The Stronach Group

Training Over New Main Track at Laurel to Start Aug. 10

The extensive, expensive, and months-delayed installment of the new main track from the base up at Laurel Park is now close enough to completion that executives with The Stronach Group (TSG) have greenlighted Aug. 8 as the move-in date for horses and Aug. 10 as the first day of training. Speaking via videoconference, Steve Koch, the senior vice president of racing for TSG, which owns both Laurel and Pimlico Race Course, said July 28 that the "whole oval really is an entirely new racetrack." Years of piecemeal repair jobs failed...

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Dennis Drazin Talks Eventful Monmouth Meet On Writers' Room

While the 2021 meet at Monmouth Park is less than three weeks old, several years worth of drama has already been packed in at the Jersey Shore staple this spring, and Wednesday morning, the track's chairman and CEO Dennis Drazin joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland to discuss it all. Calling in via Zoom as the Green Group Guest of the Week, Drazin talked about the fraught implementation of the New Jersey Racing Commission's whip ban, the latest attempt by the Jockeys' Guild to put pressure on Monmouth...

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Report: Stronach Group Considering Sale of Some Assets

According to a June 15 report from, The Stronach Group (TSG) has fielded interest from special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) and others and is exploring options for parts of its portfolio. The Bloomberg report cited "people with knowledge of the matter" as its source. The Bloomberg report states that TSG is working with an outside advisor and has been approached by a number of parties, among them digital betting and media companies, that have expressed interest in aspects of the business. Bloomberg estimated the Stronach company portfolio is  worth...

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MJC Hopeful Horses Can Return to Laurel in August; Racing to Continue at Pimlico

Maryland Jockey Club and its parent company, 1/ST RACING (The Stronach Group), is hopeful horses will be able to return to Laurel Park the first week in August barring any delays in the ongoing renovation of the dirt surface, but even if they do, racing will likely continue at Pimlico Race Course in August until the Maryland State Fair at Timonium meet begins. An update on the project and a timeline were discussed June 14 during a Zoom community meeting hosted by the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association. It was also...

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The Week in Review: Time to Bring Back Down-the-Hill Turf Sprints at Santa Anita

There was a rare and welcome sight Saturday at Santa Anita when the field of five scampered across the down-the-hill turf course to begin the 1 1/2-mile GIII San Luis Rey S. There were no incidents in a perfectly clean race where no one was hurt. So why can't the course also be used for what were iconic 6 1/2-furlong downhill grass races? They haven't carded a turf sprint on that course since a horse named Arms Runner (Overdriven) broke down and had to be euthanized in the running of...

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New COVID Protocols Outlined at Santa Anita, Golden Gate

Based on increasing vaccine availability and declining COVID-19 numbers, The Stronach Group and TOC outlined new protocols at Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields to allow licensed owners more access to the grounds. SANTA ANITA PARK Mandatory Santa Anita protocols, including social distancing (a minimum of six feet), face cloths covering your nose and mouth, health screening, temperature check and wrist banding will continue to be enforced for everyone entering Santa Anita, including the Stable Area. Winner's Circle After each race, the winning horse will be brought into the...

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1/ST Continues Support of Jockeys' Guild

1/ST has announced its continued support of the Jockeys' Guild. Under the terms of the agreement between the two organizations, each of 1/ST RACING's venue racetracks (Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park, and The Maryland Jockey Club operating Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park) will continue to make payments to the Jockeys' Guild to subsidize health, life and accident insurances, as well as short-term and long-term disability benefits for jockeys who are members of the Guild and ride at 1/ST RACING racetracks. "1/ST RACING is pleased to continue...

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CARMA: Holding Its Own in Tough Economic Climate

Last year when facing a massive budget shortfall, the umbrella organization overseeing the fate of California's retired racehorses dodged a metaphorical projectile. "We were just so overwhelmed by the support we got for CARMAthon by the racing community," Lucinda Lovitt, executive director of the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA), said of a fundraising event held last year at Del Mar on Pacific Classic day. "Everybody on the board--especially those on the event committee--was blown away." Due to the fact that CARMA is primarily funded from purse contributions by owners, trainers...

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Fetlock Arthrodesis Advances Provide Options for Injured Horses

If pressed to pinpoint a single Achilles heel in the racehorse, it's probably a fair bet to assume many would zero in on the fetlock--the intricate joint mechanism that in a racehorse travelling at top speed proves especially vulnerable to system failure. Indeed, 19 of the 22 horses that suffered catastrophic musculoskeletal injuries at Santa Anita during its benighted winter-spring meet nearly two years ago had sesamoid fractures. In most cases, the prognosis for horses who suffer severe fetlock breakdowns is grim, but a procedure pioneered at the end of...

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The Stronach Group Joins PETA in Urging Ban on Sale of Horses to South Korea

After viewing PETA's video expose of the slaughter of racehorses in South Korea, including the stallion Private Vow, The Stronach Group is endorsing PETA's efforts to ban the sale of North American Thoroughbreds to South Korean racing interests. PETA can now show that Private Vow was sold to South Korea for stud duty in 2014 and ended up being slaughtered for meat in July. He sired 196 foals in the U.S. and South Korea. Belinda Stronach, chair and president of The Stronach Group, said, "The Stronach Group is urging all...

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Gulfstream May Install a Synthetic Surface

Looking for ways to avoid overusing the turf course at Gulfstream Park, The Stronach Group may install a synthetic Tapeta surface at the South Florida track. The news was revealed by Stronach Group COO Aidan Butler during his appearance on this week's TDN Writers' Room, presented by Keeneland. Butler said that The Stronach Group is looking into the possibility of having three tracks at Gulfstream, dirt, turf and synthetic. The grass course at Gulfstream is under heavy use throughout the year, but it had been getting a two-month break while...

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Shocker–Gulfstream Races Go Off at Post Time

After years of dragging its races out and running as many as seven or eight minutes after the listed post times, Gulfstream Park had a major surprise for horseplayers Wednesday on the opening day of the Championship Meet. The races were run at their advertised post times. The change was ushered in by Aidan Butler, who had been working at the California tracks for The Stronach Group, the owners of Gulfstream, before he was recently promoted and reassigned, with his new duties including overseeing Florida racing. "There are so many...

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