Pennsylvania Racing

Penn National Replacing 51-Year-Old Track Rail

Penn National is getting a new track rail that will replace the one that's been in place since 1972. "That's the original track rail that's been in there since the track opened," Chris McErlean, the vice president of racing for PENN Entertainment, said during Tuesday's Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission meeting. "We are going to a new PVC breakaway type rail that is in use at a couple racetracks right now, and it should be better from a safety standpoint and a maintenance standpoint." Penn National started a scheduled break after...

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Letter to the Editor: Positive Changes Coming Out of Pennsylvania, by Bryan Langlois, DVM

Over the past few months there have been stories about various State Racing Commissions doing or not doing things for the good of the sport. The Triple Crown season always brings more of a spotlight on the sport and, most times, how there is no progress being made. Quietly, however, one State Racing Commission has been making positive strides in improving the safety, welfare, and integrity of the sport and industry. That state is Pennsylvania. There perhaps has not been a more public vocal critic of the Racing Commission than...

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Veteran Trainer Ron Glorioso Passes Away

Trainer Ron Glorioso, a mainstay at Parx since that track opened in 1974, passed away Oct. 22 at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. He was 79. Before entering training, the Philadelphia native was a Pennsylvania State Trooper assigned to the mounted unit. He stayed with the state police for five years before shifting gears and becoming a trainer. He first became interested in racing when his father took him to the track when he was a freshman in high school. Glorioso started out in the late sixties at...

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Wanamaker's Inaugural PA-bred Catalog Online

The catalogue for inaugural Wanamaker's auction featuring 25 Pennsylvania-breds, is available at www.wanamakers.com. Slated for Oct. 28, the sale includes weanlings, yearlings, racing prospects, broodmare prospects, and broodmares. Highlights of the sale include Lillie's Answer, a black-type earning broodmare currently in-foal to Shancelot, as well as an eight-horse offering from Pewter Stable, six of which are weanlings by Pennsylvania stallion, Winchill. "We are excited to host this inaugural PA-Bred Sale for the PHBA," said co-founder Liza Hendriks. "Brian Sanfratello, executive secretary of the PHBA, reached out about the opportunity for...

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Caballero Suspended for Whip Infraction at Parx

Parx Racing suspended jockey Hector Caballero for 10 days because of his "misuse of the riding crop" after the finish of the 10th race at Parx July 27. The incident occurred aboard Belongs to Babe in a maiden for fillies 3-year-old's and up. On the date in question, Caballero and Belong to Babe crossed the wire in second behind Solid Gold Dancer, who was subsequently disqualified for interference with another rival. During the gallop out, Caballero struck his mount on the shoulder, which is in violation of the State's recently...

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Pennsylvania Shutdown Lifted, Parx to Reopen June 22

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has given permission for the state's Thoroughbred and Standardbred tracks to resume racing. According to Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association President Sal DeBunda, Parx will resume racing June 22. Todd Mostoller, who heads the horsemen's groups at Penn National and Presque Isle Downs, said he hopes that Penn National will start racing again June 19. He said it would take longer to start racing at Presque Isle Downs because there are not any horses currently stabled there. "We had hoped to open earlier, but, because of...

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A Sad State of Affairs at Arlington

The Week in Review, by Bill Finley Arlington Park announced last week that the 2020 meet has been canceled at least through July 5, which hardly came as a surprise. No one was expecting the track to open any time soon. The bigger question for now is: will Arlington ever race again? When Arlington reopened in 1989 after the grandstand was destroyed by a fire, it seemed positioned to be among the most successful tracks in the country for decades to come. Richard Duchossois built a fabulous, grandiose racetrack, one...

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In a Tough Year, Another Bad Week for Pennsylvania Racing

The Week in Review, by Bill Finley Down to 12 horses and with no income coming in since Parx stopped racing after a Mar. 10 card, trainer Mike Catalano has a simple request. "I just want to go back to living," he said. To Catalano, that means having a full barn of horses, racing four days a week and being able to put food on his table. It may not happen any time soon. Last week, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf maintained that racetracks should be in the same category as...

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Northview Stallion Station to Consolidate Operation, Sell Pennsylvania Division

Northview Stallion Station announced Monday that it plans to close its Pennsylvania operation and operate solely in Maryland. Northview is the leading breeder in Pennsylvania, where the future of the racing and breeding industries are uncertain after Gov. Tom Wolf announced his intentions in February to divert $200 million from Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Fund to a program that would create scholarships for Pennsylvania residents applying to colleges in the state. But Northview General Manager/Director of Sales David Wade said the decision to close the Pennsylvania operation had nothing to...

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On Aftercare: Turning for Home Hits Its Stride

Turning for Home, Inc. was created by the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (PTHA) in 2008 as a model program for racehorse retirement at Parx Racing. Parx was the first to implement a mandatory funding plan simultaneously with rules forbidding horse owners and trainers from sending horses to, or allowing horses to end up in slaughterhouse kill pens. The program was a success from inception and it has evolved from there. We caught up with the current program administrator Danielle Montgomery to talk about the program's solid support, success stories and...

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Letters to the Editor: H. Robb Levinsky

Thoroughbred Idea Foundation Pat Cummings's comment on Pa. Governor Tom Wolf's plan to divert the bulk of funding from the Race Horse Development fund (representing about 90% of all purse monies in the state) was both courageous and spot on. For too long Pennsylvania racetracks and horsemen's organizations alike have focused their efforts almost exclusively on procuring annual revenues from slot machine proceeds, while doing little or nothing to build the racing business or promote the sport. In the long run, no state is going to prop up a dying...

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TIF's Cummings: Pennsylvania Situation Must Be a Wake-Up Call

This week's Green Group Guest of the Week on the TDN's Writers' Room Podcast, Thoroughbred Idea Foundation Executive Director Pat Cummings, implored the racing industry to learn from what has happened in Pennsylvania and to end what he sees as decades of complacency. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has submitted a budget that calls for $204 million to be diverted from the state's Race Horse Development Fund and used for a program that would provide college scholarships for Pennsylvania residents. Should the money, which comes from slot machines proceeds, be taken...

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