Is Horse Racing Dead? Ellis Park Opening Day 2017 Handle Rises Sharply

Press Release

Total betting on Saturday’s opening card at Ellis Park was $1,789,882 — up 62 percent over the $1,106,508 wagered on last year’s first day of racing. That breaks down to $232,276  bet on Ellis at Ellis (up 14 percent over 2016) and $1,557,715 bet off track on Ellis’ nine-race card (up 72 percent percent over last year’s $903,119). Another $300,993 was bet at Ellis on other racetracks, a number that does not show up in the all-sources total but which was up 10 percent, the track said.

“It was just a delightful and great day,” said track president Ron Geary. “We worked hard the whole year to get to this position. We launched a bunch of new things, the new video and tote board and a lot of interior improvements. We’re very excited. Obviously we got our purse money up, and that helps a lot. But I think our team executed quite well. We thought we’d have a good meet; this is certainly a good indicator. But we’ll see what happens in the next 30 race dates, see if it rains or anything like that.”

Is Horse Racing Dead? Summit of Speed Handle Up 50% Over 2 Years Ago

Post Parade Gulfstream Park maiden race

Copyright Agameofskill.com

Press Release

Gulfstream Park set a record on Summit of Speed Day with total handle Saturday of $12,660,617.

Saturday’s handle eclipsed the previous year’s handle of $9,702 million by 30 percent and the 2015 handle of $8,071 by 50 percent.

The 14-race card featured victories by Curlin’s Approval in the Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Princess Rooney (G2) and Imperial Hint in the Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Smile Sprint (G3). Jockey Luis Saez flew in from New York to win three races, including the Princess Rooney and Azalea aboard Who’s the Lady, while Javier Castellano won aboard Imperial Hint. Jockey Edgard Zayas won three races, including two stakes.

In its last year at Calder in 2013, total handle on the Summit of Speed program was $4.678 million. After Calder did not run the Summit in 2014, Gulfstream focused on rejuvenating summer racing and the Summit of Speed.

“We want to thank the fans throughout the country for making Saturday’s Summit of Speed a success,” said P.J. Campo, Vice President of Racing for The Stronach Group and General Manager of Gulfstream Park. “Horsemen continue to support our summer program with great racing. We witnessed some incredible performances today by our equine and human athletes.

“We will continue to build summer racing in Florida and we’re excited about the rest of our holiday weekend culminating with our free Grand Illumination fireworks show.”

Is Horse Racing Dead? Golden Gate Field Reports Gains

Golden Gate Fields concluded its 99-day winter/spring meet on Sunday, June 18 with gains in both attendance and on-track handle. The Bay Area track was able to achieve these gains despite experiencing one of the wettest seasons to affect Northern California in years, with over 40 inches of rain recorded during the first part of the season. This is the first winter/spring meet since 2011 where attendance was up by 5.65% with on-track handle also increasing by 3.44%. The most notable change in attendance came from the popular Dollar Day Sundays which saw a 13% increase year-over-year.

“We are very happy with our loyal fans for braving the weather and supporting our live racing product. I look forward to seeing them again during our summer meet,” said Joe Morris, senior vice president of West Coast operations for the Stronach Group.

The leading trainer of the meet was John Martin with 62 wins, leading him to back-to-back winning trainer titles (Martin was the leading trainer of the 2016 fall meet at Golden Gate Fields). Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer came in second. The leading jockey for the winter/spring meet was Abel Cedillo with 89 wins.

“It was a long meet. I’ve just been working hard and running a lot of horses. I tried really hard to win it this time. I need a little bit of a rest now,” said trainer John Martin. 

“I learned a lot down at Santa Anita from great jockeys like Mike Smith and Kent Desormeaux. I’m just blessed I’m here. I’m getting great horses now and my agent, Roger Olguin, couldn’t be better,” said jockey Abel Cedillo.

Golden Gate Fields is set to open its doors for another exciting summer meet on Thursday, August 24. The brief summer race season will run through Sunday, September 17, with special holiday racing on Labor Day Monday, September 4. First post every race day is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. The summer meet will feature a Turf Festival during the last two weeks: September 8 to September 17, a time in which Golden Gate Fields will be the only track in California offering turf racing. The track will offer vanning and stabling incentives for horsemen looking to ship from Southern California. The Turf Festival will be highlighted by the $50,000 Rolling Green Stakes, which will be contested on the lakeside turf course at a distance of a mile and one-sixteenth.

Old Sports Spectrum / Louisville Downs to Become State-of-the-Art Facility

Churchill Downs Incorporated to Invest $60M into Louisville Location

“Stronger horse racing means a stronger Kentucky.”

Press Release

Churchill Downs Incorporated has announced it is investing approximately $60 million to construct a state-of-the-art historical racing machine (“HRM”) facility in Louisville. The 85,000-square-foot facility will be built at 4520 Poplar Level Road—Churchill Downs’ former Trackside (also known as the former Sports Spectrum) site, and conveniently located less than half a mile from the Poplar Level Road exit off the Henry Watterson Expressway (I-264). CDI’s request to offer exotic wagering on historical racing was conditionally approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission this afternoon.

