champ in a close finish to the RSA Chase.

De Bromhead, who had an excellent campaign last season, winning the Champion Hurdle and Champion Chase along with the Blue Riband event of the meeting, has indicated the Gold Cup winner’s seasonal reappearance is likely to come at Down Royal.

Minella Indo is also likely to appear at the Christmas Festival at Leopardstown in December in the Grade One Savills Chase. He came down at the eighth fence when making a mistake in the race in 2020. Connections will be hoping he can make up for that error by prevailing in one of the biggest races in the division 3m+ division in Ireland.

Challengers To 2021 Winner Include His Stablemate

The biggest challenger to Minella Indo in the 2022 renewal of the Gold Cup is likely to be his stablemate and last year’s runner-up A Plus Tard. There was just over one length separating the two horses in the race earlier this year.

As a seven-year-old, A Plus Tard was one of the youngest horses in the field for the Gold Cup in 2021. He is likely to gain more experience over fences this season before he arrives at Cheltenham at the back end of the campaign.

Retained stable jockey Rachel Blackmore may have a tough decision to make as to which horses she chooses to rise at Cheltenham next year. She opted for A Plus Tard last March in what must have been a tough call to make.

Unfortunately for racing fans, one of last season’s leading novices, Monkfish, has been ruled out for the season so he will not line up at Cheltenham. Marsh Novices’ Chase winner Chantry House is set to step out of novice company, with the Gold Cup being his target. Nicky Henderson’s runner is expected to be a strong contender.

Two-time winner Al Boum Photo is also likely to be back as he bids to win the race for a third time. Willie Mullins’ runner could only finish third in 2021. Given how strong his record is in the Gold Cup, he cannot be ruled out from having another success.

It should be another strong renewal of the feature race of the Festival on March 18. If Minella Indo can defend his crown, he will prove he is one of the best chasers of his generation.