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

Laurel Park Handle Continues to Climb

For the third consecutive year and eighth consecutive meet, Laurel Park registered an increase in average daily handle during its recently-completed summer meet.

Source: Laurel Park Handle Continues to Climb

Is Horse Racing Dead? New Mexico Track Reports Gains

Press Release: Albuquerque Downs

Albuquerque Downs ended its 57-day Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse race meet on September 24, recording increases in total wagering handle and average daily purse distribution.

A total of $13,078,819 was wagered on Albuquerque Downs’ 543 live races, an increase of 3 percent over the $12,706,327 wagered on the track’s 582 live races during its 60-day season in 2016. Of the total wagered this year, $3,284,178 was bet on track and $9,794,641 was wagered at off-track sites.

horse racing blinkersAlbuquerque Downs’ average daily handle on its live races reached $229,453 per day, an increase of 8 percent over last year’s average daily handle of $211,772. The track’s average-per-race handle — $24,086 — was 10 percent higher than the 2016 average-per-race handle of $21,832.

Much of Albuquerque Downs’ handle increase can be attributed to the fact that, for the first time in its history, the track’s all-Thoroughbred Wednesday programs were featured on TVG starting on July 26.

Horsemen benefited from Albuquerque Downs’ brisk business, as the track paid $9,317,484 in purses for 57 days, down less than 1 percent from the $9,406,287 paid for 60 days in 2016. However, average daily purses in 2017 reached $163,465, up 4 percent over the 2016 average of $156,771, and the 2017 average-per-race purse of $17,159 was 6 percent higher than last year’s average-per-race purse of $16,162.

Albuquerque Downs’ 2017 season was scheduled for 58 days, but one date — Friday, August 11 — was canceled due to weather conditions.

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Alfredo Juarez Jr. was Albuquerque Downs’ leading Thoroughbred jockey with 51 wins from 160 mounts, nine more than runner-up Elvin Gonzalez, who rode 42 winners from 188 mounts. Juarez also led all Albuquerque jockeys with mount earnings of $708,540.

Albuquerque Downs’ leading Thoroughbred trainer, Justin Evans, prepped the winners of 39 races from 127 starters, 20 more than runner-up Henry Dominguez, who won 19 races from 105 starters. Evans also finished first in starter purse earnings at $561,075.

Jose Luna Silva topped all Albuquerque Downs Thoroughbred owners with 11 winners from 32 starters, five more than runner-up Solitaire Stable, which won six races from 30 starters. The father-and-son team of Sam E. Stevens and Sammy L. Stevens of Lamesa, Texas, topped the track’s owner standings with purse earnings of $115,795.

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On the Quarter Horse side, Isaias Cardenas was Albuquerque Downs’ leading jockey with 30 wins from 172, two more than J. Martin Bourdieu, who won 26 races from 132 Quarter Horse mounts. Agustin Silva topped all Quarter Horse riders in purse earnings with $458,538 from just 41 mounts.

Jesus Carrete topped all Albuquerque Downs Quarter Horse trainers with 30 wins from 76 starters, 16 more than runner-up Ernest Fennell, who prepped the winners of 14 races from 32 starters. The winner of the $252,515 La Fiesta Futurity on closing day with Strykr Force, Carrete also topped the track’s trainers in purse earnings at $502,939.

Jesus M. Estrada was Albuquerque Downs’ leading Quarter Horse owner with 10 wins from 19 starters, two more than Carrete, who won eight races from 17 of his own starters. Carrete, who is also the owner of Strykr Force, topped all Albuquerque Quarter Horse owners in purse earnings at $212,238.

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The many outstanding equine performances at Albuquerque Downs, which paid a track-record $1.5 million in purses during its closing weekend (September 23-24), were topped by reigning American Quarter Horse Association world champion Jessies First Down. A homebred 6-year-old gelding trained by Jimmy Padgett for owner Ted G. Abrams of Houston, Jessies First Down won the September 24, $250,000 Albuquerque Fall Quarter Horse Championship, which for the first time in its three-year history offered its winner a berth in the $750,000 Champion of Champions (G1) at Los Alamitos.

Albuquerque’s richest and most prestigious stakes for Thoroughbreds, the 1 1/8-mile, $200,000 Downs at Albuquerque Handicap on August 5, was won by Richard Keith’s American Dubai. Rodney Richards trained the 4-year-old Virginia-bred colt.

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Live horse racing will resume at Albuquerque Downs on June 29, 2018. The scheduled 55-day season will run through September 23.

