Stars & Stripes Racing Festival a Success at Belmont Park

The recent Stars & Stripes Racing Festival, comprised of five graded stakes and highlighted by Catholic Boy’s thrilling victory over Analyze it in the Grade 1, $1.2 million Belmont Derby Invitational, generated all-sources handle of $24,612,465, the highest such handle figure since NYRA launched the Stars & Stripes Racing Festival in 2014.

With a paid attendance of 16,763, Saturday’s on-track handle of $3,182,221 also established a new high for the festival.

In addition to the Belmont Derby, Saturday’s blockbuster 11-race Stars & Stripes card included the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Oaks Invitational for 3-year-old fillies, as well as the Grade 2, $700,000 Suburban, the Grade 2, $350,000 Belmont Sprint Championship and the Grade 3, $300,000 Dwyer.

2014-2018 Stars & Stripes Day Handle

2014

Saturday, July 5

Races: 10

All-sources: $18,829,264

On-track: $2,825,797

2015

Saturday, July 4

Races: 11

All-sources: $20,652,065

On-track: $2,779,529

2016

Saturday, July 9

Races: 11

All-sources: $22,980,094

On-track: $2,898,826

2017

Saturday, July 8

Races: 11

All-sources: $22,341,423

On-track: $3,084,823

2018

Saturday, July 7

Races: 11

All-sources: $24,612,465

On-track: $3,182,22

source: NYRA

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Successful 2018 Preakness Stakes Day in Maryland

The Stronach Group and the Maryland Jockey Club announced that total handle on Saturday’s 143rd Preakness Stakes, won by Justify, was $93,655,128.

The handle, as well as the crowd of 134,487, was the third-largest in Preakness history.

Despite rain showers, a sloppy track and dense fog, an energetic crowd was treated to 14 races, world-class dining, and entertainment featuring Post Malone, 21 Savage and ODESZA.

“It’s amazing that under the conditions, the fact field size was 6.6 compared to 8.9 the year before and we lost four turf races, our handle was $93 million,” said Sal Sinatra, President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club. “Justify and all our equine and human athletes put on a memorable show. I want to thank all of the fans who attended and wagered on our races Saturday. They are truly remarkable. The Stronach Group is proud to be part of the history and tradition of Thoroughbred racing in Maryland. We’re committed to honoring the deep history and tradition of the Preakness while continuing to modernize the sport by offering unique entertainment and guest experiences.”

Friday Just as Successful

Despite a sloppy track and afternoon showers, a crowd of 48,265 attended Friday’s 14-race Black-Eyed Susan program at legendary Pimlico Race Course.

The crowd was the second largest in the Black-Eyed Susan’s 94-year history, just shy of last year’s record of 50,339.

The program was highlighted by seven stakes and Red Ruby’s victory in the $250,000 Xpressbet Black-Eyed Susan (G2).

Total handle for the afternoon was $18.591 million, down six percent from last year ($19.895) on an afternoon when four races were taken off the turf on a program with 35 fewer starters.

“We witnessed some impressive performances on the track from our equine and human athletes, and we received positive feedback on the upgraded facilities in the Preakness Village and Turfside Terrace and our dining rooms,” said Sal Sinatra, President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club. “Despite races being taken off the turf, handle was strong and the crowd enjoyed the afternoon.

“We want to thank our dedicated fans and horsemen. We’re looking forward to showing off more of our improvements Saturday during Preakness 143, including a new stage for InfieldFest, a revamped infield layout, and five spectacular performers. The Stronach Group’s commitment to Thoroughhbred racing in Maryland and throughout the country are reflected by today’s impressive results.”

Source: Press Release

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

Is Racing Dead? Meadowlands Fans Wagering with Both Fists

They came to play.

Meadowlands fans wagered with both hands throughout last Saturday night’s 13-race program and despite only two horses paying $10 or more and six races that saw favorites emerge victorious, the betting swelled to a new 2018 high.

For the first time this year, wagering surpassed the magic $3 million mark. In fact, it wasn’t merely surpassed, it was smashed.

The all-source total handle of $3,454,633 easily outdistanced the industry handle leader’s previous 2018 best, which was $2,790,201 on Jan. 27. The corresponding race card a year ago saw $2,581,495 bet on 12 races.

The on-track, on-product play totaled $296,916.

The Pick-5 carryover of $30,202 served as a catalyst for not only that wager, but for the entire night, as $230,199 in “new money” was poured into the Pick-5 pot. The third race, which is the first leg of the bet, saw $422,271 in total play.

After a formful sequence that saw the odds of the winners come back 7-2, 7-2, 6-5, 3-1 and even-money, many winning Pick-5 tickets for $541.70 were cashed after the total pool of over $260,000 was divvied up.

But there was more.

The 20-Cent Survivor Pick 10 once again saw big play (a total pool of $20,005), and, once again, it resulted in a ‘jackpot’ as one lucky winner, betting into the Portland, Ore. hub, walked away with $17,000.54 after surviving seven legs.

