Launch of New Horse Racing League

Goal to Bring Horse Racing Alongside Other Mainstream Sports

LONDON, March 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Championship Horse Racing announced the launch of its new flat horse racing initiative – Racing League – at a gathering of industry figures and press in London. The team-based League format will bring increased levels of innovation, fan engagement and accessibility to British horse racing. Unveiled over the coming months, teams consisting of 2-4 trainers working together, three jockeys, stable staff and a squad of 30 horses, will battle it out for an unprecedented £1.8m in prize money, as well as an overall prize to the team that wins the Racing League.

Held over six consecutive evening race meetings in July and August 2020, the Racing League will be contested at four of the UK’s leading racecourses – Doncaster, Lingfield, Newcastle and Royal Windsor. Racing in bespoke team colours, the 12 teams will compete across 36 handicap races (rated 0-90), each worth £50,000.

The Racing League’s inaugural meeting will be held on Thursday 16 July 2020. Each meeting’s six races will be contested over distances 5F – 1½M, with all 36 races broadcast live on Sky Sports.

Format

  • Racing League’s 12 teams will each select one of their 30 horses to contest each of the 36 races
  • Winners of each race will win 25 points for their team; second place collects 18 points; third place earns 15 points, with points available for finishing in the top 10 places out of 12
  • £50,000 prize money for each race distributed as per BHA rules
  • The team with the most points at the end of the season will be crowned the Racing League champion
  • The winning team will earn a bonus prize shared between owners, trainers, jockeys, stable staff and a fan ambassador, picked from the public at random at the start of the competition

2003 Epsom Oaks-winning trainer, Andrew Balding, said: “I look forward to being involved in the inaugural Racing League and welcome the innovation it brings to our sport.”

2006 Epsom Derby-winning jockey, Martin Dwyer, commented: “The Racing League is a really exciting addition to the British horse racing calendar, and I believe the fans will welcome it. It’s a positive step for the racing industry to take, and the increase in prize money at handicap-level racing will be good for the sport.”

Matthew Imi, CEO, Sky Sports Racing, added: “In recent years Sky Sports has been instrumental in helping mainstream sports grow their fan bases exponentially, appealing to a broad audience of sports enthusiasts and innovating in the process. We are confident that we can achieve something similar with horse racing, so partnering with an exciting new initiative like the Racing League makes absolute sense. If the Racing League and Sky Sports Racing’s coverage encourages the person who goes racing once a year to go again, then I would consider that a success.”

Fantasy Horse Ownership a Big Hit at Laurel Park

Press Release

Access to the paddock and winner’s circle, as well as a total prize pool of $50,000, were among the features that awaited registered participants for the inaugural Fantasy Owners Day Saturday at Laurel Park.

Designed as an introduction to prospective Thoroughbred owners, Fantasy Owners Day was presented jointly by the Maryland Jockey Club, Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and Maryland Horse Breeders, and attracted nearly 300 prospective owners.

“The attendance blew us away,” said Sal Sinatra, President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club. “We were expected maybe 100 people, so 300 was incredible.”

The event began with an optional morning training session on the Laurel apron, followed by a 10 a.m. sign-in period where participants were randomly paired with a horse for the day. A prospective owner’s seminar held at 10:30 a.m. featured a Q&A session with top racing partnerships, racing officials and horsemen, followed by a luncheon in the Terrace Dining Room.

horses racing Before going to the luncheon, Maryland Jockey Club President and General Manager Sal Sinatra surprised the participants by telling them they would be competing for cash prizes totaling $50,000 at the end of the year.Sinatra announced all fantasy horse earnings in U.S. races would be tracked from Saturday through Dec. 31, 2017, with $30,000 awarded to the participants assigned to the first-place fantasy horse, $10,000 for second, $5,500 for third, $3,000 for fourth and $1,500 for fifth.

If multiple participants are assigned to the same fantasy horse, the share of the prize will divided equally among the number of participants. Published earnings by Equibase.com will be the source of determining earnings for each fantasy horse.

“This was our way of giving people the experience of being an owner without any expense,” Sinatra said. “It will now be our job to treat them like owners, inviting them to events and making them feel a part of our group. This day was a success, and it couldn’t have been done without the help of horsemen and breeders.”

Participants will be invited to the paddock for the saddling of all starts of their fantasy horse at Maryland tracks between Saturday and Dec. 31, 2017, as well as being part of the winner’s circle photo should their horse win. Final awards will be distributed during a luncheon at Laurel in January 2018.

A weekly blog with updated news, entry information, results, race video, photos, current standings and more will allow participants to track their horses at www.fantasyownership.com. Participants will also receive regular e-mails and be invited to a fantasy challenge group on Facebook.

Also on Saturday, all fans will take home a long-sleeve Maryland Jockey Club T-shirt free with purchase of a racing program, while supplies last.