Emerald Downs Closing Weekend

Emerald Downs began the season with racing on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 25% capacity and ends this weekend with racing Saturday and Sunday without that restriction.

It’s no wonder then that Phil Ziegler, president of the Auburn racetrack, is pleased with how things have gone as the 49-day racing season comes to a close.

“We are pretty pleased with the way the whole meet went,” Ziegler said. “Our number-one priority this year was welcoming fans back.”

The 2020 season was conducted without fans on Wednesday and Thursday nights — light days of racing nationally — to enhance wagering from around the country, and the racetrack set records for handle.

Stakes Action

Three stakes races are on tap Sunday, including the $75,000 Gottstein Futurity, the championship race of the season for 2-year-olds. The purse for the 1 1/16-mile race is the second largest of the season, behind the Longacres Mile.

The other stakes races Sunday are the $50,000 Muckleshoot Tribal Classic for 3-year-olds and up and the $50,000 Washington Cup Filly & Mare Stakes, both at 1 1/16 miles.

More from Scott Hanson and the Seattle Times on Emerald Downs

Del Mar Fairgrounds and Sports Betting in California?

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SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The Del Mar Fairgrounds could become a place to bet on professional and college sports, should California voters approve a measure allowing sports gambling in November 2022.

On Tuesday, the Del Mar Fairgrounds board voted 7-0 to adjust its operating agreement with the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, allowing it to run a “first-class” sports book at its off-track wagering facility, Surfside Race Place, as soon as 2023.

The proposal hinges on the passage of a statewise proposition that would allow licensed racetracks and Native American casinos to offer on-site wagering on professional, college, and amateur sports. Gambling on high school sports and games involving colleges in California would still be illegal. The thoroughbred club’s proposal would also need to be approved by the State Race Track Leasing Commission.

“Sports wagering will generate significant additional net revenues for DMTC which, along with the additional food and beverage revenues generated, will flow to the District and Race Track Authority,” Thoroughbred Club Chief Executive Josh Rubinstein wrote in a letter to the fair board chair on Wednesday, Sept. 8…  More from 10news.com on Del Mar and Sports Betting

Bank of America Approves Deposits for Online Wagering Sites (ADW)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (September 22, 2021) ― The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today confirmed that Bank of America, the second-largest bank in the United States and one of the largest card-issuing banks in the country, has for the first time begun approving debit card deposit transactions with U.S. licensed and regulated advance deposit wagering companies (ADWs).

The decision by Bank of America, which began accepting debit card transactions in mid-August, is expected to have a positive impact on overall U.S. pari-mutuel handle.

“This is another positive step for Thoroughbred racing and one that would not have come about without the support of Bank of America and the advocacy on behalf of our industry by Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) and his staff,” said NTRA President and Chief Executive Officer Alex Waldrop.

“I commend Bank of America for expanding access to wagering on Thoroughbred horse racing for the roughly 66 million Americans that the bank serves,” said Barr, who serves on the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee.  “This is a win for Bank of America customers and the horse racing industry.  Bank of America’s decision will strengthen the horse racing industry in the Commonwealth and throughout the United States.”

Queen Elizabeth enjoys most successful horse racing year yet

The British royal has seen Fresh Fancy emerge as her 32nd winner following a successful day at Kempton Park, and it’s said she’s won over £460,000 in prize money in nine months.

“The Queen rarely misses a race in which one of her horses is racing and has a television so she can catch the drama.” A source told The Sun newspaper

“It would have no doubt cheered her up with everything that is going on.”

With Fresh Fancy’s win – which came with £3,780 in prize money – she has blown away her previous record of 29 wins in 2019, while her third best total was 23 in 1992, 2014 and 2016.

This year’s tally includes 30 flat race wins and two over fences, and flat racing doesn’t officially end until mid-October, meaning there could be more triumphant moments in the pipeline.

Meanwhile, the queen will also have Reach For The Moon racing in the Derby next June, which comes during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations – although no reigning monarch has won the race since Edward VII in 1909.

Broadcaster Cornelius Lysaght said: “The Queen is a big breeder, owner and patron of horse racing.