The Early 20-Cent Jackpot Super High Five resulted in a single-ticket winner, and that patron, wagering into the Maryland hub, cashed in for $7,622.70 at the conclusion of the ninth race.

About the only big pot not raked belonged to the Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High Five (Race 13), which once again failed to produce a single-ticket winner. That wager’s carryover now stands at $126,952.

Successful 2017 Hawthorne Race Meet

Despite a rain-filled opening two months of the fall thoroughbred meet at Hawthorne and a cancellation of the closing day card due to extreme cold temperatures, both handle and field size saw significant increases as the meet concluded on December 29.

Total daily handle for 36 day fall meet averaged $1,708,081, up 9.17% from the $1,564,655 wagered per racing day in the fall of 2016. While the poor weather led to a slight onsite decrease of 5% from $54,031 per card in 2016 to $51,284 per card this fall, In-state handle rose 3.74%, $105,305 this fall compared to $101,510 in the fall of 2016. Out of state handle on Hawthorne’s races rose 10%, increasing to $1,551,492 this fall versus $1,409,114 wagered per day in the fall of 2016.

Fans at Hawthorne racecourse. Fans at Hawthorne racecourse

Despite being able to contest only 27 races on the turf this fall, compared to 46 in 2016, average field size for the fall meet was 8.49 starters per race up from the average of 7.80 starters per race in 2016.

With the help of grant funds from the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the 2017 fall meet also brought about the return of the stakes schedule. Longshot My Bariley kicked off the stakes season with a late closing score in the return of the Hawthorne Derby on October 28. Prado’s Sweet Ride and Goneghost were winners in the slop in the Illini Princess and Buck’s Boy Handicap respectively on November 4. In the Showtime Deb, trainer Larry Rivelli saddled a winner in Richie’slilwildcat while RIvelli’s Pass the Gravy was the victor in the Sun Power Stakes.

The grade 3 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap made its return on November 25 as 2016 Grade 2 Marathon winner Scuba got up in the shadow of the wire to catch Futile. On the Gold Cup day undercard, Shar Ran was the winner of the Powerless Handicap while Goneghost impressed again in winning the Lightning Jet Handicap.

The fall stakes season closed out with Cowgirl Callie just holding on in the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante while Pass the Gravy stretched out to win the Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity.

“This fall meet was about making things simple and doing everything we could to offer a great wagering product for our players,” stated Hawthorne President and General Manager Tim Carey. “Fans want to see full fields and competitive racing and our horsemen were great about filling races at all levels. We make it a point at Hawthorne to avoid racing on top of other tracks, something our players and simulcast partners appreciate as we aim to be a focus for the bettor. Lastly, the support we receive on a daily basis from TVG with racing coverage along with our online partner in Xpressbet have helped bring Hawthorne back to the forefront in racing.”

With the fall thoroughbred meet complete, there is no rest at Hawthorne. Immediately upon the conclusion of the meet, track maintenance crews and staff will be taking to the track to begin the track conversion to a Standardbred surface as Hawthorne is the final remaining track in the United States to race dual breeds over the same oval. 11,000 tons of dirt will be removed along with the Fontana safety rail as the track will be graded to a perfectly even consistency and pylons placed down, all in a 96 hour period in preparation for a January 5 start to the winter harness season.

Source: Press Release

Mahoning Valley Increases Purses for 2018

Is Horse Racing Dead?

Mahoning Valley Race Course, in cooperation with the Ohio HBPA, announced a 5-7% purse increase effective Jan. 2.

Source: Mahoning Valley Increases Purses for 2018

More Gains. 2017 Remington Park Meet Up.

Remington Park LogoPress Release

The 2017 Remington Park Thoroughbred Season experienced increased handle, average field size and total purses compared to the previous year. The final program on Dec. 17, Springboard Mile Day, was the second-largest betting day on Remington Park racing in the track’s history.

The all-sources pari-mutuel handle on Remington Park racing during Springboard Mile Day was $2,775,655, becoming the second-highest program for handle on Remington Park in the history of the track. The record was set on Feb. 24, 1990 when $2,808,243 was played on the Remington Park races.

Greyvitos won the 2017 edition of the $400,000 Springboard Mile, picking up 10 valuable points for 2018 Kentucky Derby eligibility in the process. This was the first year for the Springboard Mile as a Kentucky Derby points-race.

The big final day of the season capped the 67-dates with total handle on Remington Park racing of $66,844,252, up 16.6% over the 2016 total of $57,332,509. The increase was boosted by export handle on Remington Park of $63,188,252, up 18.2 % from last year when the export betting was $53,466,844.

