Belmont Man o’War Card Soars over 50%

Saturday’s stakes-packed card at Belmont Park, highlighted by Hi Happy’s victory in the 60th running of the Grade 1, $700,000 Man o’ War, generated all-sources handle of $15,642,446, a 50.6% increase over 2017. The 11-race card, which included 4 graded stakes and 5 total stakes, had an average field size of 7.82, a 7.6 percent increase over 2017.

Despite cool temperatures and intermittent rain throughout the day, on-track handle was $1,812,370, a 48.1 percent increase over 2017.

 2018 Man o’ War Day
  • May 12, 2018
  • Races: 11
  • Stakes: 5
  • All-sources handle on NYRA races: $15,642,446
  • On-track handle on NYRA races: $1,812,370

2017 Man o’ War Day

  • May 13, 2017
  • Races: 11
  • Stakes: 4
  • All-sources handle on NYRA races: $10,384,063
  • On-track handle on NYRA races: $1,223,589

Source: Press Release

Overnight Ratings Spike 12% for NBC Preakness Broadcast

Is Horse Racing Dead?

With viewers perhaps sensing a special horse in undefeated Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) winner Justify, overnight ratings for NBC’s Preakness Stakes (G1) increased 12% compared with last year’s broadcast.

Source: Overnight Ratings Spike 12% for NBC Preakness Broadcast

Suffolk Downs to Raise Summer Meet Purses 15%

Live racing will return to Suffolk Downs this summer with three two-day racing festivals and the track announced today a purse increase of 15% on overnight purses. The three festival weekends are scheduled to be held June 9-10, July 7-8 and August 4-5.

In 2017, the track conducted four weekends of live racing with an average daily purse of $493,095, including incentives.

The track offered lucrative starter incentives for trainers at $400 per horse and owners were rewarded with $500 for horses finishing first through fifth (on top of purse money) while the owners of horses finishing sixth through last received a bonus of $1,500. This incentive program will continue in 2018.

“We are looking forward to another season of racing and we are glad to be able to continue to reward the horsemen and women who have supported our festival weekends, especially those who stabled here in the past,” said Chip Tuttle, the Chief Operating Officer at Suffolk Downs. “We understand that asking people to ship in for each weekend requires that we ensure some return on their investment and we expect that we’ll be over $500,000 per day in purses with this increase. We appreciate the cooperation of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in making these weekends a success.”

horse racing blinkersWith the 15% purse increase for 2018, $5,000 claiming races will now carry a purse of $30,000, maiden special weight races will offer a purse of $47,500 and allowance/optional claiming races will be listed at $52,500, pending approval by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

The track is also scheduled to host a stakes race both weekends in July and August and those black-type events will have a purse of $100,000. The first weekend of racing, June 9-10, will coincide with the third leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes.

Over the course of each weekend, there will be stakes races restricted to either horses foaled in Massachusetts or sired by a Massachusetts-based stallion. Each offers a purse of $50,000 and is a showcase for the Massachusetts Thoroughbred breeding industry.

In addition to live racing, the track will be hosting a food truck festival each weekend featuring food trucks from a variety of local vendors, craft beer, live music and family fun activities for the whole family.

For more information, visit www.suffolkdowns.com

Keeneland 2018 Spring Meet Has Near-Record Wagering

Is Horse Racing Dead? Not in Kentucky

Keeneland closed its 2018 Spring Meet on Friday with near-record all-sources wagering on Keeneland of more than $157 million, highlighted by an all-time single-day handle record on Toyota Blue Grass Day and driven by full fields of quality horses and competition among the nation’s top owners, trainers and jockeys.

All-sources wagering on Keeneland racing totaled $157,172,604 for the 16-day Spring Meet, held April 6-27, ranking just behind the record of $158,640,591 set during the 16-day 2013 Spring Meet, and a 14.39 percent increase from the $137,399,556 recorded during last year’s 15-day Spring Meet. Average daily all-sources wagering of $9,823,288 rose 7.24 percent from $9,159,970 in 2017.

Keeneland painter photo by Richard J. Nilsen

copyright AgameofSkill.com

Keeneland set wagering records for all-sources handle and Pick 4 and Pick 5 pools on Toyota Blue Grass Day, April 7. Total all-sources handle was $22,634,861, eclipsing the previous record of $21,736,983 set April 9, 2016. Wagering on the All-Stakes Pick Four ending in the Toyota Blue Grass (G2) totaled $1,065,002 versus the previous record of $733,800 set April 8, 2017. The All-Stakes Pick Five handled $899,196, smashing the previous record of $653,827 from April 20, 2013.

A rollback from the takeout increase in the fall of 2017 was favorably received by horseplayers as evidenced by the substantial increase in all-sources handle.

