Lady Aurelia Lights Up Bid Board at $7.5 Million

Is Horse Racing Dead? I Don’t Think So.

Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings went to $7.5 million to purchase full interest in the European champion Lady Aurelia during Fasig-Tipton’s The November Sale. She was consigned as hip 200 by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency.

Source: Lady Aurelia Lights Up Bid Board at $7.5 Million

Off-track horse race gambling coming to Horsetown USA next month

“If it opens, the Norco enterprise would be California’s 12th satellite horse-race betting venue, Marten said. State law allows up to 45, including 15 in each of three regions — north, central and south, he said

It is no accident The Derby Room is going into the building of a former restaurant, which is being remodeled at a cost of $500,000.

Zolnier said it will be more than a place to bet on Santa Anita and Los Alamitos races, or the Kentucky Derby. It will be a sports bar and restaurant, he said, with 80 percent to 90 percent of sales coming from food and drinks. Zolnier said he views the gambling element as a way to pull people into the eatery…”

THE DERBY ROOM

Location: 3230 Hamner Ave., Norco

Operator: California Horse Racing and Sports, LLC

Open date: Aiming for mid-December

Employees: 30 to 40. Job seekers may apply at thederbyroom.com

Is horse racing dead?  Not in California

Press-Enterprise Full coverage: Off-track horse race gambling coming to Norco after false start

Laurel Park Fall Meet Up Big

Laurel Park’s Fall Festival of Racing, featuring the 27th running of the Frank De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) and six other stakes races, handled $5.073 million Saturday, an increase of 35.5 percent over last year’s program.

Total handle in 2017 on the corresponding day was $3.743 million. Handle in 2016 was $4.513 million and in 2015 $3.775 million.

Woodford Racing’s Switzerland was an impressive winner of the De Francis. Switzerland’s victory was the third stakes win of the day for jockey Feargal Lynch.

This year’s De Francis marked the fifth and final race in the 3-year-old and up dirt sprint division of the revived Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship (MATCH) Series, an assortment of 25 races at tracks in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, which kicked off May 18 and 19 at Pimlico. The original MATCH Series debuted in 1997 and ran for five years.

Is Horse Racing Dead? Not in Maryland

“The Fall Festival of Racing was a great way to start what will be a memorable month of Thoroughbred racing in Maryland and Laurel Park,” said Sal Sinatra, President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club. “There was a lot of great energy and excitement today, and we want to thank everyone who came out to watch and wager on this great program. We also think the MATCH Series has been a great edition to the Mid-Atlantic calendar.

“We witnessed some incredible performances by our equine and human athletes, and we expect that will carry over to our program Saturday featuring the Baltimore-Washington International Turf Cup (G3) and the inaugural running of the Bald Eagle Derby. And this year’s Maryland Million will be very special with the edition of the great entertainment The Stronach Group has planned for Clubhouse Festival.”

Source: Laurel Park

Simulcast Wagering up Big in Arizona

Arizona DownsThe new Arizona Downs’ off-track-betting operation triggered a 25-percent surge in simulcast wagering in the greater Prescott market for August, the facility’s first full month in business, over the same time frame in 2017, according to the state’s racing commission.

Arizona Downs brought back wagering on racetracks across the country to the site of the old Yavapai Downs on July 13. The track, which last ran in 2010, was purchased in January by J&J Equine Enterprises LLC, an entity formed by brothers and Phoenix-based JACOR Partners principals Tom, Dave and Mike Auther and their partner Joe Jackson, along with longtime racing executive Corey Johnsen. Renamed Arizona Downs, the track is undergoing extensive renovation and will open for live Thoroughbred and quarter-horse racing in 2019 with a meet running Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

Arizona Downs also has received approval from regulatory authorities to open two more off-track-betting facilities in the state. The Route 66 icon Museum Club, an 80-year mainstay in Flagstaff, and Bull Shooters, the premier location for darts and billiards in Phoenix, are both scheduled to open in October.