“Remington Park enjoyed a successful Thoroughbred season thanks to our fans, horsemen and business partners, helping drive our pari-mutuel handle,” said Matt Vance, Remington Park vice president of operations. “We had an increase in field size this season, and our stakes program was well supported both locally and from connections shipping horses from across the United States to compete in Oklahoma City.”

The Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby was won this year by Untrapped, the first derby win here by National Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen who wrapped up his record 13th leading trainer title at Remington Park. The Oklahoma Derby had three competitors who raced in the Kentucky Derby earlier in the year. Battle Of Midway, Girvin and Untrapped represented the first time a trio of runners that raced in the Kentucky Derby competed in the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park that fall.

Eclipse Award winner Champagne Room won the Remington Park Oaks, on the Oklahoma Derby undercard. Her resume and success in the race helped bring it graded status for the first time in its history. The 2018 Remington Park Oaks will now carry a Grade 3 title, joining the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby as Remington Park’s graded Thoroughbred events.

Remington Park purses grew in 2017 to $16,144,945 for an average of $240,969 per day. The total is up 1.8% over the $15,855,080 distributed a year ago.

A total of 5,410 horses took part in the 604 races at Remington Park this season, for an average field size of 8.96, up from the average of 8.4 in 2016.

Remington Park’s on-track handle of $3,454,413 slid 4.4% from a year ago when it was $3,613,712. Thunder Roadhouse in north Oklahoma City had handle on Remington Park of $201,587 as the track’s lone off-track location. There were three off-track sites in 2016, playing a total of $251,953 on Remington Park racing.

Remington Park conducted one less race in 2017, running 604 events, compared to 605 in 2016. Both seasons had 67 race dates.

Live racing is now on hiatus until the start of the 2018 American Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa Season starts on March 9. Until then, simulcast racing is available daily and the Remington Park Casino is always open. Admission, parking and valet parking are always free at Remington Park.

Is Horse Racing Dead? Golden Gate Meet Sees Healthy Gains

Golden gate turf breakGolden Gate Fields concluded a successful fall meet on December 10 with very strong year over year gains in handle. The all-source handle saw a double digit increase of 12% while on-track handle was also up, showing an 8% gain. Total on-track attendance for the fall meet was steady, with a slight increase from 2016.

“We’re very pleased with the performance of this meet. We’re also absolutely thrilled that our loyal fans come out to support this game in which we all have such a strong passion for,” said general manager David Duggan. “A lot of credit goes to the hard work of our horsemen, jockeys, and dedicated team.”

The gains from the fall meet continue the overall upward trend of 2017 at Golden Gate Fields. The bayside track saw increases in both attendance and on-track handle at the conclusions of the winter/spring and summer meets.

Juan Hernandez led all jockeys in wins during the fall meet with 38 trips to the winner’s circle. Trainer John Martin, who won 3 races on closing day Sunday, scored a 21-20 win total over Jonathan Wong in the training standings. In fact, Martin and Wong were tied with 20 wins apiece heading into the last race of the meet. Country Road, conditioned by John Martin, made a last to first blitz to the front in the finale to secure the training title for the Martin stable. Hernandez and Martin also won the jockey and trainer titles at the 2016 Golden Gate fall meet.

Racing resumes at Golden Gate Fields on December 26 with an early 12:15 p.m. PT first post. The winter/spring meet, which is the longest of the three live racing seasons at Golden Gate Fields, runs through June 10.

2017 Belmont Park Fall Meet – All Sources Handle Rises Significantly

Press Release

Average daily handle up 12.5 percent

Average field size up 7.5 percent

Despite racing three fewer days compared with 2016, and the full cancellation of the closing day card due to severe weather, the Belmont Park fall meet generated all-sources handle of $303,405,927, a 3.6 percent increase over the 2016 Belmont fall meet.

Average daily handle over the course of the 35 days of racing was $8,668,741, a 12.5 percent increase over 2016.

Average field size for the 329 races contested from September 8 to October 28 was 8.17, a 7.5 percent increase over 2016.

2017 Belmont Park Fall Meet

  • All-sources handle: $303,405,927
  • All-sources average daily handle: $8,668,741
  • Average field size: 8.17
  • Race days: 35
  • Races: 329
  • 2017 On-track handle: $37,259,201
  • 2017 Betting interests: 2,687

2016 Belmont Park Fall Meet

  • All-sources handle: $292,799,814
  • All-sources average daily handle: $7,705,258
  • Average field size: 7.60
  • Race days: 38
  • Races: 354
  • On-track handle: $37,566,563
  • Betting interests: 2,692

Century Casinos Announces Date of Third Quarter 2017 Earnings Release and Conference Call

Century Casino logoCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.,  /PRNewswire/ — Alberta’s Century Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ Capital Market®: CNTY) announced that the company will release its earnings for the third quarter of 2017 on Monday, November 6, 2017. On Monday, November 6, 2017, Century Casinos will host its Q3 2017 Earnings Conference Call at 8:00 a.m. MST ( 4:00… [Read more…]