Churchill Downs to Sell Beautiful Arlington Park in Chicago

Churchill Downs Inc. to sell historic Arlington International RacecourseLOUISVILLE, Ky., Feb. 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI” or “Company”) (Nasdaq: CHDN) announced that the Company has launched a process to sell the 326 acres in Arlington Heights, Illinois that are currently the home of Arlington International Racecourse (“Arlington”). CBRE will bring the redevelopment opportunity to market on behalf of CDI.

The Company is committed to running Arlington’s 2021 race dates from April 30 – September 25. The Company does not expect any sale of the Arlington site to close prior to the conclusion of Arlington’s 2021 race meet or that the conduct of the sale process will impact Arlington’s racing operations this year.

“Arlington’s ideal location in Chicago’s northwest suburbs, together with direct access to downtown Chicago via an on-site Metra rail station, presents a unique redevelopment opportunity. We expect to see robust interest in the site and look forward to working with potential buyers, in collaboration with the Village of Arlington Heights, to transition this storied location to its next phase,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI. “In the meantime, we are very committed to pursuing the relocation of Arlington’s racing license to another community in the Chicagoland area or elsewhere in the state. We are exploring potential options with the State and other constituents and remain optimistic that we can find solutions that work for the State, local communities and the thousands of Illinoisans who make their living directly or indirectly from thoroughbred horse racing. We are committed to the Illinois thoroughbred racing industry and will consider all options in working toward opportunities for it to continue into the future.”

About Churchill Downs Incorporated

 

Churchill Downs Incorporated is an industry-leading racing, online wagering and gaming entertainment company anchored by our iconic flagship event, the Kentucky Derby. We own and operate three pari-mutuel gaming entertainment venues with approximately 3,050 historical racing machines in Kentucky. We also own and operate TwinSpires, one of the largest and most profitable online wagering platforms for horse racing, sports and iGaming in the U.S. and we have seven retail sportsbooks. We are also a leader in brick-and-mortar casino gaming in eight states with approximately 11,000 slot machines and video lottery terminals and 200 table games. Additional information about CDI can be found online at www.churchilldownsincorporated.com.

Is Horse Racing Dead? Not in Japan

Japanese horse racing posts solid growth despite challengesJapanese horse racing posts solid growth despite challenges

Japanese horse racing recorded strong sales growth in 2020, in spite of economic uncertainties and the coronavirus pandemic. Both central and local horse racing are defying covid-19 challenges out of the race.

Horse racing as usual albeit without fans

The Japan Racing Association (JRA) reported its ninth consecutive year of sales growth with the annual turnover exceeding $28.6 billion, an increase by 103.5% from the previous year. Despite the challenging situation in times of COVID-19, Japanese central horse racing neither rescheduled or canceled a single event but maintained its full 2020 calendar.

The races were held without a spectator for over 7 months between February and October, however, the central horse racing has seen no major impact on overall sales. The cancellation of major racing events outside Japan also contributed to some of the star horses running in domestic races, which made certain races more appealing to fans.

Local horse racing also reported a jump in sales by 31% on a monthly basis, compared to that of the previous year. The stock price of the local Tokyo horse racing plummeted in March last year due to concerns over the negative impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. However, the shares bounced back by October and traded above $56 for the first time since 1994.

Ellis Park officials Could Close if a Solution isn’t reached on historical horse racing

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Keeneland and Red Mile in Lexington have temporarily closed after the state Supreme Court declined to reconsider its ruling that at least some of the games aren’t legal. Ellis Park officials say they could close, too, if a permanent solution is not found.

In a statement sent to Eyewitness News, General Manager of Ellis Park Jeffery Inman says –

Without the revenue associated with HHR, there is no realistic path forward for Ellis Park. Were we to rely only on Racing and Simulcast revenue, we could not even keep this 99 year old facility maintained, let alone provide the financial investment necessary to prepare for and conduct a world-class live race meet. Without HHR support, purses would drop dramatically, resulting in a greatly diminished live racing product. In short, the loss of HHR revenue at Ellis Park would likely threaten the very survival of one of Kentucky’s iconic racing venues.

Historical racing features machines allowing people to bet on randomly generated, past horse races.

Make horse racing at Louisiana Downs great again

Louisiana horse racingLetter to the Editor of the Shreveport Times in Louisiana:

“Getting ready to go to Louisiana Downs for opening day at Oaklawn last week. Oaklawn [Park] is one of the top tracks in the nation and the track that I am about to go to used to be one as well.

Louisiana Downs has fell off so bad from the way it was in late ’70s and throughout most of the ’80s and ’90s. When the casinos arrived the racetrack begin its decline to where we find it today.

The biggest race held at Louisiana Downs is the Super Derby. It used to draw top horses now it should be called the Uper Derby case it has been hit with kryptonite.

Louisiana Downs can can come back to its heyday if it only had the right people at the helm. Please Harrah’s do something, there are people who still love the track for more than going to the casino.”

Gene Green

Shreveport

Is Horse Racing Dead? Not in Washington

Emerald Downs increases horse racing purses

Emerald Downs in Auburn has announced a 10% purse increase for all races the final three weeks of the 2020 live horse racing season.