“Our goal has been to generate additional revenue and purses for Arizona horsemen, and our first few months in Prescott have illustrated the great potential for the state,” said Arizona Downs general manager Ann McGovern. “We’re excited to expand our OTB footprint to provide easy access to this year-round betting and entertainment option in the region. Eight years is a long time to be closed, and we’re confident that the early momentum of our simulcasting operation will steamroll with the lead-up to the Breeders’ Cup in November, the road to the Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown, and of course the long-awaited resumption of live racing here next May.”

Arizona Downs’ simulcast room is on the first floor of the grandstand, featuring more than 40 television monitors, both mutuel clerks and self-bet machines and with easy access to food and beverage service. The facility is open seven days a week beginning at 9 a.m. MST. Admission and parking are free.

Modernized Treasury/IRS Rules for Wagering a Huge Success

The United States Supreme Court building in Washington DC.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Wednesday, October 31, 2018)—In the first year of operations under newly modernized U.S. Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations, there was a $307 million reduction in the amount  of winning pari-mutuel wagers reported to the IRS using form W-2G, according to  statistics released today by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA). This reduction in the amount of winning wagers reported was the result of a dramatic 89% decline in the number of winning tickets flagged for IRS reporting. The declines also led to a $35 million reduction in the amount withheld from bettors’ winnings. The new regulations, which took effect Sept. 28, 2017, recast the Treasury’s definition of the “amount of the wager” to include the entire amount wagered into a specific pari-mutuel pool by an individual rather than the prior IRS standard of using only the base amount of the winning wager.

Based on data provided by CHRIMS, which conducts settlements and other services for many of the nation’s pari-mutuel operators, individual racetracks, and the two largest U.S. totalizator companies—AmTote and United Tote—the NTRA estimates the following nationwide impacts over the first 12 months of operation under the new regulations (10/1/2017 – 9/30/2018 vs. 10/1/2016 – 9/30/2017):

  • The gross amount of winning wagers reported to the IRS on Form W-2G declined $307,700,000 (82%), from approximately $374,500,000 to about $66,800,000;
  • Federal taxes withheld from winning wagers and sent to the IRS declined $35,400,000 (82%), from $43,200,000 to $7,800,000; and
  • The actual number of IRS tickets flagged for W-2G reporting by the IRS declined nearly 89%, from approximately 235,100 tickets to only about 26,350 winning tickets.

From a percentage standpoint, the impacts were equally positive for horseplayers, pari-mutuel operators and horsemen across the country—regardless of the size of the racetrack market. The new regulations also provided positive impacts to advance deposit wagering (ADW) operators and their customers.

“The drastic reduction in the number of winning tickets requiring reporting and withholding is consequential in several ways,” said NTRA President and Chief Executive Officer, Alex Waldrop. “Under the old regulations, it was not uncommon for horseplayers to feel the thrill of ‘winning’ only to have their proceeds reported and/or withheld by the IRS. The old regulations were both unfair and a burden to all involved. A significant overreach by the IRS has been corrected thanks to fair-minded officials at the U.S. Treasury.”

There are numerous specific examples of events where the industry benefited from the new regulations.

On-track at the host venues of the Triple Crown races—Derby Day, Preakness Day and Belmont Stakes Day—the combined number of winning tickets required by the IRS to be reported on Form W-2G fell 96%, with the gross amount of winning wagers required to be reported falling by 87% and the amount of money withheld from pari-mutuel winnings falling 71%. It is likely that similar results were realized nationwide.

On-track impacts were most pronounced at Pimlico on Preakness Day, where the number of tickets requiring reporting fell 99% and the number of tickets requiring Federal withholding fell 100% because there were no winning tickets at Pimlico on Preakness Day that triggered Federal withholding.

On-track at the 40-day 2018 Saratoga Meeting, the number of winning tickets flagged for processing by the IRS fell 96%, the gross amount of winnings required to be reported fell 94% and the amount of money withheld from winning bettors fell 91%.

Nilsen's analysis

“The new regulations have been enormously beneficial to every sector of our business,” Waldrop continued. “They would never have transpired without the bipartisan support we received on Capitol Hill and the unwavering support of every segment of the horse racing industry, including thousands of customers who answered our call to action.  Best of all, we will continue to realize the positive impacts from these regulations for many years to come.”

