Little Racetrack expecting big business out of the gates from online horse betting

So, what betting handle total will Edmonton’s Century Mile hit next Sunday when the track reopens with no fans onsite?

I’m putting the over-under at a million dollars.

You should know that the average handle for thoroughbred racing in the inaugural season at Century Mile last year was $172,422 and the high was $838,429 for the Canadian Derby.

A million dollars?

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The key appears to be something called HPIbet.com.

If the Edmonton track can replicate the phenomenal success story of Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg, it’ll be a bigger story than whatever stories the horses and jockeys managed to write on the track in the 10-race card being put together to launch the season during the pandemic.

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Penn National preparing for horse racing return

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The sports comeback continues to spread across Pennsylvania, and horse racing is one of the latest beneficiaries.

The Pennsylvania Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) released a statement Saturday saying it expects approval to begin racing at Penn National on Friday, June 19.

Indiana Grand set for horse racing’s return on this date

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Life around Indiana Grand Racing & Casino usually sounds like a chorus of trumpets, with hoofs pounding into the dirt and cheers after the first thoroughbred crosses the finish line.

The casino and horse racing track in Shelbyville has served as the Indiana Derby’s home since 2013, and is considered the mecca of thoroughbred racing within the Hoosier state. But with no races until later in June, and no spectators allowed on the grounds until July 4, the odds for those that make a living around the stables just got tough.

“Big hit, big hit. I haven’t seen anything like it,” said Joe Davis, president of the Indiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and a local trainer.

“I have been doing it for 35 years. It is not like a race car or a business; you can’t just shut it down,” Davis said.

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Horse racing is about to officially return to Woodbine

Wager on WoodbineTORONTO — Woodbine Entertainment made the announcement that it will resume live horse racing this weekend. [Opening day is June 6, 2020]

That means harness racing will resume Friday at Woodbine Mohawk Park, with thoroughbred racing beginning Saturday at Woodbine Racetrack.

Racing at both venues will go without spectators and only essential personnel. Each track has implemented strict health-and-safety protocols.

“The horse-racing industry supports tens of thousands of jobs throughout our province, making the return of live racing this weekend very meaningful for many people,” Jim Lawson, the CEO of Woodbine Entertainment, said in a statement…

Arrogate’s Life Unjustly Confiscated

By ART PARKER

Every morning my first action is to make a cup of coffee and go to my office in my home. I turn on the idiot box (computer) to check out the most important news of the day – thoroughbred racing news.

That’s when I saw it.

Champion Arrogate was dead at age seven.

I was stunned.

How much worse can this year get? Track closings, Triple Crown schedule all fouled up, and the deaths of A.P. Indy and Forty Niner, two of our best runners and stallions over the last 35 five years. A.P. Indy and Forty Niner lived long, full lives. Arrogate was not so lucky.

Our sport is no different than other sports or other things close to our hearts. When something unwelcomed happens, it hurts. Sounds silly, right? When Mickey Mantle died, it left an empty feeling for older guys like me that grew up loving baseball. If you have been playing the horses long enough you had that emptiness in September 1989 when Secretariat died. Basketball lovers felt the same way when Kobe Bryant died earlier this year.

Our sport is filled with as much emotion as any other and that is why it is painful to lose a hero, especially if one is gone long before his time. Arrogate was one of those. The term arrogate means to claim or confiscate unjustly. That’s what happened to the horse that bore the name Arrogate. When the news broke yesterday, the vets still did not know what claimed his life. The press report I read simply said, “It is still unclear what the illness was, and a post-mortem is currently being carried out.”

I have talked to many racing fans that say Arrogate was the best they have ever seen – when he was at his best. I believe he was the best since Secretariat. His 2016 Travers win was so impressive I grabbed my wife and made her watch the replay. I told her this guy was something special. His last win came in Dubai and the way he won that race took my breath away. Gate traffic left him way behind at the start and I thought there was no way he could ever win. What I saw next was the most spectacular race I have ever seen other than Secretariat’s Belmont. He went in between and around horses and, in almost of a blink of an eye, went from almost the rear of the field to the lead. He defeated a great horse named Gun Runner by several lengths and Mike Smith was gearing him down before the wire. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

I don’t know or can explain why his last three races at Del Mar were bad. Could have been the surface. It could have been that the trip to Dubai took something out of him like the trip did to Cigar in 1996. He just wasn’t the same horse he was before winning the World Cup.

