Is Horse Racing Dead … in Texas? Lone Star Park Reports 10.5% Rise in All-Source Handle

The Grand Prairie, Texas, track ended its 50-day Thoroughbred meet July 30. Average daily on-track handle increased 4.9%.

Source: Lone Star Park Reports 10.5% Rise in All-Source Handle

FOX Sports Horse Racing TV Coverage Expanded

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced this week a three-year extension of the groundbreaking television programming deal with FOX Sports to broadcast NYRA’s flagship TV program Saratoga Live on FS2. With this announcement, live daily coverage of racing from Saratoga Race Course will be available to a national television audience through 2020.

“There’s no place like Saratoga and FOX Sports is delighted to be headed back to the Spa for three more summers,” said Michael Mulvihill, FOX Sports Executive Vice President, Research, League Operations and Strategy. “We are very excited to extend and expand our partnership with NYRA, which provides high-quality live programming for FS2, and gives our fans access to insightful and entertaining daily coverage of the best race meet in North America.”

Saratoga canopy walk through“Partnering with FOX Sports has enabled NYRA to present the best race meet to horse racing and sports fans on a live and consistent basis,” said Tony Allevato, NYRA Bets President and Executive Producer of NYRA TV. “This extension ensures that people across the country will continue to be able to watch world-class thoroughbred racing on FS2.”

NYRA launched the critically-acclaimed Saratoga Live during the 2016 summer meet at Saratoga, which included 80 hours of live coverage. This year, FOX Sports expanded the schedule to include Saturdays from Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetrack, bringing the total amount of live coverage on FS2 to more than 100 hours.

In 2017, NYRA added new markets in California and Ohio via agreements with several Regional Sports Networks including FOX Sports Prime Ticket, FOX Sports San Diego, and FOX Sports Ohio.

Including all regional networks, Saratoga Live presented by Claiborne Farm and stallion Runhappy, now reaches more than 75 million homes. Saratoga Live airs at 4 p.m. on most live racing days.

This Saturday, Travers Day at Saratoga Race Course, Saratoga Live will air on FS2 from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will include the 68thrunning of the Grade 1 Personal Ensign, featuring champion filly Songbird who has amassed a stellar record of 13 wins and one second-place finish in 14 starts.

New Jersey is the Only State where you can Wager on a Race horse in the middle of a race

horses racingExchange Wagering in New Jersey

While the average age of a horse racing bettor in the state is 61, the typical exchange bettor is 20 years younger.

HACKENSACK, N.J. — Keith Coppola bet on the 1 and 5 horses to win in a recent race that took place at Monmouth Park in Oceanport. The 7 horse wound up the winner — but it wasn’t a complete loss for Coppola. He wound up getting most of his $250 in original wagers back thanks to… [Read more…]

Is Horse Racing Dead? KY Derby Telecast Viewership Largest Since 1989

NBC Sports Network horse racing tvNBC Sports’ coverage of the 143rd Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) posted numerous viewership milestones according to fast national data provided by The Nielsen Company and digital data from Adobe Analytics.

Source: Derby Telecast Viewership Largest Since 1989

A New Type of Horse Ownership

Source: Meadowlands

There’s only one thing every racehorse owner has in common: they started as a fan. As thousands assemble for the 92nd Hambletonian, the Meadowlands is eager to show interested fans that the path to ownership isn’t restricted to the wealthy.

“One of the great barriers to ownership is the perception that it’s for the rich,” said Jason Settlemoir, General Manager & CEO of The Meadowlands.  “Anthony MacDonald has been gaining some real steam in with an innovative ownership concept, so we thought we’d allow him to share his experience as part of Hambletonian weekend.”

MacDonald will be on hand Saturday morning to discuss his fractional ownership website, TheStable.ca, with prospective owners and horsemen interested in duplicating his approach. In less than one year, MacDonald’s fledgling operation has attracted 279 clients from across the globe, many testing ownership waters for the first time. The seminar will take place in The Gallery on the second floor of the Meadowlands Grandstand 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. The seminar is free to attend.

“In all honesty, the response to our platform has been overwhelming,” said MacDonald. “My wife and I started TheStable.ca to sell percentages of horses.  What we quickly discovered is that we’re selling an experience and when packaged right, there’s no end of consumers.  We’re equal parts social network, investment, family farm and sport of kings.”

TheStable.ca markets horses of all ages, but mostly yearlings, to clients in increments as low as 1%. Owners receive weekly video updates on their horses and stay connected through social networks and training events at The Stable’s base of operations in Campbellville, Ontario.

“The lifeblood of the industry is owners. No owners, no horses. No horses, no anything,” said MacDonald. “We make ownership fun, accessible and stress-free. We didn’t start TheStable.ca to be a revolutionary change agent, but we’re seeing its potential – and not just for our operation. For trainers that want to understand our recipe, we’re happy to share.”

