Historical Horse Racing

Keeneland, Red Mile Announce Temporary Closure of Historical Horse Racing Operations

Keeneland Association and the Red Mile issued a joint press release Jan. 24 announcing the closure of historical horse race (HHR) gaming that the two tracks operate in partnership at the Red Mile harness track. The Sunday morning decision came three days after the Supreme Court of Kentucky ruled that it will not rehear an appealed Sept. 24 decision that told a lower court to re-examine the legality of the most crucial form of funding for purses in the commonwealth. "We were disappointed the Kentucky Supreme Court denied our petition...

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KY Supreme Court Won't Hear HHR Legality Case

The Supreme Court of Kentucky ruled Jan. 21 that it will not rehear an appealed Sept. 24 decision that told a lower court to re-examine the legality of historical horse race (HHR) gaming in the commonwealth, keeping the most crucial form of funding for purses at the state's five Thoroughbred tracks in peril. HHR handled $2.2 billion during the Commonwealth's most recent fiscal year, and revenue from that form of gaming annually contributes tens of millions of dollars to the Kentucky purses. This form of gaming has been operational--but challenged...

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Turfway Construction Halted Until KY Clears Up Historical Racing Ambiguity

Turfway Park's new grandstand and historical racing machine (HRM) facility won't get built until the state of Kentucky clears up the ambiguity surrounding the apparent illegality of that form of video gambling, which contributes tens of millions of dollars annually to purses in the state. That news was delivered by Bill Carstanjen, chief executive officer of Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI), in an Oct. 29 third-quarter earnings call with investors. CDI, a gaming corporation with six Thoroughbred tracks in its portfolio, acquired Turfway last year and soon thereafter embarked upon a...

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HHR Fate Still 'Elephant in the Room' As KHRC Grants '21 Race Dates

Saying he'd "like to briefly address the elephant in the room," Kentucky Horse Racing Commission chairman Jonathan Rabinowitz opened the board's Oct. 20 videoconference meeting by attempting to reassure the racing community that elected and appointed officials are working to find a solution to a Sept. 24 Supreme Court of Kentucky opinion that told a lower court to re-examine the legality of historical horse race (HHR) gaming. HHR handled $2.2 billion during the commonwealth's most recent fiscal year, and revenue from that form of gaming annually contributes tens of millions...

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TDN International Editor Kelsey Riley Talks Arc On Writers' Room

In addition to all the Stateside action this weekend--the final leg of the Triple Crown, Fall Stars Weekend at Keeneland and 11 Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" events--the biggest race of the year in Europe will also be run with Sunday's G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in Paris. Wednesday on the TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland, TDN International Editor Kelsey Riley joined the crew as the Green Group Guest of the Week to talk about the much-anticipated showdown between Enable (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) and...

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After HHR Decision from Court, Racing Considers Next Steps

Still reeling from a decision by the Kentucky Supreme Court that ruled that Historical Horse Racing (HHR) machines are illegal, the racing and breeding industries in the state have continued to work behind the scenes to find a way to keep the gaming machines operating. The machines have proved so popular that they handled $2.2 billion during the most recent fiscal year and contribute tens of millions annually to purses. The court ruled that the machines, which resemble slot machines, did not fall under the legal definition of pari-mutuel gambling...

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KEEP Issues Statement in Response to KY Supreme Court Ruling on HHR

The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) released the following statement in response to the Kentucky Supreme Court's Opinion calling into question the operation of historical horse racing (HHR) in the Commonwealth: "Thursday's ruling by the Kentucky Supreme Court is devastating to the Commonwealth, the horse industry and the tens of thousands of Kentuckians who work in the industry. The result of this ruling, if there is no action by the state legislature to enact law permitting wagering on HHR, would severely impact the horse industry at a time when Kentucky...

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Kentucky Supreme Court Ruling Could Put End to Historical Horse Racing

In a unanimous decision announced Thursday that could result in a large cuts to purses in the state, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that Historical Horse Racing (HHR) Machines do not qualify as pari-mutuel wagering and are therefore illegal under state law. The decision directly covered only one form of the machines, the Encore or Exacta system, but it appears that it will be applied to all forms and brands of HHR. The plaintiff in the case was the Family Trust Foundation of Kentucky, a conservative group which describes itself...

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Ky Downs Set to Open The Mint Gaming Hall in September

Kentucky Downs will open its Mint Gaming Hall, a new 30,000 square-foot historical horse racing (HHR) in early September, and will coincide with the track's live six-day racing meet. The hall, which will add more than 600 historical horse racing terminals, will also include a new multi-media Center Bar, entertainment stage and a new high-limit betting area. The addition of The Mint Gaming Hall is the first of a multi-phase expansion and growth plan that began last year since it was sold in March 2019. "We are always seeking ways...

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Ellis Historical Racing to Reopen Monday

Ellis Park will reopen for Historical Horse Racing (HHR) gaming this Monday at 10 a.m. Following coronavirus safety protocols, the facility will be limited to 33% occupancy and every employee and guest will have their temperature measured before entering. Ellis Park has been closed since Mar. 16 due to the global pandemic. Gov. Andy Beshear late Thursday afternoon approved the opening of Kentucky tracks' (HHR) operations starting Monday under similar restrictions placed on restaurants. Gaming terminals available for play will be at least six feet apart, with Ellis Park reconfiguring...

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Beshear: KY Historical Racing Facilities Can Reopen Monday

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced on Thursday that the state's four historical horse racing (HHR) facilities can re-open Monday, June 8 after having been shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) released the following statement in response: "KEEP applauds Governor Beshear's announcement that historical horse racing (HHR) facilities can reopen on June 8, 2020. KEEP commends the Governor and the horse industry for working together on this solution, which will allow the facilities to operate at one-third capacity and provide a safe environment for the...

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KTDF in 'Fragile' State; Ellis 'Moving Heaven and Earth' to Have Race Meet

As the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) closes in on the three-month mark without being able to generate money via historical horse race (HHR) gaming and on-track wagering, Bill Landes III, the chairman of the fund's advisory committee, warned in a public teleconference meeting Wednesday that the money that gets allocated to pay a portion of purses on the state's racing circuit is running dangerously low. Although no specific dollar amounts were mentioned about how dry the funding is because of the recent COVID-19 business closures, a real-life example of...

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