1863 Club to Debut at Saratoga Racecourse in 2019

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced that it formally broke ground on the 1863 Club at Saratoga Race Course on Tuesday, September 4, one day after the conclusion of the 2018 summer racing season.

The 1863 Club is the official name of the new permanent building to be located at the site of the current At the Rail tent at Saratoga Race Course. The name recognizes the year of the first organized thoroughbred race meeting in Saratoga, which took place over the course of four days in August 1863.

“Following this year’s introduction of The Stretch in the Grandstand, we are excited to announce plans for the 1863 Club which will be located at the end of the Clubhouse and will add another chapter to the enhanced guest experience at Saratoga. The three-story, air-conditioned building will provide new and different options for guests, including a banquet area on the first floor and a bar and dining club on the second level, which will be connected to the Clubhouse via a walkway. The third floor will feature true luxury boxes offering outstanding sight lines of the entire track,” said NYRA CEO & President Chris Kay. “The 1863 Club, named after our first racing meet in Saratoga, continues our commitment to providing racing fans with upgraded amenities while honoring the look and feel of this historic venue.”

The 1863 Club will replace the seasonal tent and trailers located immediately adjacent to the end of the Clubhouse with a 36,000-square foot, three-story, climate-controlled building featuring differentiated hospitality options and modern amenities. In addition to the three floors of usable space for guests, a basement level will provide space for a fully appointed kitchen to service the building.

copyright AGameofSkill.comFans interested in being a part of the inaugural season at the 1863 Club are invited to contact the NYRA Sales Office by phone at 518-693-7655 or online at NYRA.com/1863Club.

The 1863 Club is the latest in a series of capital improvements at Saratoga Race Course designed to enhance the guest experience and provide amenities that are consistent with those available at first-class stadiums and arenas.

Saratoga’s newest hospitality area called The Stretch made its debut on opening day of the 2018 season. Located in the grandstand at the Top of the Stretch, The Stretch features modern and upscale amenities in a casual environment with breathtaking views of thoroughbreds rounding the final turn as they enter the dramatic stretch drive. Highlights of the area include new social boxes available in multiple configurations, a dining tier, reserved bar seats, and approximately 200 premium reserved seats. Guests at The Stretch enjoy exclusive access to a full-service bar, kitchen and concessions, state of the art technology, high-definition televisions, special events, and private restrooms.

The 40-day meet at Saratoga Race Course concluded Labor Day, Monday, September 3. For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit NYRA.com.

Source: NYRA

Is Horse Racing Dying? Not in New Mexico (Albuquerque Downs)

Albuquerque Downs registered a 24-percent increase in total wagering handle during the 11-day New Mexico State Fair portion of its 2018 Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse race meet.

According to figures reported to Equibase, a total of $3,010,221 was wagered on The Downs’ 104 live races from September 6-16, compared to $2,427,891 bet on 103 live races during the 2017 State Fair meet. On-track handle rose 7 percent to $637,030, compared to $595,655 in 2017, and off-track handle increased 24 percent to $2,373,191, compared to $1,832,236 a year ago.

Live racing resumed at Albuquerque Downs with a nine-race program on Wednesday 9/19. The track closes its 55-day season with a 10-race program on Sunday, September 23, featuring five stakes, topped by the 440-yard, $300,000 Albuquerque Fall Quarter Horse Championship (G1), and New Mexico’s longest horse race, the 1 13/16-mile, $25,000 Con Jackson Claiming Stakes.

Source: Albuquerque Downs

New OTB Opened near Washington D.C.

Handicapping past performances PPsThe Maryland Jockey Club unveiled its seventh off-track betting facility with a soft opening Wednesday 9/12 at the MGM National Harbor, a luxury resort, retail, dining and entertainment venue and casino just minutes from Washington D.C. on the banks of the Potomac River in Oxon Hill, Md.

The grand opening of MJC’s newest OTB facility is tentatively set for Saturday, Sept. 22, to coincide with the Fall Festival of Racing at nearby Laurel Park, a program of seven stakes worth $900,000 in purses topped by the 27th running of the $250,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3).

Poker Also Offered

Located on the second level of the casino floor along with a 46-table poker room, the MGM OTB’s approximately 1,500-square foot simulcast facility offers 21 carrels for guests, who can also use the adjacent bar area for seating. There will be two tellers, two self-bet terminals and personal Microsoft Surface tablets available for patrons.

The MGM OTB joins previous off-track locations in Maryland at the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, Greenmount Station in Hampstead, Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, GBoone’s Events Center in Boonsboro and Hollywood Casino in Perryville, as well as the Riverboat Restaurant in Colonial Beach, Va.

Eleven Sires Dominate at 2018 Keeneland Fall Sales

copyright DarbyAmerica

With 26 yearlings selling for $1 million plus in the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, 11 sires with three or more sold in Book 1 accounted for 465 yearlings or 47% of the number cataloged in Book 1.

Is Horse Racing Dead?  Apparently not if the Keeneland sales in Lexington KY are any indication.  Check out the full Blood-Horse story below.