Is Horse Racing Dead? Louisiana Meet up 12%

Press Release

The 2017 Thoroughbred racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs concluded with a nine-race card on Wednesday, September 27. The 84-day meet, which got underway on May 6, wrapped with positive gains in handle and officials were pleased with the transition to a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday racing schedule.

Louisiana Downs handled $67 million throughout the meet, an increase of 12% in handle from the 2016 live Thoroughbred racing season.

“We are grateful for the continued support of our horsemen throughout the 2017 meet,” said Trent McIntosh, Louisiana Downs assistant general manager. “The change in our schedule was well received by horseplayers on track and by simulcast fans watching and wagering across the country.”

horses racingSunny skies graced both major racing events, the Louisiana Cup Day on Saturday, August 5 and Super Derby Day on Saturday, September 9. Flurry Racing Stables Mr. Misunderstood captured both the Prelude and $200,000 Super Derby and will make his next start in Saturday’s Jefferson Cup Stakes at Churchill Downs, according to trainer Brad Cox.

Joey Foster Repeats as Leading Trainer

Joey Foster has been firing on all cylinders this meet and defended his title in commanding fashion. The Vinton, Louisiana resident topped all conditioners with 301 starters and a record of 68 wins, 55 seconds and 48 third-place finishes. Foster was the meet’s top trainer last year with 41 wins, after finished third in the standings in 2015 with 39 wins. His stakes winners this year included Big Game Baby, in the $75,000 Elge Rasberry and Illusionofreality, who kept her four-race win streak alive in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff.

“I am very blessed to have this success,” said Foster. “This meet has been great for me and my owners. Both track surfaces are well maintained and safe. I have to commend (track superintendent) Billy McKeever for doing a super job. To me, Louisiana Downs is the prettiest track in the state and I am grateful to have won the title again this year.”

H. B. Johnson finished in second place with 27 wins. Ronnie Ward saddled 18 winners and Sarah Delany rounded out the top four conditioners with 16 wins.

Gerardo Mora Wins His First Louisiana Downs Leading Rider Title

Gerardo Mora made the most of his second year competing in Bossier City topping a very competitive jockey colony to emerge as the meet’s top rider. The 25-year-old jockey is respected for his well-timed finishes and versatility in mastering both the turf and main track and finished the meet with a record of 477 starts, 77 wins, 81 seconds and 65 thirds.

Born in Palestine, Texas, Mora had family ties to racing as his uncle, Adrian Ramos, was a veteran rider on the Louisiana and Texas circuit. He made his debut at Sam Houston Race Park as an apprentice in 2011 and earned two leading rider titles there as well as Retama Park. Mora was third in the standings last year, but had plenty of business this year and was well represented by his agent, Ronald Ardoin, who was one of the most successful jockeys in Louisiana.

“I want to thank each of the trainers, owners for believing in me,” said Mora. “Last year was a good start for me at Louisiana Downs. When I started the meet, horsemen knew me and gave me a lot of opportunities and Ronald did a great job with my book. He’s the man!”

Aubrie Green continued her strong showing, beginning the meet as an apprentice, but losing no business once she lost her bug. She finished in second place with 64 trips to the winner’s circle. Richard Eramia, who was on top for much of the season before he departed to ride at Remington Park, was third with 59 victories. Jose Guerrero rounded out the top four with 57 wins.

Next up for Mora is Delta Downs for their meet which gets underway on October 18.

Jorge Gomez Honored as Leading Owner

The very tight battle for leading owner honors concluded on the final day of the meet with Jorge Gomez finishing on top with 12 wins. Horses owned by Gomez made 114 starts, with Ty Diesel, Blue Choice and Concho posting multiple wins. This was the first leading owner title for Gomez, who resides in Bossier City, Louisiana and will head to Fair Grounds next.

“I want to thank my crew and my jockey, Alexander Castillo,” said Gomez. “They each helped me in winning my first leading owner title.”

Red Rose Racing followed closely with 11 wins and Patti Turner, Beverly Burress, Jamie C. Pastor, William K. Harris, Dream Walkin Farms, Inc., Terrell Jarret, Jr. and Anthony Faulk each won nine races each in the 2017 Thoroughbred meet.

California Horse Racing Meet Rises

Press Release

Total mutuel handle generated in California for the Los Angeles County Fair meet at Los Alamitos, which concluded Sunday, Sept. 24, was up slightly over the 2016 season.

The total handle in California – including on-track, off track betting sites and through advance deposit wagering entities – was $41,982,620 compared to $41,690,533. Those figures represent a 0.7% gain. The all-sources total co-mingled handle for the meet, including sites outside of California, was $62,737,026, compared to $63,147,196, a slight decrease of 0.6%.