The Meadowlands will host an interactive conversation with MacDonald at the gallery on the second floor of the new Meadowlands. Former Trot Magazine editor and racetrack executive, Chris Roberts, will moderate the discussion and take questions from the audience. The seminar is open to both prospective owners and horsemen.

“You can’t argue with Anthony’s early results,” added Settlemoir.  “Anyone that can create hundreds of new owners inside of a year is doing something innovative.  And, the Meadowlands supports any initiative that grows our fan base or generates new interest from the general public.”

Premium Giveaway Days for Saratoga Racecourse 2017

Press Release

The New York Racing Association, Inc. will continue its tradition of premium giveaways with four giveaway days scheduled for the summer 2017 meet at Saratoga Race Course.All giveaways are free with paid admission, while supplies last.The 2017 Saratoga Race Course premium giveaway schedule is as follows:

SARATOGA BASEBALL CAP: Sunday, July 23

The first giveaway of the 2017 season will pay tribute to the theme of opening weekend – Hats! Racing fans gather to receive a red and white Saratoga baseball cap, presented by Saratoga Casino Hotel. In addition to the Saratoga hat giveaway, the day’s festivities will include the 26th annual Hat Contest, presented by Hat Sationa! By DEI.

SARATOGA SHORT-SLEEVE T-SHIRT: Monday, August 7

Racing fans will take home the second giveaway of the 2017 meet, a gray short-sleeve t-shirt featuring a red Saratoga Race Course logo. The giveaway corresponds with the weekly Berkshire Bank Family Mondays series, which features free children’s activities and entertainment at the Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion.

SARATOGA COOLER BAG: Monday, August 21

The season’s penultimate premium giveaway – a red and black Saratoga cooler bag – will kick off the countdown to the $1.25 million Travers, which will be run for the 148th time on Saturday, August 26.

SARATOGA CLOCK: Sunday, September 3

Fans will celebrate closing weekend of the 2017 Saratoga meet with the final giveaway of the 2017 season – a Saratoga wall clock, presented by Foxwoods Resort Casino. The clock features an image of thoroughbreds racing down the stretch against the iconic Saratoga grandstand and clubhouse roofline.

Guests will be able to redeem up to three vouchers at Saratoga Race Course’s giveaway redemption areas, including the one they receive with paid admission and the two additional vouchers they are able to purchase at the multiple admissions line beneath the grandstand.

Saratoga canopy walk throughSeason pass and season ticket plan holders will be guaranteed a Saratoga premium giveaway item on the day of the giveaway contingent on the following: Season pass or season ticket plan holders must be in attendance at Saratoga Race Course, enter through the designated season ticket and pass holder lines and redeem the giveaway by 3 p.m. Redemptions will begin when gates open to the general public.

Season passes do not include reserved seating and are valid for one admission, which is valid for one giveaway item.

Saratoga season admission passes are currently available for purchase online at www.NYRA.com/Saratoga and in-person at nearly 160 Stewart’s Shops locations in the following counties: Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady and Warren.

The summer racing season will begin on Friday, July 21 and continue through Labor Day, Monday, September 4.

For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit www.NYRA.com/Saratoga.

Is Horse Racing Dead? Summit of Speed Handle Up 50% Over 2 Years Ago

Post Parade Gulfstream Park maiden race

Copyright Agameofskill.com

Press Release

Gulfstream Park set a record on Summit of Speed Day with total handle Saturday of $12,660,617.

Saturday’s handle eclipsed the previous year’s handle of $9,702 million by 30 percent and the 2015 handle of $8,071 by 50 percent.

The 14-race card featured victories by Curlin’s Approval in the Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Princess Rooney (G2) and Imperial Hint in the Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Smile Sprint (G3). Jockey Luis Saez flew in from New York to win three races, including the Princess Rooney and Azalea aboard Who’s the Lady, while Javier Castellano won aboard Imperial Hint. Jockey Edgard Zayas won three races, including two stakes.

In its last year at Calder in 2013, total handle on the Summit of Speed program was $4.678 million. After Calder did not run the Summit in 2014, Gulfstream focused on rejuvenating summer racing and the Summit of Speed.

“We want to thank the fans throughout the country for making Saturday’s Summit of Speed a success,” said P.J. Campo, Vice President of Racing for The Stronach Group and General Manager of Gulfstream Park. “Horsemen continue to support our summer program with great racing. We witnessed some incredible performances today by our equine and human athletes.

“We will continue to build summer racing in Florida and we’re excited about the rest of our holiday weekend culminating with our free Grand Illumination fireworks show.”

Is Horse Racing Dead? Golden Gate Field Reports Gains

Golden Gate Fields concluded its 99-day winter/spring meet on Sunday, June 18 with gains in both attendance and on-track handle. The Bay Area track was able to achieve these gains despite experiencing one of the wettest seasons to affect Northern California in years, with over 40 inches of rain recorded during the first part of the season. This is the first winter/spring meet since 2011 where attendance was up by 5.65% with on-track handle also increasing by 3.44%. The most notable change in attendance came from the popular Dollar Day Sundays which saw a 13% increase year-over-year.