Keeneland offered an early Pick 5 wager with a 15 percent takeout for the first time this meet on the first five races of each race day, and it was an unqualified success. Total handle for the wager over 16 days totaled $4,104,850, an average of $256,553 per day.

On-track attendance and wagering were just shy of last year’s Spring Meet totals despite inclement weather for the meet’s opening two weekends. Total attendance of 250,475 was nearly even with last spring’s 252,247. Average daily attendance of 15,655 was just short of the 16,816 in 2017.

A record crowd of 28,307 basked in the sun on Maker’s Mark Day, Friday, April 13, to surpass the previous Friday attendance mark of 24,734 established April 2, 2010. On Saturday, April 21, 37,378 fans, the fifth-highest single-day attendance in Keeneland history, celebrated the season with an afternoon of racing.

On-track wagering this spring was $17,457,750 compared to $17,668,979 last spring. Average daily on-track handle was $1,091,109 versus $1,177,932 in 2017.

“This was an exceptionally successful Spring Meet in so many ways – from near-record handle to robust attendance and racing of the highest caliber,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “Mother Nature threw us a curve ball or two, but the sometimes inclement weather never dampened the tremendous enthusiasm of our fans. We are extremely grateful to the community, our horsemen and corporate partners for their tremendous support throughout the spring.”

Source: Keeneland

Added Horse Racing Date for Golden Gate Fields

Golden gate turf breakGOLDEN GATE FIELDS TO ADD ONE RACING DAY, THURSDAY, MAY 31; BAY AREA TRACK TO OFFER FANS & HORSEMEN ADDITIONAL TURF OPPORTUNITIES AS ALL SOURCES HANDLE SHOWS 31 PERCENT INCREASE OVER 2017

WINTER/SPRING MEET TO CONCLUDE JUNE 10, CREATING A SEVEN-WEEK TURF VOID IN THE BAY AREA

BERKELEY, Calif. —With another strong season underway and its turf course in impeccable condition, Golden Gate Fields has announced it will add Thursday, May 31 to its spring racing calendar, which is welcome news to Bay Area horsemen and fans alike.

“We plan to offer a good many turf races on this extra day and throughout the remainder of the Spring Meet,” said David Duggan, Golden Gate Fields General Manager. “This meet will conclude on June 10 and following that, there’s a seven-week period where there’s no turf racing in Northern California. Our turf course is pristine, and the weather should complement the day nicely.”

Duggan, who took the reins at Golden Gate in December, was quick to defer credit for the track’s recent success.

“Our great position this meet is a direct result of the horseplayers and the fantastic effort put forth by our horsemen, jockeys and our staff,” said Duggan. “As a result, we are very pleased to be adding to our racing calendar, and especially in late-May. We’ve said this many times, but we’ve got a tremendous group of horsemen. We’re excited to be doing well and we look forward to finishing up strong.”

First post time on Thursday, May 31 is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. PT. For additional racing information, please visit www.goldengatefields.com.

Is Horse Racing Dead? Not in Australia

Horse racing continues to dominate Australia’s betting market

Market research company Roy Morgan delved into Australian gambling habits to produce a series of gambling reports that include analysis of race and sports betting, poker machines, casino table games, keno, lotteries and scratch tickets.

Their analysis shows that racing – whether horse racing, harness racing or greyhound racing – still commands nearly 75% of the Australian betting market…

It was found that the proportion of Australians having a bet by age increases until retirement age, at which point the likelihood of having a bet plunges.

Only 7.2% of Australians aged under 25 have had a bet in the last three months compared to 9.3% of those aged 25-34, 11.3% of those aged 35-49, and 12.6% of those aged 50-64 – the highest of any age group. Then, it drops back to 10.2% of Australians of retirement age (aged 65 and over).

Horse racing continues to dominate Australia’s betting market – check out the interesting study below

Source: Horse racing continues to dominate Australia’s betting market

Horse Racing Booming in California

Is horse racing dead?

Horse Racing Booming in California

Source: Horse Racing Booming in California

The Everest: The Richest Horse Race on Grass Could Get Richer

“We want to keep innovating, if you don’t innovate you perish,” he says. “If you stay complacent and think people will come, they won’t.

“You’ve got to look for new things and you’ve got to look for things that the younger generation can engage in.

“I think racing right around the world, not just Australia, has missed one or two generations and we don’t want to be making that same mistake again.

The Everest: The richest horse race on turf WTHITV.com Full coverage

Source: The Everest: The richest horse race on turf

Gronk and Gronkowski Team Up for Kentucky Derby 144

“This horse is a winner and I love a winner,” Gronk (the person) said.

by Rob Gronkowski (for Gronk Nation)

There’s gonna be at least one Gronk at the Kentucky Derby next month — and probably a whole lot more now that the human Gronk has a stake in his namesake racehorse.