For more than a decade, the NTRA and others promoted legislation to modernize pari-mutuel withholding and reporting. The industry argued that as pari-mutuel wagering increasingly shifts toward exotic bet types like Exactas, Trifectas and Pick 4s, more winning wagers are being reported and more winnings withheld, creating an unfair burden on bettors, pari-mutuel operators and state and federal governments.

Then in 2014, the NTRA developed a new strategy that relied on regulatory, not statutory relief from outdated regulations. Following the new strategy, the NTRA was able to convince the Treasury Department and the IRS to expand the definition of the phrase “amount of the wager” to include the total amount bet on a single ticket (or through an ADW) by an individual into a specific pari-mutuel pool. This one simple change in the Treasury regulations that took effect on September 28, 2017 has led to the significant benefits reported today.

Through September of this year, U.S. wagering has increased 3.95% ($336,724,709) overall while average wagering per race day has increased 7.67% ($180,231), according to statistics provided by Equibase.

Florida Sire Stakes Sees Nice Gains

Total handle on the finals of the 2018 FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes Series at Gulfstream Park was $9.852 million, an increase over last year of 23.40 percent.

On the three Saturdays that Gulfstream hosted the Sire Stakes this summer, total handle was $27.241 million compared to $23.867 last year.

“We’re very happy with the continued growth of summer racing and the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes,” said Gulfstream Park General Manager Bill Badgett. “We want to thank all the fans and the horsemen for supporting our Summer Meet and the Florida Sire Stakes.”

Lonny Powell, executive vice president and CEO of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association, said: “We’re thrilled with how these Sire Stakes programs have evolved at Gulfstream Park. It’s gained in popularity, nominations are increasing every year, and field sizes this year have been fantastic as we’re averaging 12, 13 horses per 2-year-old race. Between the track and the Florida HBPA, it’s exceeded our expectations and we look forward to growing in the future.

“Many thanks to all the breeders who nominate these horses and the people who buy and run them and no one puts on a big show like Gulfstream.”

Source: Press Release

Emerald Downs President states Horse Racing is Alive and Well

Is Horse Racing Dead?  Not in Washington
“Horse racing might be struggling in many locales, but Emerald Downs in Auburn continued to buck that trend in 2018.
There was a healthy increase in the amount of money bet on races at Emerald Downs, which finished its 67 days of racing for 2018 on Sunday. Attendance was essentially the same after slight growth the past few seasons.
“It was a good year,” said Emerald Downs President Phil Ziegler. “I want to thank the horsemen for supporting the races. We had some really exciting races. I think we are all optimistic.”

Emerald Downs horse racing is thriving

The average daily handle (the amount of money wagered) from all sources was $1.107 million, up 14.5 percent from last year. The amount wagered at the racetrack on Emerald Downs races was up 1.5 percent.
Average attendance was 3,741, Ziegler said, with season highs of about 14,000 on July 3, which featured a fireworks show, and more than …”

Source: Emerald Downs president: ‘We are all optimistic’ after a horse-racing season with increase in daily handle

2018 Belmont Stakes Handle Hits This Huge Number

Belmont Park crowd

copyright Agameofskill.com

The blockbuster 2018 Belmont Stakes Day card, which of course was highlighted by Justify’s Triple Crown triumph, generated all-sources handle of $137,954,895, the second-highest one-day handle in NYRA history behind Belmont Stakes Day in 2014.

With attendance of 90,327, on-track handle was $16,159,584.

All-sources handle for the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival was $168,975,295.

All-sources wagering on the 150th Belmont Stakes itself, carded as Race 11 of 13, was $72,702,815 with on-track handle totaling $6,884,907.

In 2015, the previous year with a Triple Crown on the line, all-sources handle on Belmont Stakes Day was $135,790,321.

The one-day record for all-sources handle was $151,109,373 on June 7, 2014, when California Chrome was bidding for the Triple Crown.

