History, excitement and food. A perfect trifecta at Saratoga Racetrack

Saratoga_NatMuseumofRacing and HallofFame

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Going to Fenway Park and the Baseball Hall of Fame is a treat that all baseball fans should try to do during the summer months. If you are a horse racing fan, […]

My advice: Set aside a day and take the 3 1/2-hour ride to Saratoga. You can drive yourself or take advantage of the bus tours offered in the area.

Go up early and spend a few hours at the Hall of Fame and rewatch some of the classic races, such as Secretariat’s 31-length victory at the 1973 Belmont Stakes, which secured “Big Red” winning the sport’s first Triple Crown in 25 years.

After enjoying your stay at the Hall of Fame, head one mile to the track and take in the eclectic surroundings that make Saratoga so unique.

Horse players come in all shapes and sizes. Wealthy people dressed as though they just walked off the set of “The Great Gatsby” or the everyman hoping to cash in on a five-figure superfecta. The concessions are outstanding to hold you over until you head out to a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants in the area.

Live horse racing returns today to Virginia

NEW KENT, Va. (AP) — Live horse racing is returning to Virginia after a 5-year absence.

Colonial Downs, which has been dormant since 2014, is launching a 15-day race meeting beginning on Thursday, August 8, 2019.

The live racing follows an infusion of revenue from historical horse racing machines, which function like slot machines but technically base their payouts on the results of old horse races.

The Colonial Downs Group, which owns the racetrack, also operates the machines at three locations throughout the state under the name Rosie’s Gaming Emporium. In June, gamblers wagered more than $88 million at the machines. Wagering at the Colonial Downs site alone grew 10 percent from May to June.

Admission to the New Kent County racetrack, about halfway between Richmond and Williamsburg, will be free throughout the meet.

Controversial betting machines headed to Nebraska horse tracks

LINCOLN — The Nebraska Racing Commission rejected the position of the state’s attorneys in voting Wednesday to install controversial machines that take wagers at Nebraska’s thoroughbred tracks.

Commissioners voted 3-2 during a meeting at Grand Island’s Fonner Park racetrack to allow the machines, which are used to bet on historical horse races. The same board approved the machines in October but then nullified that vote amid warnings that the meeting had violated state open meeting rules.

Chris Kotulak, the CEO of Fonner Park, praised Wednesday’s decision, saying it would pump millions of tax dollars into state coffers and provide a much-needed boost to the state’s struggling thoroughbred racetracks.

“It will be the urgent shot in the arm to help the horse racing industry,” Kotulak said. “The surrounding states that offer thoroughbred racing all have additional gaming that supplements their purse money. They’re taking away the horses and trainers.”

Meanwhile, the head of a leading anti-gambling group in Nebraska promised a swift legal challenge to the commission’s action. The Nebraska Attorney General’s Office has said the commission lacks the power to approve a new form of legalized betting in the state.

“It’s a slot machine,” said Pat Loontjer of Gambling with the Good Life. “It walks like a duck, it talks like a duck — it’s a duck.”

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Is Horse Racing at a Tipping Point?

It’s barely 9.30am at Santa Anita Park racetrack in Los Angeles, but Jennifer Saavedra has been at work for five hours already. Her husband, trainer Anthony, is traveling, and she’s charged with overseeing their small five-horse stable. “I’ll probably get done around six tonight,” she says. Long days are a staple of track life like water is to the Venetians. Not that Saavedra minds: horses are in her “blood,” the 53-year-old says.

“You couldn’t keep me away from the track since I could walk.”

But the intense scrutiny the sport in California has been under these past few months – a result of the 30 horses fatally injured at Santa Anita during a six-month period that’s commanded national headlines – has left Saavedra “exceedingly” worried that the existential crisis facing the racing industry could bring about an abrupt end to racing in California. Saavedra describes her involvement in the sport – a world as far removed from the office 9-to-5 as Mercury is from Neptune – as her “passion”. A way of life that’s “more than just a job”, she says.

But the intense scrutiny that horse racing in California has been under these past few months – a result of 30 horses fatally injured at Santa Anita during a six-month period – has left Saavedra “exceedingly” worried that the existential crisis facing the sport could bring an abrupt end to a world she’s been in her “whole life.”

Read the rest….

Industry Profile: Trainer Linda Rice

From The Blood-Horse Magazine:

Linda Rice was 17 years old, a time when the real world begins to come into view for most teenagers. She and her father, Clyde, had attended a Keeneland sale in Lexington, and were driving back to their farm in Pennsylvania when an accident ahead of them caused a….

She left Penn State after two years and took out her trainer’s license in 1987. Clyde understood and was so supportive he assigned her half a dozen horses or so at the outset. Now viewed as the leading female trainer in the United States, Rice was hardly an overnight success.

“It was very difficult getting started,” Rice said. “My father was my first client and then I grew from there. But it was many years of building the business. It’s taken many years and a lot of hard work.”

If she had an advantage in what continues to be an aspect of the industry populated largely by men, it was her upbringing.

“When you grow up around horses, you learn the behavior of horses, the psychology of the horse,” she said. “It allows you to be very advanced and have many years of experience by the time you start training them.”