The son of Unbridled’s Song leaves us with only two seasons at stud. That is a real shame and a major loss for both racing and the breed.

We all know that the great ones occasionally get beat and they all die. Sometimes the defeats and deaths just hurt a little more.

This is one of those times.

Did you read?

Handicapping Tip of the Day #40 – Thoroughbred Race Horses are Not Machines

Handicapping Tip of the Day #55 – The Only Race

Big Week on Tap with Belmont Park Re-opening

Belmont Park horse racingFour-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown was trackside Thursday at Belmont Park to watch e Five Racing Thoroughbreds’ Rushing Fall and Peter Brant’s New York-bred Fifty Five breeze on the inner turf in preparation for the Grade 3, $150,000 Beaugay slated for Opening Day on Wednesday, June 3.

The duo went a half-mile in company and reached the wire together in a time of 50.48 seconds. Brown said both horses will be entered in the Beaugay, a 1 1/6-mile turf test for fillies and mares 4-year-olds and upward. Entries for the Opening Day card at Belmont will be taken on Friday.

“They both worked fine and will be entered in the Beaugay,” said Brown.

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Klaravich Stables’ Newspaperofrecord will make her 4-year-old debut in the Grade 3, $150,000 Intercontinental, a seven-furlong turf sprint for older fillies and mares slated for Saturday, June 6.

The ultra-talented Lope De Vega bay went undefeated in her three-start juvenile campaign which included a win in the Grade 2 Miss Grillo at Belmont ahead of a score in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Churchill Downs.

Last season, Newspaperofrecord completed the exacta in the Grade 3 Edgewood at Churchill Downs and Grade 3 Wonder Again at Belmont Park but was off-the-board when completing her season in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational in July.

Brown said Newspaperofrecord is training well towards her seasonal debut.

“She seems pretty settled to me in her works and I’m real excited to get her career resumed. I’m going to try to keep her [at distances] only up to a mile,” said Brown. “Based on the way she’s training, and if she stays healthy, she should have a really good year.”

Source: NYRA

Keeneland Gets Approval for Short Summer Meet

“We are all in this together, and Ellis Park is pleased to work with Keeneland on a plan that benefits our horsemen and Kentucky racing,” Ellis Park General Manager Jeffrey Inman said. 

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Race Dates Committee has approved Keeneland’s request to conduct a spectator-free, five-day Summer Meet, to be held Wednesday, July 8 through Sunday, July 12, 2020.

copyright Rich Nilsen

Keeneland paddock (copyright All Star Press)

“Keeneland appreciates the quick response of the Commission to our request, and we applaud all their work on behalf of Kentucky racing during these unprecedented times,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “We also thank Ellis Park for their cooperation in this process and for making these non-traditional dates available to Keeneland. We look forward to sharing more details about the Summer Meet in the coming weeks.”

The latest news on the Del Mar Summer meet

Keeneland plans to host 9-10 races each day of the Summer Meet, and feature 10 graded stakes traditionally run during the track’s Spring Meet, anchored by the $600,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G2) and $400,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1), preps for the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1), respectively.

Source: Keeneland

New Opening Date and Schedule for Del Mar Meet

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club announced today its intention to begin the 2020 summer race meet on July 10 and employ a three-day-a-week race schedule pending the approval of the California Horse Racing Board at its June 11 meeting.

Further, following guidelines issued by San Diego County public health officials, California state officials and in consultation with other public health experts, the track’s traditional summer meeting is preparing to operate without spectators, but will continue to work with state and local officials to adopt any changes as they happen. In all cases, Del Mar will follow similar COVID-19 protocols that have enabled racing to be conducted safely in California and throughout the country.

“We’re coming back and we’re going to put on the most unique show in Del Mar history,” said Del Mar’s CEO, Joe Harper. “It’s going to look different, it’s going to feel different, but it’s going to be first-class horse racing at Del Mar and in these unusual times that’s something to look forward to.”