“It is not just hype…

Colonial Downs Racetrack Sets $2.23M Daily Wagering Record

Is Horse Racing Dead? Not in Virginia

Bettors laid down a record $2.23 million in average daily wagers on horse races at Colonial Downs Racetrack in New Kent during this year’s annual race meet, Colonial Downs Group announced this week.

The total amount bet on races during the seven-week racing season was $46.87 million, and a total of $10.4 million in purses were paid to owners, jockeys and trainers, averaging $522,000 per day. The program had 205 races and 1,713 horses in gates at the starts of races, for an average of more than 8 horses per race during the third season under the Colonial Downs Group banner.

Races were held Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from July 19 through Sept. 1 during this year’s racing season, the third held under the Colonial Downs Group banner. The racetrack’s 2020 meet was canceled after about two weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is so gratifying to see the continued revival of Virginia racing as we mark new all-time handle [amount bet] heights,” John Marshall, Colonial Downs Group executive vice president of operations, said in a statement. “We have held true to our promise of building Colonial Downs into one of the country’s elite boutique meets. We thank our horsemen, fans and team for doing their part in making it so.”

Mandatory Payout of Rainbow Six at Gulfstream on Saturday 9/11

Gulfstream Park grandstand copyright All Star Press 2012HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – A mandatory payout of the 20-cent Rainbow 6 will highlight Saturday’s 12-race Gulfstream Park program, which will also feature the $75,000 Sheer Drama Stakes and the $60,000 North Bay Village Handicap.

The mandatory-payout pool of the popular multi-race wager is expected to grow over $2.5 million Saturday. Following Friday’s program, the jackpot pool swelled to $588,559.89.

The Rainbow 6 has gone unsolved for 21 consecutive racing days since a July 31 mandatory payout. The Rainbow 6 jackpot pool is usually only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool usually goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool. However, on mandatory-payout days, the entire pool is paid out to the bettor or bettors with the most winners in the six-race sequence.

Ron Nicoletti’s Rainbow 6 longshots: Click here to view

Saturday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 7-12, headlined by the Sheer Drama in Race 11. The seven-furlong stakes for Florida-bred fillies and mares attracted a well-stocked field of eight sprinters, including multiple graded stakes-placed Sound Machine. The Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained 4-year-old daughter of Into Mischief is coming off a third-place finish in the $250,000 Princess Rooney (G2). Kathleen O’Connell-trained Thissmytime, who set the track record for seven-furlongs at Gulfstream Park West last fall, will seek to improve on a pair of subpar showings that followed a runner-up finish in the Jan. 23 Inside Information (G2) at Gulfstream. Multiple-stakes winners Heiressall and Starship Bonita are also entered.

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The Rainbow 6 sequence is kicked off by a mile maiden special weight race for fillies and mares on turf in Race 7.  Tom Proctor-trained Free Data, who is working sharply at Palm Meadows after coming up short in the stretch last time out, is the lukewarm 3-1 morning-line favorite in what will likely be a popular ‘spread’ race with Rainbow 6 bettors.

Joe Orseno-trained Call Bros, a winner over slightly weaker rivals last time out, figures to receive solid support in Race 8, a 7 ½-furlong turf races for 3-year-olds and up in which there appear to be several upset possibilities.  Race 9, a six-furlong maiden special weight race for Florida-bred juveniles, is headed by Juan Carlos Avila-trained Spuntacular, the 6-5 favorite who ran second and third in his first two career starts under less-than-ideal trips. Georgina Baxter-trained R Big G, a son of The Big Beast, Bob Hess Jr.-trained Birdnote, a son of Noble Bird, and Patrick Biancone-trained Mr Rum Runner, a son of Uncaptured, are interesting first-time starters with strong series of works.

Rohan Crichton-trained Captain Ron, a turf sprinter who won two of his last three starts, is rated as the 9-5 morning-line favorite in Race 10, an optional claiming allowance at five furlongs on turf. Trainer Steve Klesaris, who has a deft hand with turf sprinters will be represented by The Virginian. Carlos David-trained Discreet Tune looked sharp last time out while facing weaker.