Source: Eleven Sires Create Book 1 Surge at Keeneland

Underrated Jockey Scores Milestone at Arlington Park

Racehorse Booked Up owned by Rich Nilsen

Booked Up won back to back races with Emigh at AP in 1997

Jockey Chris Emigh became the third-winningest rider of all time at Arlington International Racecourse when taking Saturday afternoon’s seventh race aboard Sea Diva ($8.80).

Emigh, 47, captured win number 1,079 at the Chicagoland oval when guiding the 4-year-old daughter of Midshipman to victory to surpass Carlos Silva (1,078) for the title. He now trails only Hall of Fame riders Earlie Fires (2,886) and Pat Day (1,330) as Arlington’s all-time winningest jockeys. Later on the card, Emigh added Arlington victory number 1,080 to his record when taking the $75,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie aboard Into Trouble ($30.40).

“It’s an honor and very humbling,” Emigh said. “I was always told that when I first came here that it would be tough to catch some of the guys that have been doing so well. It’s a great feeling. To be in the same sentence as two Hall of Famers is pretty nice.”

Emigh, a native of Portsmouth, Virginia, resides in Wheaton, Illinois, a suburb of the Chicago area. He began riding in 1989 and has captured 16 graded stakes events in his career, eight of which took place at Arlington. Emigh was Arlington’s leading rider in 2006 and has secured a total of seven riding titles at Hawthorne Race Course.

A big shout out and congratulations to jockey Chris Emigh.

Push to revive Virginia horse racing blurred lines between gambling interests and state regulators

Virginia horse racing in doubt

“When a horse-racing fan publicly accused the Virginia Racing Commission of being too close with the company hoping to buy Colonial Downs and open casino-style gambling facilities in Virginia, the deal’s supporters wanted to assure state lawmakers the allegation wasn’t true.

Commission Chairman D.G. Van Clief Jr. — a former horse industry executive from Charlottesville — wasn’t …”

Richmond.com Full coverage: Push to revive Virginia horse racing blurred lines between gambling interests and state regulators

Turf Paradise figure seeks $10.8 million to cover legal fight over horse racing license

Turf Paradise in Legal Fight

In a court motion, Ron Simms claims a director of the state Department of Racing, as well as members of the Arizona Racing Commission, “corruptly” tried to strip him of his license to operate the Phoenix enterprise.

According to the filing, state officials in 2014 began a “collusive campaign” to help Jerry Simms — Ron’s brother and former business partner — in an eight-year legal war over control of TP Racing LLP, the partnership that owned Turf Paradise.

 

AZCentral.com Full coverage: Turf Paradise figure seeks $10.8 million to cover legal fight over horse racing license

The Secret World of Horse Racing

jockey riding a horse raceReferred to as the sport of kings, horse racing has been part of British society for more than 400 years. CNBC’s Tom Chitty attempts to shine a light on a sport fueled by money that for many is shrouded in mystery.

The Secret World of Horse Racing [VIDEO]

CNBC Full coverage: The secret world of horse racing

UofL Equine Business Program Names New Director

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Sean Beirne, an early graduate of the University of Louisville’s Equine Industry Program in the College of Business, has been named the program’s new director.

Beirne, who has worked in various capacities in the horse racing industry nationwide, has most recently been employed by industry vendor Roberts Communications Network. He was on the Colorado Racing Commission for the past eight years, serving as chairman from July 2015 to June 2017.

Beirne“On Nov. 1, I will begin what I consider to be my ‘dream job,’” Beirne said. “I am thrilled beyond words to receive the opportunity to come back to my alma mater and prepare students to become the future leaders of our great sport of horse racing.”

He replaces Tim Capps, who died following a stroke in April 2017.

Beirne earned his bachelor’s degree from the equine program in 1990. He earned his first undergraduate degree, in political science, from UofL in 1986.

Beirne and his wife, Mary, are both Louisville natives. Mary Beirne graduated from UofL’s School of Nursing.

The Equine Industry Program at UofL is an accredited business degree with an equine focus. Graduates can be found in all aspects of the industry, from training to broadcasting.  Beirne attended the UofL Equine program at the same time as AGOS Founder Rich Nilsen.

For more information, contact Terri Burch, interim director of the Equine Industry Program, at terri.burch@louisville.edu or 502-852-4859.
#WeAreUofL

Sports betting has “serious consequences” for Pro Players

“As a growing number of the various states move toward adopting legalized gambling, the sports leagues have concerns. The players associations do, too.

There are serious consequences, particularly for the athletes,” NFL Players Association V.P. for business and legal affairs Casey Schwab told David Purdum of ESPN.com. “Because of those consequences, the athlete’s voice must be heard, particularly as we contemplate sports betting in the country.”

The athlete’s voice can be heard, but the entities setting up the wagering programs don’t necessarily have to listen. For years, don’t-call-it-gambling-gambling on fantasy football has existed, with individual player performance residing at the heart of the process. And the athlete’s voice hasn’t been heard…”

Source: NFLPA exec: Sports betting has “serious consequences” for players