“With a state-of-the-art facility and new, innovative historical racing machines, we will deliver an exciting and compelling product for our customers in Louisville. This is a great opportunity for us to revitalize another area of our city while strengthening the Commonwealth’s equine industry through larger purses and greater incentives for Kentucky breeders and owners,” Churchill Downs Race Track president Kevin Flannery said. “Stronger horse racing means a stronger Kentucky.”

historical racing facility

source: CDI

The company says the facility will create 450 new jobs for the local economy, including 250 construction jobs. An estimated 200 new full- and part-time jobs will be created to operate and manage the facility. Churchill Downs will hire both hourly and salaried employees in areas including operations, marketing, finance, food and beverage, maintenance, information technology, human resources, security and administration. Job fairs will be held at Trackside for the neighborhoods surrounding the facility and the Churchill Downs Race Track.

This announcement comes on the heels of CDI’s decision to relocate its TwinSpires.com business to Louisville from Silicon Valley, California, creating more than 70 high-tech, high-paying jobs for the city.

The planned facility will house two quick-service, walk-up food venues, as well as a bar with seating for 50 and large format televisions for guests to take in all the best sporting action year-round. The gaming area will open with 600 cutting-edge historical racing machines and a player’s club reward center offering special perks and benefits, including an exclusive parking area for loyal guests.

Construction is slated to begin later this year, and CDI hopes to open the facility by summer of 2018.

Is Horse Racing Dead? Handle Up on 3-Day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival

Belmont Park horse racingAll-source handle for the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival at Belmont Park was $124,740,193, eclipsing 2016’s all-source handle of $122,816,359.

All-source total on Saturday, which saw Tapwrit win the 149th edition of the Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets, was $93,666,832. Saturday’s on-track handle was $11,594,599, virtually unchanged from 2016’s on-track handle of $11,694,897.

All-source wagering on the Belmont Stakes itself was $47,163,773.

This year’s Belmont Stakes also featured betting in Japan, in a non-commingled pool. The total Belmont Stakes handle from Japan, which is not included in the all-source handle figure, was $4,698,525.

Paid attendance for Belmont Stakes Day was 57,729.

 2017 Handle:

Thursday all-source handle = $10,309,891

Friday all-source handle = $20,763,469

Saturday all-source handle = $93,666,832

Belmont Stakes Racing Festival all-source handle = $124,790,193

Belmont Stakes all-source handle = $47,163,773

Belmont Stakes Japan handle = $4,698,525

Is Horse Racing Dead? Ghostzapper Colt Acquired at 2yo Sale for $800,000

Premier 2yos at Del Mar, SaratogaHuge Price Paid for Fast Two Year Old Colt

A chestnut son of Ghostzapper from the consignment of Cary Frommer was purchased by Susan and Charles Chu for $800,000 late during the second session of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale.

Source: Ghostzapper Colt Acquired by Chu for $800,000

Is Horse Racing Dead? Preakness Ratings Best of all May 20, 2017 Sporting Events on TV

The television ratings for this year’s Preakness Stakes (G1) broadcast on NBC declined from last year, earning a 4.9 rating and 11 share, compared with the 2016 broadcast that earned a 5.8/14.  However, in very positive news …

Source: Preakness Ratings Down, but Best of May 20 Sports

Is Horse Racing Dead? Preakness Breaks Handle and Attendance Records

The Pimlico crowd of 140,327 on hand to see Cloud Computing win the 2017 Preakness Stakes broke last year’s record of 135,256. Total handle on the 14-race program was $97,168,658, an increase of 3% over the previous record of $94,127,434 and a 14% increase over 2015 wagering.

The Maryland Jockey Club also announced that in-state handle was up 7.1% from last year and 10.4% from 2015.

“From morning into evening, we witnessed an incredible day of world-class racing and eclectic entertainment,” said Sal Sinatra, President of the Maryland Jockey Club. “The sport of Thoroughbred racing is being rejuvenated and reimagined by the Stronach family. Their commitment to this sport is remarkable and unparalleled. Their vision is being embraced by horsemen and fans around the country.”

Is Horse Racing Dead? Kentucky Derby Day Handle Hit Record Amounts

churchill downs ky derby dayWith wagering above $200 million for the first time and a top-10 crowd on Kentucky Derby Day, Louisville-based Churchill Downs Inc. expects to add between $4-6 million in increased profitability, the company announced earlier this month.

Source: Kentucky Derby and Derby Day Handle Hit Record Highs

Is Horse Racing Dead? Maryland Jockey Club Reports Spike in 2016 Handle

The Maryland Jockey Club continued growing its Thoroughbred product and handle in 2016, announcing last month that total handle was up 19.7% from 2015 and in-state wagering was up 18.4%…

Source: Maryland Jockey Club Reports Spike in 2016 Handle