The Sheer Drama will be followed by a 7 ½-furlong turf race for $20,000 claimers in Race 12 that should pose a challenge to Rainbow 6 bettors. Richard Silvestri-trained Catching Fish is the 3-1 morning-line favorite on the strength of beating better last time out. Uno Tiger is scheduled to make his turf debut for trainer Kathleen O’Connell. The son of Macho Uno is out of a mare who won both on dirt and turf.

A maiden special weight race for 2-year-olds at 7 ½ furlongs on turf will kick off Saturday’s program. Trainer Mark Casse will unveil Michael Tabor’s War Strategy, a son of War Front out of Coolmore, a Group 3 stakes-winning daughter of Galileo. Trainer Herman Wilensky and Harry Orgo’s Harry’s Onthebeach, a half-brother to stakes-winner Harry’s Ontheloose, will make his second start after finishing a troubled second in his debut.

Tom Proctor-trained Summering will concede two and seven pounds to her rivals in the North Bay Village, a mile overnight handicap for fillies and mares on turf carded as Race 5. The multiple stakes-winning 5-year-old daughter of War Front, who will carry 124 pounds, will seek to rebound from an even fourth-place finish in the Ginger Punch.

Santa Anita Fall Meet Opens Oct. 1 With Return to Hillside Turf

Santa Anita Reaccredited by NTRA Safety & Integrity AllianceARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 8, 2021)–Santa Anita Park’s 16-day Autumn Meet will get off to a fast start on Friday, Oct. 1, as a total of four stakes will be offered on a tremendous nine-race card. The Grade I, $300,000 American Pharoah Stakes, one of three Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Challenge Race qualifiers, will headline the day’s racing. Named for the 2015 Triple Crown Champion, the American Pharoah is a Breeders’ Cup Win & You’re In qualifier to the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Del Mar on Nov. 5.

With first post time at 1 p.m., walk-up admission is welcomed, with free admission and General Parking on opening day. In addition to the American Pharoah, the Grade II, $200,000 Eddie D Stakes, for 3-year-olds and up, will be contested at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course. Named for the legendary retired Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye, the Eddie D provides a platform for those horses considering the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint on Nov. 6.

“Our fans, horsemen and Eddie Delahoussaye himself have told us they’d love to see a return to racing down this European-style course which has been unique to Santa Anita for more than six decades,” said Aidan Butler, Chief Operating Officer, Racing Operations for 1/ST Racing. “The Eddie D will be one of four turf sprint stakes to be run on the Camino Real hillside turf course throughout our Autumn Meet.”

Two-year-old fillies will go postward opening day in the Grade II, $200,000 Chandelier Stakes, a Breeders’ Cup Win & You’re in qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Nov. 5 and 2-year-olds will also be competing at five furlongs on turf in the $100,000 Speakeasy Stakes, a Win & You’re In qualifier to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on Nov. 5.

With the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships set for Nov. 5 & 6 at Del Mar, Santa Anita will be offering a total of 14 stakes over the course of its opening weekend, Oct. 1 through Oct. 3.

With special early first post time at 12:30 p.m., a total of five stakes will be offered on Saturday, Oct. 2; the Grade I, $300,000 Awesome Again, a Breeders’ Cup Win & You’re In qualifier to the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic for 3-year-olds and up at a mile and one eighth, the Grade I, $300,000 Rodeo Drive, a Breeders’ Cup Win & You’re In qualifier for fillies and mares at a mile and one quarter on turf, the Grade II, $200,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship, Win & You’re In qualifier for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs, the Grade II, $200,000 John Henry Turf Championship, named for the legendary two-time Horse of the Year, is for 3-year-olds and up at a mile and one quarter on turf and the Grade II, $200,000 City of Hope Mile (turf), for 3-year-olds and up.

On Sunday, Oct. 3, the legendary multiple Eclipse Award winning mare Zenyatta will be feted, with the Grade II, $200,000 Zenyatta Stakes, a Win & You’re In qualifier for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles who are pointing to the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Fillies and mares will also be center stage in the Grade III, $100,000 Chillingworth Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs, a race which honors the memory of longtime Oak Tree Racing Association board member and prominent owner/breeder, Sherwood Chillingworth.

