Rick Hiles

For Owner Brook Smith, There's a Method to His Madness

As the field loaded for Saturday's fourth race at Churchill Downs, Brook Smith could feel the butterflies churning in his stomach. He had just made one of the biggest bets of the meet, a $300,000 flyer. He hadn't bet to win, place or show but that three costly but unproven 2-year-olds were headed to bigger and better things. In less than a minute, he might be proven right but he also could have been proven very wrong. "This wasn't some rich dude or someone who has some money in his...

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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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