Rob has partnered with Phoenix Thoroughbreds Ltd. to get a substantial stake in three-year-old colt Gronkowski, who recently galloped his way to earn a spot in the biggest horse race of the year and the first leg of the Triple Crown.

One of the fastest tight ends in the NFL owning a racehorse (or least part of him), what could be more perfect than that?

“This horse is a winner and I love a winner,” Gronk (the person) said. “When I heard about the racehorse being named after me, I started watching and got really stoked when he started winning. He’s won his last three races and is now headed to the Derby. I’m all in: Welcome to the Gronk Family, Gronkowski the Horse!”

We sure hope this thoroughbred likes to party …

“I really can’t think of anything cooler than having a top-class thoroughbred named after me,” Rob added. “Except maybe having him win the Derby.”

Gronk and his entourage will be at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 5 for the 144th Kentucky Derby, and you can guarantee that all bets will be going on Gronk.

“We are very excited to have this talented racehorse running in the Derby and to have Rob Gronkowski join our team,” said Tom Ludt, who directs Phoenix’s global racing and bloodstock operations. “His involvement only adds to our growing credentials worldwide and can help us introduce the best of horse racing to a whole new audience.”

The pair actually share some similar traits as they are both fierce competitors and strike imposing poses on their respective athletic fields. They stand nearly the same size: Gronk the man is 6-feet, 6-inches tall, while the horse is 6-feet, 5-inches (although horses are officially measured in hands and inches).

While Gronkowski (the horse) is considered a “wild card” in this year’s Run for the Roses, so was Tom Brady when the Patriots picked him 199th in the NFL Draft 18 years ago, so never underestimate an underdog especially with a name like that.

The colt is a son of champion Lonhro, Australia’s Racehorse of the Year in 2003-04, and he was bred in Kentucky as the first foal from the mare Four Sugars, a daughter of twice champion American racehorse Lookin At Lucky. Phoenix purchased Gronkowski in 2017 as an unraced 2-year-old in training at the Tattersalls Craven breeze-up sale in England.

Trained by British-based Jeremy Noseda, who is well known in American racing as the trainer of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Wilko and European classic winners Araafa and Sixties Icon, Gronkowski will be ridden in the Kentucky Derby by his regular jockey, Jamie Spencer. The colt will be shipped to Churchill Downs from Noseda’s stables in Newmarket, England, a week before the Derby, and soon thereafter the football star will be introduced to his equine namesake for the first time.

It may be the horse’s first time at the Derby, but who can forget when Rob partied there over mint juleps in 2015 wearing this epic suit …

copyright Gronk Nation

Is Horse Racing Dead? Nearly $1 Billion in Handle at Gulfstream Park Meet

No, It’s Not

Gulfstream Park shattered total handle records during its 89-day Championship Meet, highlighted by The Stronach Group’s innovative $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1).

Total handle during the Championship Meet was $957 million, eclipsing last year’s record of $867 million by 10.4 percent. Handle including total simulcast was $1.021 billion. On-track handle was up $3.9 million.

pegasus world cup logoThe Jan. 27 Pegasus World Cup Invitational, the world’s richest race won by Horse of the Year Gun Runner, handled a record $41.9 million. That record was broken on Florida Derby Day when total handle was $49.9 million.

Gulfstream also become the first par-mutuel facility outside Latin America or the Caribbean to host the Clasico Internacional del Caribe, featuring horses from countries in the Confederacion Hipica del Caribe competing in five stakes races, including the $300,000 Clasico del Caribe.

“The Championship Meet was an extraordinary 89 days of world-class racing, exceptional dining and incredible events,” said Gulfstream Park General Manager Bill Badgett. “We want to thank the fans who witnessed many of the world’s greatest equine athletes and jockeys and we want to thank the horsemen and owners from around the world for supporting our meet.

“The Stronach Group is creating an entirely new way to experience the races while embracing generations of new fans through world-class entertainment and events. We look forward to our Spring/Summer meet and building on our year-round program and preparing for another memorable Championship Meet in 2018-2019.”

Audible’s victory in the Xpressbet.com Florida Derby highlighted an afternoon of seven stakes (five graded) worth $2.3 million. Audible will now attempt to become the 25th Florida Derby winner to win the Kentucky Derby (G1). Audible could also become the fourth Florida Derby winner in six years to win the Run for the Roses.

For the second consecutive year the Pegasus attracted the world’s best Thoroughbreds. Just two days after being named Horse of the Year at the Eclipse Awards held at Gulfstream, Gun Runner ran away from 11 others to win the Pegasus.