A pair of one mile turf stakes will also be offered on Oct. 3 for 2-year-olds–the Surfer Girl and the Zuma Beach, as well as the $75,000 Unzip Me, for 3-year-old fillies at 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf.

In addition to the Eddie D and Unzip Me Stakes, a pair of Cal-bred stakes, the $100,000 California Distaff Handicap on Oct. 16 and the $100,000 California Flag Handicap on Oct. 17 will also be contested at 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf. Additionally, selected allowance races will be run down the hillside throughout the course of the 16-day meet.

Santa Anita’s spacious Infield area will be open each Saturday and Sunday, through closing day, Oct. 31. For complete details on Santa Anita’s opening weekend, including pricing and dining and seating reservations, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.

Complimentary pace report for Wednesday at Kentucky Downs

Complimentary pace report for visitors of Agameofskill.com.  Use this as a handicapping guide to see how the race will set up – who will benefit, who may be compromised.

9/8/2021
Kentucky Downs – Wednesday
Race 1 Expected Pace Leaders Stalkers Mid-Pack Closers Unknown
8 Furlongs / Turf Modest 7 8-10-9 1-3-6-4 5-2
Race 2
6.50 Furlongs / Turf Honest 6 5-7 3-8-9-10 2-4
Race 3
8 Furlongs / Turf Slow 4-11 12-8-1 3-7-2-5 10-13-9 6
Race 4
8.32 Furlongs / Turf Modest 2-9 5-8 6-4-3 1
Race 5
8 Furlongs / Turf Honest 3-1-2 4-12-11 5-9-8-6 7
Race 6
8.32 Furlongs / Turf Fast 9 6-1 5-8-2 3-7-4
Race 7
8 Furlongs / Turf Modest 7 2-8-12 1-3-11 4-5-10-6-9
Race 8
8.32 Furlongs / Turf Modest *6 2-9 5-4-1-7 10 3
Race 9
8.32 Furlongs / Turf Modest 9 1-8-6 2-7-3 11-10-4
Race 10
8 Furlongs / Turf Honest 1 1A-2 9-8-3-4 10 5-6-11

Tapeta Surface at Gulfstream Park Ready in 2 Weeks

According to the Blood-horse, synthetic racing will soon join dirt racing on the wagering menu at Gulfstream Park.

The Florida track began notifying horsemen Sept. 2 that its Tapeta track, which is being installed on the outer portion of its turf course, would be ready for use in approximately two weeks. At that time, the turf course will be rested and seeded in preparation for racing later in the year.

Races scheduled for turf in the condition book will be moved to the Tapeta, which will require adjusting distances scheduled at 7 1/2 furlongs and a mile to a longer distance of a mile and 70 yards on the Tapeta.

The Tapeta was added to reduce wear on its turf course and to retain field size when rain forces races off the grass. Synthetic tracks handle inclement weather better than dirt and turf and remain fast when they drain efficiently.

Many observers feel turf-specializing horses are more likely to transfer their form to a synthetic surface than to a dirt one.

In North America, Tapeta is the surface in use at Turfway ParkGolden Gate FieldsPresque Isle Downs, and Woodbine—though it is the main track at those facilities. Tapeta is comprised of silica sand, wax, and fibers…

A New, $25M Racetrack in Massachusetts? Horse Racing Could Return

The Sturbridge Agricultural and Equestrian Center has been proposed on the east side of Interstate 84 in Sturbridge, Worcester County. The project would include a mile dirt track and seven-eighths mile turf track on 223 acres. In-person and online sports betting, restaurants, a community center and athletic fields are being contemplated. The venue is expected to create roughly 100 local jobs.

The construction of a $25 million equine center with horseracing and sports betting has been proposed on the east side of Interstate 84 in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. The project is being pushed by a team led by longtime racehorse owner and businessman Armand Janjigian.

Called the Sturbridge Agricultural and Equestrian Center, the proposed project would include a mile dirt track and seven-eights mile turf track on 223 acres on Cross and Breakneck roads, reports Telegram & Gazette.

The equine center would bring horse racing and sports betting to the town, in Worcester County, but is also set to include restaurants, a community center, athletic fields, walking and education trails, and conference space. In-person and online sports betting are both being contemplated, as well as…

Learn more about horse racing in Massachusetts