The track runs races on Wednesday and Thursday, with the season ending Oct. 29.

Through 30 days of live racing, handle is averaging $1.87 million, up 67% over last year.

Emerald Downs President Phil Ziegler said the purse increase is a result of better than expected handle…

Florida Horse Racing Prepares To Say Goodbye To Calder

“It”s the end of an era,”said Bill Badgett, the executive director of Florida Racing Operations for The Stronach Group.

Saturday’s opening day at the meet rebranded as Gulfstream Park West will truly mark the beginning of an end. Barring an 11th hour reprieve from the courts, the 40-day season will be the last ever run at Calder Race Course, the meat-and-potatoes South Florida track that has been operating since 1971.

Since 2014, the racing operation has been leased by Calder’s owner, Churchill Downs Inc., to Gulfstream Park’s owners, The Stronach Group, which renamed the track Gulfstream Park West. That lease expires at the end of the year and TSG is in the process of putting together a 2021 racing schedule that does not include a Gulfstream Park West/Calder meet.

Calder opened May 6, 1971 with 16,263 fans in attendance and the handle was $712,931. The New York Times reported that the meet “got off to a flying start” and that there were so many people looking to get into the track that they had to close the gates and turn some would-be patrons away…

Is Horse Racing Dead? Not at Little ‘Ole Kentucky Downs

Kentucky Downs enjoys another record-breaking meet with total betting at over $59M on 62 races

By Jennie Rees and Dick Downey
Kentucky Downs 2020 Recap

Even before Saffie Joseph won Wednesday’s eighth race with Sugar Fix on closing day of the RUNHAPPY Meet at Kentucky Downs, the trainer’s thoughts had turned to next year.

“First meet here. I love it,” said Joseph, one of America’s fast-rising trainers who this summer expanded his East Coast base to include Kentucky. “It’s a cool setting, different from what you’re used to seeing in America. It’s kind of like a European track. I’m coming back every year. As long as we have the owners providing the horses, we hope to make this an important part of our year.”

Fergus Galvin, a representative for Qatar Racing’s Sheikh Fahad al Thani, said that Guildsman’s victory in the Grade 3 Franklin-Simpson Stakes on the closing card “certainly made Sheikh Fahad a big fan of Kentucky Downs. He’s already wanting to stock up the stable to point to the meeting next year.”

Kentucky Downs smashed its betting records at the six-date meet with total wagering of $59,828,444 on 62 races, including $9,487,705 on Wednesday’s 10-race finale. The previous record was last year’s $41,239,699 for 50 races over five days….

Kentucky Downs purses since 2011
Year (dates) purses

2020 (6) $12,337,000
2019 (5) $11,520,380
2018 (5) $10,273,630
2017 (5) $8,625,396
2016 (5) $7,923,476
2015 (5) $6,609,355
2014 (5) $4,875,722
2013 (5) $4,150,687
2012 (5) $2,086,650
2011 (4) $796,810

What We Know about the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act

Lot of Questions Raised

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The federal bill putting in place a national regulatory body for Thoroughbred racing is considered a near certainty for passage later this year, generating timely questions about how the body will function and deliver on its promise of improving the industry’s drug-testing abilities and the safety of its athletes.

Washington DCThe bill, called the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, was introduced in the Senate last week by Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Majority Leader. On the same day, a House committee that had not called for a vote on similar legislation for the past five years swiftly approved its passage on a bipartisan basis. Officials who support the effort are now confident the legislation will be approved by the end of this year’s lame-duck session, if not sooner.

“I don’t like to quote odds for anyone, but I rate its chances better than they’ve ever been,” said Bill Lear, vice chairman of The Jockey Club, which has made passage of a federal bill overhauling the sport’s regulation a priority since 2014. “I still think there are lots of hurdles to overcome, but I do think with the bipartisan support in both houses, we are in a position where we should get it done by the end of the year.”

While racing officials who have worked on the bill …

The Economic Impact of the Horse Racing Industry in Just One State

According to information published in the Equibase program at Monmouth Park in 2019:

The total economic impact of the equine industry is $1.1 billion annually.

The industry pays over $160 million in federal, state and local taxes.

176,000 total acres of real estate are in use in New Jersey alone for equine operations.  An additional 46,000 acres produce hay and grain for horses.  An estimated 13,000 jobs are generated just in New Jersey.

The original Monmouth Park racetrack opened in 1870.  The current structure opened on June 19, 2946 and with its desirable location close to the Jersey beaches, it has attracted tens of thousands of visitors each year.

Here is a look at the impact of the horse racing industry in the great state of  Florida.

William Hill to Close 119 Betting Shops as Covid-19 Has Crushed Profits

[UK Bookmaker] William Hill are to close another 119 betting shops as profits plunged at the bookmaker due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the company is to repay £24.5 million in furlough funds to the government following what they described as a “robust recovery” in recent weeks since the return of mainstream sport and betting shops reopening.

Unveiling its financial results for the first six months of 2020, William Hill said net revenue had fallen by 32 per cent to £554.4m, while adjusted operating profit was down 85 per cent to £11.4m, although the bookmaker said that was ahead of expectations.