Is Horse Racing Dead? Oaklawn Park Raises Purses Again

Press Release

Purse records keep tumbling at the track with the richest purses in America between January and April.

Starting with the March 17 Rebel Stakes card, Oaklawn will implement the second increase of the season, the 18th straight year the Hot Springs track has bumped purses at least once during a meet. Overnight purses will be bumped between $1,000 and $3,000. Maiden Special Weights and Allowances races are growing by $3,000 per race, taking the Maidens to $81,000 and the Allowances to as high as $85,000.

Logo Oaklawn Park racingAdditionally, claiming races and maiden claiming races with a claiming price of $20,000 or greater as well as starter allowances are receiving a $2,000 increase. Other races are receiving a $1,000 bump.

“We believe Arkansas through Oaklawn may have the best racing-gaming model in America,” said Louis Cella, President of Oaklawn. “Racing will always come first, but thanks to our vibrant gaming business we are able to offer the rich purses that attract the large fields and adds to the excitement our fans get to enjoy. Even with a rainy February, we still treated our guests to a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience.”

The March 17 card was already the second richest of the Oaklawn season with the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) for aspiring Derby hopefuls, the $350,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) for older fillies and mares and $300,000 Essex Handicap for older colts and geldings. With the increase, purses are projected to be more than $2 million this day.

“We’re excited to reward our owners and trainers with the second purse increase of the season,” said Wayne Smith, General Manager of Oaklawn. “Our best races are still to come and we’re looking forward to watching the country’s best 3-year-olds prepare for the Triple Crown races.”

Live racing at Oaklawn continues through Saturday, April 14.

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.

Horse Racing is a Winner at Gulfstream Park

Horse Racing is a Winner at Gulfstream Park.  Check out the success story below…

Source: Horse Racing is a Winner at Gulfstream Park

Horse racing track Ascot announces record prize money for 2018

Ascot racecourse in UKHorse racing-Ascot announces record prize money for 2018 Daily Mail Record 2018 Prize-Money At Ascot Thoroughbred Daily News Full coverage

Source: Horse racing-Ascot announces record prize money for 2018

Successful 2017 Aqueduct Winter Meet

Is Horse Racing Dead?

Press Release

The 2017 Aqueduct Fall Meet generated all-sources handle on NYRA races of $250,376,535, an increase of 7.6 percent over the 2016 Aqueduct Fall Meet.

Average daily handle from the 36 days of live racing was $6,954,904; a 1.6 percent increase over 2016.

The 2017 Aqueduct Fall Meet, from November 3 to December 31, was the first meet contested since the construction of a new, outer turf course and renovation of the main track oval to accommodate year-round racing.

In 2017, NYRA moved the Grade 1 Cigar Mile back one week from its traditional date on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, scheduling the fall meet’s signature race four weeks after the Breeders’ Cup. The purse was also increased from $500,000 to $750,000.

The Cigar Mile Day card, highlighted by Sharp Azteca’s victory in the 29th running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Cigar Mile Handicap presented by NYRA Bets, generated all-sources handle of $13,545,188, marking an 11.8 percent increase over 2016’s Cigar Mile Day.

Total handle for the 2017 Aqueduct Fall Meet, which is inclusive of import wagering on non-NYRA races, was $303,182,961.

During the Aqueduct Fall Meet, live racing was canceled due to adverse weather conditions on November 19, December 13, December 28, and December 31. The final five races of the December 30 card were also canceled.

2017 Aqueduct Fall Meet (NYRA races)

* All-sources handle: $250,376,535
* All-sources average daily handle: $6,954,904
* Race days: 36
* 2017 On-track handle: $28,099,665

2016 Aqueduct Fall Meet (NYRA races)

* All-sources handle: $232,645,188
* All-sources average daily handle: 6,842,506
* Race days: 34
* On-track handle: $27,554,724

Please note, all handle figures are exclusive of international settlements.

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.

2017 November U.S. Handle Rises 6.39% Due to New Tax Rules

New tax rules regarding withholding and the reporting of pari-mutuel wagers have driven total U.S. wagering above $890.8 million for November. The average handle per race day is up 9.7% for the month compared with a year ago, according to Equibase.

Source: November U.S. Handle Up 6.39% Due to New Tax Rules

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.