Ben Huffman

UOFL Equine Industry Series in Person in '21

The University of Louisville Equine Industry Program (EIP), in conjunction with Horse Racing Nation, released its free Fall 2021 speaker series, which will be held in person this year on the UofL campus. The series includes panel discussions on the "Super Card" trend in racing and growing racing through diversity and inclusion. The final event in the series will be an interview with Houston business owner, philanthropist and horse owner Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale. The events will be held from 5:30-6:45p.m., and will be broadcast live on the Horse Racing...

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MSW Purses to Top $100K During Derby Week and at KY Downs

Purse levels for maiden special weight (MSW) races on the Kentucky circuit are projected to push past the $100,000 mark both during GI Kentucky Derby week at Churchill Downs and in September at the Kentucky Downs all-turf meet. In addition, Kentucky Downs plans to expand its stakes program to include two new $1 million races in 2021, giving the venue a total of three stakes at that level. (Read more details here). Ben Huffman, the director of racing at Churchill Downs, confirmed during a video meeting of the Kentucky Thoroughbred...

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Decision to Close HHR has brought Urgency to the Forefront

Two days after Keeneland Association and Red Mile announced they would be shutting their joint historical horse racing (HHR) venture at the Lexington harness racino while imploring the Kentucky legislature to provide "more clarity" regarding the disputed legal status of HHR, Vince Gabbert, Keeneland's vice president and chief operating officer, was called upon during the Jan. 26 Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) teleconference to explain why that decision was made in the absence of any formal order from state officials to cease HHR, which is ongoing at other licensed locations...

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MSW Purses: $97K Derby Week, $75K Rest of Churchill Meet; $70K at Keeneland

Projected autumn purse levels for maiden special weight races on the Kentucky circuit were revealed during a video meeting of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) advisory committee on Tuesday. Ben Huffman, director of racing at Churchill Downs, said, "We're going to have two [MSW] purses. We're going to supercharge [GI Kentucky] Derby week, like we've been doing. And that maiden purse Derby week is going to be $97,000. The remaining nine days are going to be $75,000." Churchill had closed out its spring/summer season at the $79,000 level for...

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Opening Day of Churchill Downs' Spring Meet Set for Saturday, May 16

Churchill Downs Racetrack officials have announced that opening day of the 2020 Spring Meet will be Saturday, May 16. After opening weekend on May 16-17, racing at the historic Louisville racetrack will be staged Thursdays through Sundays with a special holiday Monday card on Memorial Day, May 25. Post time for the first race each day will be 1 p.m. (all times Eastern). Vice President of Racing Ben Huffman is crafting a condition book for the schedule of races, including a revised stakes schedule, and it is expected to be...

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TOBA Names Officers, New Trustees

Officials at the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association have announced the election of Brant Laue as chairman of the TOBA Board of Trustees. Also joining Laue on the Board are members Marshall Gramm (Ten Strike Racing), Stephanie Hronis (Hronis Racing) and Jason Loutsch (Albaugh Family Racing). "I am honored to serve as Chairman of TOBA, with its long history of representing the interests of owners and breeders," Laue said. "Working with our members and industry partners, we look forward to continued progress on the opportunities and challenges facing our industry."...

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