“We are very happy with our loyal fans for braving the weather and supporting our live racing product. I look forward to seeing them again during our summer meet,” said Joe Morris, senior vice president of West Coast operations for the Stronach Group.

The leading trainer of the meet was John Martin with 62 wins, leading him to back-to-back winning trainer titles (Martin was the leading trainer of the 2016 fall meet at Golden Gate Fields). Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer came in second. The leading jockey for the winter/spring meet was Abel Cedillo with 89 wins.

“It was a long meet. I’ve just been working hard and running a lot of horses. I tried really hard to win it this time. I need a little bit of a rest now,” said trainer John Martin. 

“I learned a lot down at Santa Anita from great jockeys like Mike Smith and Kent Desormeaux. I’m just blessed I’m here. I’m getting great horses now and my agent, Roger Olguin, couldn’t be better,” said jockey Abel Cedillo.

Golden Gate Fields is set to open its doors for another exciting summer meet on Thursday, August 24. The brief summer race season will run through Sunday, September 17, with special holiday racing on Labor Day Monday, September 4. First post every race day is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. The summer meet will feature a Turf Festival during the last two weeks: September 8 to September 17, a time in which Golden Gate Fields will be the only track in California offering turf racing. The track will offer vanning and stabling incentives for horsemen looking to ship from Southern California. The Turf Festival will be highlighted by the $50,000 Rolling Green Stakes, which will be contested on the lakeside turf course at a distance of a mile and one-sixteenth.

Old Sports Spectrum / Louisville Downs to Become State-of-the-Art Facility

Churchill Downs Incorporated to Invest $60M into Louisville Location

“Stronger horse racing means a stronger Kentucky.”

Press Release

Churchill Downs Incorporated has announced it is investing approximately $60 million to construct a state-of-the-art historical racing machine (“HRM”) facility in Louisville. The 85,000-square-foot facility will be built at 4520 Poplar Level Road—Churchill Downs’ former Trackside (also known as the former Sports Spectrum) site, and conveniently located less than half a mile from the Poplar Level Road exit off the Henry Watterson Expressway (I-264). CDI’s request to offer exotic wagering on historical racing was conditionally approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission this afternoon.

“With a state-of-the-art facility and new, innovative historical racing machines, we will deliver an exciting and compelling product for our customers in Louisville. This is a great opportunity for us to revitalize another area of our city while strengthening the Commonwealth’s equine industry through larger purses and greater incentives for Kentucky breeders and owners,” Churchill Downs Race Track president Kevin Flannery said. “Stronger horse racing means a stronger Kentucky.”

historical racing facility

source: CDI

The company says the facility will create 450 new jobs for the local economy, including 250 construction jobs. An estimated 200 new full- and part-time jobs will be created to operate and manage the facility. Churchill Downs will hire both hourly and salaried employees in areas including operations, marketing, finance, food and beverage, maintenance, information technology, human resources, security and administration. Job fairs will be held at Trackside for the neighborhoods surrounding the facility and the Churchill Downs Race Track.

This announcement comes on the heels of CDI’s decision to relocate its TwinSpires.com business to Louisville from Silicon Valley, California, creating more than 70 high-tech, high-paying jobs for the city.

The planned facility will house two quick-service, walk-up food venues, as well as a bar with seating for 50 and large format televisions for guests to take in all the best sporting action year-round. The gaming area will open with 600 cutting-edge historical racing machines and a player’s club reward center offering special perks and benefits, including an exclusive parking area for loyal guests.

Construction is slated to begin later this year, and CDI hopes to open the facility by summer of 2018.

Is Horse Racing Dead? Handle Up on 3-Day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival

Belmont Park horse racingAll-source handle for the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival at Belmont Park was $124,740,193, eclipsing 2016’s all-source handle of $122,816,359.

All-source total on Saturday, which saw Tapwrit win the 149th edition of the Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets, was $93,666,832. Saturday’s on-track handle was $11,594,599, virtually unchanged from 2016’s on-track handle of $11,694,897.

All-source wagering on the Belmont Stakes itself was $47,163,773.

This year’s Belmont Stakes also featured betting in Japan, in a non-commingled pool. The total Belmont Stakes handle from Japan, which is not included in the all-source handle figure, was $4,698,525.

Paid attendance for Belmont Stakes Day was 57,729.

 2017 Handle:

Thursday all-source handle = $10,309,891

Friday all-source handle = $20,763,469

Saturday all-source handle = $93,666,832

Belmont Stakes Racing Festival all-source handle = $124,790,193

Belmont Stakes all-source handle = $47,163,773

Belmont Stakes Japan handle = $4,698,525