Is Horse Racing Dead? Tampa Bay Downs Reports Huge Day

Tampa Paddock

Up close and personal at the Tampa Bay Downs paddock

Press Release

When you put more money up for grabs than ever before in track history, it’s logical to expect top-quality racing.

Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby winner Tapwrit and the other four stakes winners more than delivered.

The Festival Day card on March 11, 2017 produced a track record and three stakes records (four if you count the Columbia Stakes, which was being run at a distance of a mile on the turf for the first time).

A crowd of 10,079 more than did its part to make the day memorable, contributing to total wagering handle of $12,123,021.60, the second-largest figure in Tampa Bay Downs annals.

“We’re extremely pleased and proud to see our biggest day receive such tremendous support from the Tampa Bay community,” said track Vice President-General Manager Peter Berube. “We wish all the participants the best of fortune going forward, and naturally we’re hopeful Tapwrit will move on to compete in the Kentucky Derby (Presented by Yum! Brands).”

The striking gray colt Tapwrit was the unquestioned standout of the afternoon, launching a powerful move approaching the far turn and going on to a four-and-a-half length victory from State of Honor in the Grade II, $350,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby. His time of 1:42.36 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth is a new stakes record, and would have been a track record had not his stablemate, 5-year-old Stanford, won the $100,000 Challenger at the same distance three races earlier.

Both horses are trained by Todd Pletcher, who won his third consecutive Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby, fourth in five years and fifth overall.

Also setting a course record was the 3-year-old filly Fifty Five, who won the Grade III, $200,000 Florida Oaks for 3-year-old fillies on the turf in 1:41.60 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth.

Saga of Susan Bala and Racing Services Takes an Incredible Turn

Horse racing business owed $13 million in collected taxes

Horse racing business Susan Bala owed $13 million in collected taxes.  The San Luis Obispo Tribune — The owner of a horse betting business in North Dakota says the state has agreed to pay her more than $13 million after her conviction for illegal gambling was overturned.

Source: Horse racing business owed $13 million in collected taxes

Horse Racing Side Wagers with Your Crab Fries?

Chickie’s & Pete’s in Jersey May Offer Off-Track Betting

EGG HARBOR TWP. — If a proposal before the New Jersey Racing Commission is approved, you may be able to get a side bet on a horse race with your crab fries at Chickie’s & Pete’s in Atlantic County. The commission will consider a proposal later this month to establish an off-track betting facility at the… [Read more…]

Horse Racing Club Investment Pays Off for Newbie

horse racing blinkers“The education, through seminars, speaking engagements and financials, has been more than expected and I can honestly say this is the beginning of a new journey for me in horse racing ownership and management,” said Stephens, who is also considering enrolling in the University of Louisville’s Equine Industry Program.

LITTLE ROCK — A passenger in a New Orleans-bound vehicle, the commercial airline pilot battled sporadic cell coverage in South Arkansas to sign up for the Churchill Downs Racing Club.

Source: King: Horse racing club investment pays dividends

Is Horse Racing Dead? Gulfstream Park Reported Strong 2016

Gulfstream Park paddock Gulfstream Park announced a record $1.774 billion was wagered via Gulfstream Park in 2016, a 9-percent increase over the previous record of $1.625 billion in 2015.

Gulfstream also announced a record $1.508 billion was wagered on its live races in 2016, a 13-percent increase from the previous record of $1.338 billion in 2015.

Gulfstream’s record handle was produced in part by signature racing events like the Florida Derby, Fountain of Youth, Opening Day Claiming Crown, Sire Stakes, Sunshine Millions and Holy Bull. Gulfstream also continued hosting signature events, including the prestigious Eclipse Awards.

“Our record handle in 2016 shows us we’re on the right path in growing our Championship Meet and reinvigorating summer racing in Florida,” said P.J. Campo, General Manager of Gulfstream Park and Vice President of Racing for The Stronach Group, Gulfstream’s parent company. “We continue to see the top horses and stables race each winter at Gulfstream, but we’re also witnessing more interest in our summer program now that it has become established and producing quality racing and young stars.

“We believe we will continue to grow in 2017. We have an incredible year ahead of us. We’re looking forward to once again hosting the Eclipse Awards on Jan. 21, watching classic contenders begin to develop in the Holy Bull, Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby, and playing host to the richest horse race in the world – the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational – featuring California Chrome and Arrogate on Jan. 28.

“Our success is only possible because of our great equine athletes, jockeys, horsemen supporting our program from throughout the world, and the fans, who continue to offer great suggestions to help us grow our customer service.

California Chrome Primed and Ready for $12M Pegasus Cup

Press Release-

“He’s cruise control; that’s what I like,” he added. “We hardly ever press him to do anything. He was under hand, and I’m very satisfied with the work.” 

In what was the final breeze of his storied  career on the racetrack, California Chrome worked Saturday morning at Gulfstream Park in preparation for his swan song, the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 28.