No Hawthorne Spring Meet. Track to Build Casino

Fans at Hawthorne racecourse. Fans at Hawthorne racecourseHawthorne Race Course will not conduct live Thoroughbred racing in the spring of 2020 while it builds casino and sports-betting facilities, leaving a nearly four-month gap in the Chicago-area schedule.

“This is going to be a hardship for Thoroughbred horsemen,” said David McCaffrey, executive director of the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. “But it’s a short-term pain, long-term gain situation and Hawthorne has pledged to work with us to while we get through it.”

“It’s a hardship and our members will have to do some creative planning,” he said.

More from The Blood-Horse:

Churchill Downs Incorporated Reports 2019 Second Quarter Results

LOUISVILLE, Ky., July 31, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Churchill Downs Incorporated ( CHDN ) (the “Company”) today reported business results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019. Second Quarter 2019 Highlights Net revenue of $477.4 million, up 26% over the prior year quarter Net income of $107.1 million, […]

Second Quarter 2019 Highlights

  • Net revenue of $477.4 million, up 26% over the prior year quarter
  • Net income of $107.1 million, up 4% over the prior year quarter
    º Adjusted net income of $115.0 million, up 9% over the prior year quarter
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $215.0 million, up 23% over the prior year quarter
  • Successful 145th running of The Kentucky Derby, contributing to record highs for wagering and Adjusted EBITDA
  • Continued sequential growth at Derby City Gaming in Louisville, Kentucky, with strong margin performance
  • Strong performance of our Gaming properties primarily due to the performance of Rivers Casino Des Plaines in Des Plaines, Illinois and Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Erie, Pennsylvania
(in millions, except per share data) 2019 2018

churchill downs ky derby daySECOND QUARTER 2019 NET INCOME

The Company’s second quarter 2019 net income of $107.1 million was comprised of $108.3 million in net income from continuing operations and $1.2 million in net loss from discontinued operations. The prior year quarter net income of $103.1 million was comprised of $103.2 million in net income from continuing operations and $0.1 million in net loss from discontinued operations.

More about  Churchill stock:

Colonial Downs Re-opens Aug 8 with Secretariat Turf Course

The Secretariat Turf Course will be ready when Colonial Downs opens for live racing Aug. 8. The collaboration is part of a licensing agreement with the Tweedy family and Secretariat.com that also will feature an annual Secretariat Day at the racetrack as well as equine welfare fund-raising and other promotional opportunities, including festivities planned for Virginia Derby Day on Aug. 31.

“Colonial Downs is thrilled to partner with the Tweedy family and spotlight one of Virginia racing’s brightest stars, who was foaled less than 50 miles from our own gates,” said Jill Byrne, Colonial Downs Vice President of Racing operations. “Secretariat’s enduring legacy continues to reverberate with new generations of fans, and it is only fitting that Colonial Downs recognizes this native son of the Commonwealth.”

“My family and I are excited that live racing has returned to Virginia and that we can contribute by sharing the legacy of Secretariat.” said Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of Penny Chenery. “The Secretariat Turf Course will no doubt witness great racing contests, something my mother and my grandfather would have especially loved to see. Our family also applauds Colonial Downs for their efforts to engage existing horse lovers and generate new racing fans.”

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Here’s what you need to know about Colonial Downs Live Racing Return

Live horse racing returns to Colonial Downs in August 2019 for the first time since the racetrack was shuttered in 2014.

There will be live thoroughbred horse racing on the track every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from Aug. 8 to Sept. 7, including a daytime race on Labor Day and the Virginia Derby on Aug. 31.

Renovations on the turf and dirt tracks at Colonial Downs began last April, according to a past Tidewater Review report. Crews worked to burn all existing turf left on the track and resurface it with new turf. They also revitalized the stable areas, race offices, clubhouse and suites.

Daily purses will average a minimum of $500,000 throughout the 15-day race schedule, according to a news release from Colonial Downs Group, which took over the property last year. The Virginia Derby, a long-running racing meet, will feature a $250,000 stakes purse, the release states.

On Aug. 10, the first Saturday of the racing schedule, you can expect to see four stakes races on the turf course, each with a $100,000 purse, according to the release.

More about Live Racing at Colonial Downs:

Is Horse Racing Like the Wizard of Oz?

This Writer Thinks So

by J. N. Campbell for The Sports Haven

L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” can be likened to many facets of sport.

Today, the state of horse racing is allegorically connected to L. Frank Baum’s classic tale, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” It’s a landscape that is brilliant on the surface, full of diverse and fascinating characters. However, if we drill down a bit and look hard enough, there’s negligence, mismanagement and nothing short of a decentralized state.

Running through our Oz is, of course, the Triple Crown trail. Like the ‘Yellow Brick Road,’ it’s bright, shiny and seems to link the country behind the sport. After Belmont, however, we become lost and lose interest. The state seems minor, even irrelevant to a larger audience.

Certainly, local ovals are well-attended on major race days — but on a regular basis for the most part, patrons are like Baum’s munchkins (no jockey jokes here, mind you!) — well-meaning, but cogs in a larger mysterious wheel. Problems arise stealthily as take outs fluctuate, odds change after the gates open and officials shave pennies off winnings called breakage, like licks from a lollipop.

Thus, bettors feel diminutive and under-served. Track leadership is like that munchkin mayor, unsure of the future now that the Wicked Witch of the East is dead.

Speaking of those that fly on brooms or cast spells, they remind me of our super trainers. Regionally, they  …