What’s the latest on the situation of horse racing in Pennsylvania?

Originally scheduled to open its 81st summer season on Saturday, July 18, Del Mar is planning a schedule change to start Friday, July 10 with racing on a Friday-Saturday-Sunday basis throughout the summer, closing with a four-day week on Labor Day Monday, September 7. The track will offer 10-race cards on Fridays and Sundays and 11-race cards on Saturdays. Opening Day will be an exception to the schedule with an 11-race program and Labor Day will offer 10 races.

The new schedule calls for 291 races over nine weeks. The track carded 297 races over its eight-week 2019 summer meeting.

“We want to begin the meet earlier and offer horsemen the same number of opportunities to run as we have for the last several summer seasons,” said Tom Robbins, DMTC’s executive vice president of racing. “We’ve had inquiries from new trainers from across the country who are interested in sending horses to Del Mar, which is encouraging. And because the San Diego Fair was cancelled this year, our track maintenance team will be preparing our racing surfaces earlier and we’ll be able to have horses on-site sooner than in the past. It will be a little different, but we’re confident we can present the same high caliber racing that fans, owners and trainers have come to expect.”

Racing at Santa Anita is scheduled to conclude June 21. Los Alamitos will offer Thoroughbred racing from June 26 through July 5. Both tracks have been operating live racing without fans and with only essential personnel under strict protocols in response to COVID-19.

“Over the past several weeks Del Mar has joined with other racing industry leaders to develop extensive operating procedures to permit horse racing in a way that ensures the safety of all employees, stakeholders and our horses,” said Josh Rubinstein, DMTC’s president and COO. “A number of medical experts throughout the country have provided guidance and helped us develop a comprehensive plan. DMTC’s planning has benefitted from additional direction and aid from local experts such as Scripps Health’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ghazala Sharieff, and her colleagues.”

Rubinstein praised local health and elected officials.

“San Diego County’s Health & Human Services Agency and its elected officials, working in concert with state officials, have done an incredible job ensuring San Diego stays safe during this difficult time,” he said. “We are grateful for their leadership, guidance and positive feedback as we implement our safety guidelines that follow the stringent protocols that have been successful at California’s other Thoroughbred racing facilities.”

Even without spectators, Del Mar’s racing season is important to the continued economic viability of California’s horse racing industry. The regular care and training of racehorses in the state supports thousands of jobs, housing and health care services for workers, as well as hundreds of local small businesses and family farms.

Wagering on Del Mar’s races will continue remotely via on-line platforms like TVG and at off-track betting locations around the world. In 2019, 90% of wagering on Del Mar’s races took place off-track and during the recent “Safer At Home” guidelines in many states Internet wagering has surged.

Del Mar will present its traditional stakes schedule with some minor modifications. The full stakes schedule will be released May 29.

The track’s broadcast partner – TVG – will provide enhanced Del Mar coverage throughout the summer. NBC Sports is currently broadcasting TVG on its popular NBCSN channel. Discussions are on-going for including Del Mar in these future national broadcasts.

First post daily throughout the summer will be at 2 p.m.

Source: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

What’s the Status of Horse Racing In PA?

When can horse racing resume in Pennsylvania? Even the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission hasn’t a clue.

And that’s not because they haven’t asked PA Gov. Tom Wolf. The governor suspended racing right along with casino operations in mid-March to stem the onslaught of COVID-19 infections and deaths.

And there is no target date for racing to resume in PA, yet.

Late-breaking news updateA face-to-face meeting between Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration and members of horseman’s groups is now scheduled for Thursday [5/27], PlayPennsylvania has learned exclusively.

Churchill Downs Stock Rising Amid Resort Re-openings

The Race Must Go On

On May 20, the company said it’s reopened two casino resorts in Mississippi. Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen said in a news release the company has “worked diligently” to put in place health and safety protocols to protect guests from coronavirus.

Churchill Downs has also started horse races again at its Louisville, Ky., track and plans to hold what would be the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race. It’s been rescheduled for September 5th.

Carstanjen said in a news release announcing the rescheduling, “As the situation evolved, we…