California Chrome, with regular exercise rider Dihigi Gladney in the saddle, stepped onto the track at precisely 7:32, on a balmy morning in South Florida. After being backed-up the wrong way for a quarter-mile, Gladney turned the 6-year-old around and began to gallop past the clubhouse, where fans and horsemen looked on in eager anticipation of the final breeze from North America’s richest racehorse.

California Chrome working out spring of 2014

2014 copyright Gary Tasich

As is California Chrome’s custom, he worked faster than what it appeared. A nearly motionless Gladney guided him through the five-furlong move, which was timed in 58.81, following fractions of 23.66 and 35.12. The 6-year-old galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.41.

On hand for the work was Art Sherman, California Chrome’s 79-year-old trainer, who arrived in Florida late Thursday evening from California.

“I’m feeling great, I said if he went in a 1:00, I would be happy, and galloped out in 1:13,” Sherman said to the media outside Barn 2 following the work. “He went in 58 4/5 and galloped out in 1:12 1/5. He’s ready. That was an awesome work. I thought it was sensational.

“He’s cruise control; that’s what I like,” he added. “We hardly ever press him to do anything. He was under hand, and I’m very satisfied with the work.”

The Pegasus, the world’s richest race, will afford California Chrome the opportunity to have a rematch with Arrogate, who beat him by a half-length in their only meeting, the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) Nov. 5 at Santa Anita.

“I’ve been wanting a rematch for a long time now,” Sherman now.

Sherman, a former jockey, rode at Gulfstream Park, and saddled one runner here as a trainer in  2004. He was surrounded by a lot of well-wishers as he stood in the grandstand to watch Saturday’s work.

“A lot of memories,” he said. “I rode here when I was a kid. “Of course, it was a lot different. Now I look back and I say ‘Wow, here we are.’ It’s been a great journey. It’s been fun, a lot of fun. I met a lot of nice people throughout the game and I’m enjoying myself.”

One of the perks of training California Chrome for Sherman is seeing the amount of joy the horse has given to his large and loyal fan base, especially those who flock to his home base at Los Alamitos to catch a glimpse of the superstar.

“He has such a following,” Sherman said with a big grin. “I have 20 women coming out from Orange County [for the Pegasus]. They are all ‘Chromies,’ I call them. They have never missed a workout and I work him like at 5:45 in the morning.

“It’s probably been the biggest fan base I have ever seen,” he continued. “I saw a lot of good horses, with this one and that, John Henry and Cigar, but I have never seen so many people love this horse like they do. He’s the people’s horse, I always thought.”

Japan’s $22.5 Billion Passion for Horse Racing

CNN International Japan’s $22.5 billion passion for horse racing.  This year has been the first time that the Japanese have been able to wager on foreign races, and they’ve certainly leaped at the opportunity.  In fact,  on the Arc they wagered more than the people of France!

CNN International: “This is one reason why horse racing is so popular here … The Japanese are very much enjoying placing their money on foreign races.” The profit created by betting is reinvested into racing prize funds by the Japan Racing Association (JRA), meaning … and more »  READ THE FULL ARTICLE BELOW:

Source: Japan’s $22.5 billion passion for horse racing

Russ Harris, Handicapper Extraordinaire, Dies at Age 93

Thoroughbred Daily News Russ Harris, Handicapper Extraordinaire, Dies at 93 | TDN … Thoroughbred Daily News

The word may get thrown around too easily, but in Russ Harris’s case, it is deserving. He was a legend. I can’t prove this, but I know it to be true: No single…

Source: Harris, Handicapper Extraordinaire, Dies at 93 | TDN …

Public in Japan Against Mindless Games of Chance

Slot MachinesJapan’s ruling bloc steamrolls controversial casino bill through upper house amid growing social concerns

Ditch attempts by opposition parties. The ruling coalition shut down by majority the attempts by the opposition camp, including the main opposition Democratic Party, Japanese Communist Party, Liberal Party and Social Democratic Party, to stall the bill, agreeing to submit a no-confidence motion against Abe’s cabinet in the lower house earlier in the day. Were the… [Read more…]

Horse Racing – The Only Track Running Today

Tampa Paddock

Up close and personal at the Tampa Bay Downs paddock

Laurel Park will be the only game in town Christmas Eve.

Actually, the only game in North America.

Laurel Park will serve up a special live nine-race program on Christmas Eve. It is the only live card in North America.

First race post time is noon ET.

Highlighting the Christmas Eve card is a starter allowance featuring stakes-placed Flash McCaul, I Came to Party, Coltimus Prime and the Michael Dickinson-trained Scorch as well as a $42,000 allowance event over six furlongs with a field of 12.

There will be a Rainbow 6 carryover of $1,236.53 and a Super Hi 5 carryover of $644.55.

Closed on Christmas Day, Sunday Dec. 25, Laurel will host a special Monday program on Dec. 26 before concluding its 52-day fall meet on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 30 and 31.