Ellis Park

KHRC Approves Transparency Regs

With zero debate or discussion preceding unanimous votes on two separate agenda items, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) on Tuesday adopted rewritten rules aimed at increasing transparency. The major changes include lifting prohibitions on the public disclosure of alleged violations, new guidelines that establish a 60-day time frame for holding hearings, and the opening of those hearings to anyone who wants to observe them. Tweaks to the equine drug-testing process are also in the pipeline. They include a requirement for owners and trainers to select an approved lab for...

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MSW Purses Set for CD, Ellis & Ky Downs

Purse levels for maiden special weight (MSW) races on the Kentucky circuit have been established for the upcoming meets at Churchill Downs ($120,000 in the first condition book), Ellis Park ($50,000 through July and August) and Kentucky Downs ($150,000 for seven days in September). Those figures were revealed by representatives of those tracks Tuesday during a video meeting of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) advisory committee. Ben Huffman, the vice president of racing and racing secretary at Churchill Downs, also confirmed that the newly installed turf course in Louisville...

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Downes Named Emerald Downs Announcer

Bill Downes has been named track announcer at Emerald Downs for the Washington track's 2022 season which opens May 15. He replaces Tom Harris who recently stepped down. Downes served as Indiana Grand track announcer from 2013 to 2021, and before that called races at Ellis Park, Beulah Park, Presque Isle Downs, and River Downs. He also was back-up announcer at Churchill Downs. "I'm thrilled to come to Emerald Downs," Downes said. "Emerald is a track I've always held in high esteem. I was there once for a two-day handicapping...

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MSW Purses to Trend Upward at Keeneland, Churchill

Purses for maiden special weight (MSW) races are projected to trend upward this spring at both Keeneland Race Course and Churchill Downs. Track executives disclosed the pre-condition book figures during Tuesday's Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) advisory board meeting. "The MSWs for older horses are going to be $100,000. And the [MSW races for] 2-year-olds are going to be $80,000," said Keeneland's vice president of racing, Gatewood Bell. At Keeneland's 2021 spring meet, the comparable MSW purse levels were $79,000 and $60,000. Mike Ziegler, the senior vice president and general...

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Allen Named RTCA White Horse Award Winner

Marshall Allen has been named the winner of this year's Race Track Chaplaincy of America White Horse Award. Allen, an assistant trainer at Emerald Downs, saved the life of long-time horse owner Jim Foulkes, who had collapsed in the track's barn area last May. Allen began CPR and assisted EMTs when they arrived on the scene. To see Allen's story, click here. Also honored by RTCA White Horse nominations this year were: Julie Berry from Blue Grass Farms Charities; Jonathan Estrada from Belmont Park; Nick Garafola and Veronica Gallardo from...

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Trainers Bauer, Foley Hit with Kentucky Drug Suspensions

Kentucky stewards have disqualified two winners and a third-place horse while assessing trainers Philip Bauer and Greg Foley 30-day suspensions and $500 fines for three separate post-race drug tests that came back positive in recent months. It was not immediately known if appeals were in the works. Bauer's two suspensions will run concurrently because the stewards cited mitigating circumstances (including "first medication violation in training career"), but he will be responsible for paying both fines. Foley's one suspension got halved via stay to 15 days, also because of mitigating circumstances...

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Macias Suspended 90 Days

Conditioner Adolfo Macias has been suspended 90 days following the search of his barn at a Central Kentucky training center. The story was originally reported by the DRF based on a ruling issued by Kentucky stewards. Macias waived his right for a formal hearing on the suspension, which will begin Dec. 1 and run through Feb. 28. The search, which was conducted July 28, turned up "injectable medications, hypodermic syringes, and needles." The search took place about three weeks after the Macias-trained Enraged (Big Blue Kitten) won a maiden claimer...

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2022 Kentucky Race Dates Set

Kentucky's live racing schedule for 2022 will largely mirror this season's template of race dates according to a calendar approved Tuesday by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. The following three tweaks stand out from 2021: 1) Churchill Downs will race through July 4 instead of closing in late June; 2) Kentucky Downs was granted a seventh racing date, up from six; 3) Keeneland Race Course will host the Breeders' Cup the first Friday and Saturday in November, directly book-ended by live racing at Churchill on the dates right before and...

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Turfway MSW Purses Could Nearly Double to $60,000

Turfway Park executives are projecting purses for maiden special weight (MSW) races to nearly double to about $60,000 for the upcoming dual meets that will be run December through March. Last season, Turfway paid out just $32,000 for MSW races while conducting meets heavily compromised by both the COVID-19 pandemic and a massive grandstand rebuild that kept the northern Kentucky oval closed to on-track spectators. Turfway's 2021-22 MSW purse projection was disclosed Tuesday during a Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) advisory board meeting by Tyler Picklesimer, the track's director of...

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Half to McCracken Impresses in Ellis Unveiling

6th-Ellis, $50,220, Msw, 8-29, 3yo/up, 7f, 1:21.96, ft, 8 lengths. MILLIKEN (c, 3, Into Mischief--Ivory Empress {GSP, $189,402}, by Seeking the Gold), a half to 'TDN Rising Stars' McCraken (Ghostzapper), MGSW & GISP, $869,728; and Four Graces (Majesticperfection), MGSW, $261,246, got off to a belated but auspicious start to his own career here at 5-2 odds. Showing good tactical speed to draft behind the top flight while savig ground, the bay was guided through a wide-open rail around the bend and all of a sudden had the lead after a...

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Ellis Park to Honor Backstretch Workers Who Rescued Horses From Fire

Ellis Park plans to honor Marvin Prado and other backstretch workers involved in rescuing six racehorses and one stable pony during a fire in the track's receiving barn last Sunday. They hope to do so during this weekend's races, contingent on the availability of Prado, whose daughter was born two months premature the day after the fire and is still hospitalized. The barn was engulfed in flames in a matter of 20 minutes and those on the scene say the man of the moment was Prado, with assistance from fellow...

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Aug. 29 Insights

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency STRONACH HOMEBRED DEBUTS IN CANADA 3rd-WO, $126.8K, Msw, 2yo, 7fT, 2:07p.m. Stronach Stables homebred RAPPER ZAPPER (Ghostzapper) makes his career bow in this event. The chestnut is a full-brother to Canadian champion, Queen's Plate victress and MGSW Holy Helena and a half to GSW & MGISP Holy Boss (Street Boss). TJCIS PPs   BROWN UNVEILS PRICEY CURLIN FILLY 5th-SAR, $100K, Msw, 2yo, f, 6f, 3:21p.m. Chad Brown saddles an expensive first timer in DISTINCTLYPOSSIBLE (Curlin), who summoned $670,000 at OBS April after breezing in :10...

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