Daytime thoroughbred racing will return to Los Alamitos Thursday, Nov. 30 with the start of the Winter meet. The 12-day season will continue through Sunday, Dec. 17 with racing conducted on a Thursday-Sunday basis.

The meet will be highlighted by a pair of Grade I races for 2-year-olds. The $300,000 Starlet for fillies and the $300,000 Los Alamitos CashCall Futurity will be run Saturday, Dec. 9.

Churchill Downs and Keeneland Want to Build Two Horse Racing Tracks in Kentucky

Churchill winner's circleIs Horse Racing Dead?

You may have heard … Churchill Downs and Keeneland are teaming up to propose two new “state-of-the-art” horse racing venues in Kentucky. It’s a “historic partnership” that will bring one to Corbin, Kentucky, in Knox County and another in Oak …

Source: Churchill Downs and Keeneland want to build two horse racing tracks in Kentucky

Strong Kentucky Derby results helped boost Churchill Downs’ profits – 2Q 2017

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Despite rainy weather, a “strong” Kentucky Derby week helped Louisville-based Churchill Downs Inc. report net income of $78 million in the second quarter of the year, a 12 percent increase from the same period in 2016.

Source: Strong Kentucky Derby results help boost Churchill Downs’ profits

Another Strong Horse Racing Meet. NJ’s Monmouth Park Reports Gains

Press Release

The curtain closed Sunday on a successful Monmouth Park season with the racetrack showing across the board gains in attendance and handle for the 50-day meet, which commenced back on May 13, 2017.

On-track wagering averaged $424,556, a 7.9% increase over last year’s average when the track ran 57 days. Simulcast handle showed a slight increase to average $3,050,257, which represents .4% more than last year’s average. Attendance was up 7.4%, with an average of 9,234 fans pouring through the gates daily.

“This year’s numbers are indicative that people continue to support racing in New Jersey,” said Dennis Drazin, Chairman and CEO of Darby Development LLC, operators of the racetrack. “We continue to operate at a distinct disadvantage to our neighbors, who have alternative revenue streams boosting their purses. Nevertheless, fans embrace our product, our determination has never wavered, and people continue to make Monmouth Park one of the top destinations in the state.”

Monmouth Park by Rich Nilsen

copyright 2016 AGameofSkill.com

Top training honors went to Jorge Navarro, who captured his record-tying fifth consecutive title. Navarro sent out 65 winners at the meet, besting the all-time record he set last year with 59 winners. Leading jockey was Nik Juarez, who won 75 races en route to capturing his first Monmouth title. Hector Diaz Jr., who arrived in New Jersey in June, was leading apprentice, piloting 30 winners, good for fifth in the overall standings. And, top owner was John J. Brunetti’s Red Oak Stable, who won 13 races this season.

The 2017 season marked the sixth since Darby Development began operations at the racetrack. Since that time, the facility has seen the advent of the very popular Blu Grotto restaurant, the opening of the Blu Grotto Beer Garden, Blue Grass Mini Golf and the William Hill Race & Sports Bar.

Operations off-track have expanded to include the Hillsborough OTW and exchange wagering, making New Jersey the only state to offer this innovative form of gaming.

“Our accomplishments have been many, but much work remains to be done,” Drazin said. “We continue to explore new revenue sources and are cautiously optimistic for a favorable outcome when the Supreme Court delivers a final verdict on our more than five-year fight to bring sports betting to New Jersey.”

Live Thoroughbred racing continues in New Jersey at the Meadowlands on Sept. 22 with eight all-turf programs.

Santa Anita in 2017 Reports Handle, Attendance Gains

Is Horse Racing Dead?

Santa Anita Park’s all-sources handle for its 103-day racing season, which began Dec. 26 and concluded July 4, showed a $23.5 million increase over last season, a 2.5% gain, according to track officials.

Source: Santa Anita Reports Handle, Attendance Gains

Is Horse Racing Dead? Cupid’s Full Sibling sells for $2.7 million at Keeneland September

Keeneland painter photo by Richard J. Nilsen

copyright AgameofSkill.com

Keeneland’s reformatted Week 1 of the September Yearling Sale produced eight million-dollar-plus horses and fueled significant increases in trade during Monday’s opening premier Book 1. Leading the action was a $2.7 million Tapit filly, a full sibling to star Cupid, purchased by …

Source: Full sister to Cupid sells for $2.7 million at Keeneland September