2018 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival Handle (ALL SOURCES ON NYRA RACES)

Thursday, June 7: $10,180,697

Friday, June 8: $20,839,703

BELMONT STAKES DAY, June 9: $137,954,895

Belmont Stakes Racing Festival all-sources handle: $168,975,295

Belmont Stakes all-sources handle: $72,702,815

2017 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival handle (ALL SOURCES ON NYRA RACES)

Thursday, June 8: $10,309,890

Friday, June 9: $20,763,470

BELMONT STAKES DAY, June 10: $93,666,837

Belmont Stakes Racing Festival all-sources handle: $124,740,198

Belmont Stakes all-sources handle: $47,163,773

2015 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival handle (ALL SOURCES ON NYRA RACES)

Thursday, June 4: $7,082,133

Friday, June 5: $18,150,169

BELMONT STAKES DAY, June 6: $135,790,321

Belmont Stakes Racing Festival all-sources handle: $161,022,623

Belmont Stakes all-sources handle: $82,437,629

source: NYRA

1863 Club to Debut at Saratoga Racecourse in 2019

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced that it formally broke ground on the 1863 Club at Saratoga Race Course on Tuesday, September 4, one day after the conclusion of the 2018 summer racing season.

The 1863 Club is the official name of the new permanent building to be located at the site of the current At the Rail tent at Saratoga Race Course. The name recognizes the year of the first organized thoroughbred race meeting in Saratoga, which took place over the course of four days in August 1863.

“Following this year’s introduction of The Stretch in the Grandstand, we are excited to announce plans for the 1863 Club which will be located at the end of the Clubhouse and will add another chapter to the enhanced guest experience at Saratoga. The three-story, air-conditioned building will provide new and different options for guests, including a banquet area on the first floor and a bar and dining club on the second level, which will be connected to the Clubhouse via a walkway. The third floor will feature true luxury boxes offering outstanding sight lines of the entire track,” said NYRA CEO & President Chris Kay. “The 1863 Club, named after our first racing meet in Saratoga, continues our commitment to providing racing fans with upgraded amenities while honoring the look and feel of this historic venue.”

The 1863 Club will replace the seasonal tent and trailers located immediately adjacent to the end of the Clubhouse with a 36,000-square foot, three-story, climate-controlled building featuring differentiated hospitality options and modern amenities. In addition to the three floors of usable space for guests, a basement level will provide space for a fully appointed kitchen to service the building.

copyright AGameofSkill.comFans interested in being a part of the inaugural season at the 1863 Club are invited to contact the NYRA Sales Office by phone at 518-693-7655 or online at NYRA.com/1863Club.

The 1863 Club is the latest in a series of capital improvements at Saratoga Race Course designed to enhance the guest experience and provide amenities that are consistent with those available at first-class stadiums and arenas.

Saratoga’s newest hospitality area called The Stretch made its debut on opening day of the 2018 season. Located in the grandstand at the Top of the Stretch, The Stretch features modern and upscale amenities in a casual environment with breathtaking views of thoroughbreds rounding the final turn as they enter the dramatic stretch drive. Highlights of the area include new social boxes available in multiple configurations, a dining tier, reserved bar seats, and approximately 200 premium reserved seats. Guests at The Stretch enjoy exclusive access to a full-service bar, kitchen and concessions, state of the art technology, high-definition televisions, special events, and private restrooms.

The 40-day meet at Saratoga Race Course concluded Labor Day, Monday, September 3. For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit NYRA.com.

Source: NYRA

Is Horse Racing Dying? Not in New Mexico (Albuquerque Downs)

Albuquerque Downs registered a 24-percent increase in total wagering handle during the 11-day New Mexico State Fair portion of its 2018 Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse race meet.

According to figures reported to Equibase, a total of $3,010,221 was wagered on The Downs’ 104 live races from September 6-16, compared to $2,427,891 bet on 103 live races during the 2017 State Fair meet. On-track handle rose 7 percent to $637,030, compared to $595,655 in 2017, and off-track handle increased 24 percent to $2,373,191, compared to $1,832,236 a year ago.

Live racing resumed at Albuquerque Downs with a nine-race program on Wednesday 9/19. The track closes its 55-day season with a 10-race program on Sunday, September 23, featuring five stakes, topped by the 440-yard, $300,000 Albuquerque Fall Quarter Horse Championship (G1), and New Mexico’s longest horse race, the 1 13/16-mile, $25,000 Con Jackson Claiming Stakes.

Source: Albuquerque Downs