Kentucky Racing

CDI Signs Agreement to Buy Ellis Park

Churchill Downs Incorporated announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Ellis Park Racing & Gaming in Henderson, Kentucky, from Enchantment Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of Laguna Development Corporation, for total consideration of $79 million in cash, subject to certain working capital and other purchase price adjustments. CDI will also assume Ellis Park's opportunity to construct a track extension facility in Owensboro, Kentucky. "This is an exciting announcement for the horse racing industry, the cities of Henderson and Owensboro, and the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky," said Kentucky Governor...

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Weekly Stewards and Commissions Rulings: June 7 – June 13

Every week, the TDN publishes a roundup of key official rulings from the primary tracks within the four major racing jurisdictions of California, New York, Florida and Kentucky. Here's a primer on how each of these jurisdictions adjudicates different offenses, what they make public (or not) and where.   CALIFORNIA Track: Santa Anita Date: 06/10/2022 Licensee: Jessica Pyfer, jockey Penalty: Three-day suspension Violation: Careless riding Explainer: Jockey Jessica Pyfer, who rode Picture of a Lady in the first race at Santa Anita Park on June 5, 2022, is suspended for...

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Commonwealth Racing Challenge Kicks off Apr. 8

The Commonwealth Racing Challenge kicks off Friday, Apr. 8 with the opening of the Keeneland spring race meet. The new initiative is designed to encourage Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) members to visit all of Kentucky's racetracks during the 2022 Kentucky horse racing circuit. KEEP members who successfully scan a unique QR code and tag KEEP in a social media post at each of the six participating Kentucky racetracks during their 2022 racing meets will be entered to win four VIP tickets the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Keeneland Nov....

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Six-Strike Overhand Whipping Rule Could Be Legal in Kentucky by February

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) is on its way to a long-planned rewrite of the state's whipping rules, and the chief change would set a limit of six overhand hits per race with no more than two strikes in succession to give the horse a chance to respond. In addition, the penalty structure will be tweaked. As explained by Jennifer Wolsing, the general counsel for the KHRC, "The stewards would be able to impose a $500 minimum fine or a three-day minimum suspension. Or, if the stewards believe that...

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Under Glare of Probing Questions, Curious Answers in Kentucky

The Week in Review by T.D. Thornton In theory, state racing commissions are supposed to provide a layer of checks and balances by making both racetrack operators and horsemen accountable for their actions. In practice though, that often doesn't happen because regulators in many jurisdictions fail to ask probing questions of licensees during open, public meetings. In Kentucky, for example, if you want the most concise on-the-record snapshot of what's going on with the circuit, the best source generally isn't a Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) meeting. Instead, the proceedings...

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Laurel Locks Down Over EHV-1; Kentucky Urges Caution On Ship-Ins

Four barns at Laurel Park were placed under quarantine and shipping out was barred for horses stabled at Maryland's two Thoroughbred tracks Mar. 9 after a symptomatic horse at Laurel tested positive for equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) and was removed to a veterinary facility. On a national scale, active cases of the highly contagious respiratory disease are being monitored in several states right now, including in Florida at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala. On Mar. 7, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture state veterinarian's office issued written guidance related...

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HHR Passes Ky House 55-38 After Emotional Debate

The bill to legalize historical horse race (HHR) gaming in Kentucky by defining "pari-mutuel wagering" to include previously run races passed in the House of Representatives by a 55-38 vote shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday, with seven legislators not casting votes. Capping an emotional and contentious—but always civil—floor debate that stretched over three hours Feb. 11, the most controversial bill of the 2021 Kentucky legislative session now heads to Governor Andy Beshear, who has previously indicated support for keeping HHR intact in Kentucky. The passage of SB 120 this week...

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Jason Litt: Why I Left the KTA

It's no secret the horse industry is struggling. But like any good optimist, I'm always open to new ideas. I recently read Simon Sinek's book, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. The oversimplified concept of the book is how understanding your 'why' can contribute to your success. This is my 'why' I chose a career in horse racing. I love horses. From the unbelievable softness of a newborn foal to the rippling musculature of a stallion, they are majestic. As an agent, breeder and owner,...

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Letter to the Industry: Coolmore Calls on Industry for HHR Support

Dear Friend of Coolmore America, As a valued client and friend of Coolmore America we need your help to take action and keep the Kentucky thoroughbred business strong and vibrant. Due to a recent ruling by the Kentucky Supreme Court the future of the horse business in Kentucky along with the more than 60,000 jobs and more than $5.2 billion in economic impact is now at a crossroads and in jeopardy. Over the last decade historical horse racing has helped the horse industry flourish and has created thousands of jobs and...

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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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Among Kentucky Trainers, No Consensus On New Lasix Rules

Though he won one of two races for 2-year-olds held last week at Churchill Downs, trainer John Hancock had hoped to do better. A day after the filly Hopeful Princess (Not This Time) broke her maiden, stablemate Cuz (Ironicus) finished seventh in a maiden race for juvenile colts. Hancock said he believes the reason Cuz didn't fare better was because he was, under new rules in place at Churchill, not allowed to run on Lasix. "[Cuz] is an exceptionably nice colt," Hancock said. "We scoped him and he showed signs...

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Monomoy Girl Set to Return After Third Comeback

Ever since Monomoy Girl (Tapizar) surged past the Churchill Downs finish line to take the 2018 GI Breeders' Cup Distaff, fans have eagerly awaited her return. It's been a long road over the past year and a half, but the now 5-year-old Eclipse champion is slated to make her 2020 debut beneath the Twin Spires Sat., May 16. The five-time Grade I winner will be the star of Churchill Downs' opening day, facing six other fillies and mares in a one-mile $80,000 allowance optional claimer. Her competition includes dual stakes...

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