Midwest Racing News Archive

News about midwest horse racing.

Hoping it can address through technology the Kentucky Supreme Court's concerns that its current historical horse racing operating system is not pari-mutuel, Exacta Systems will introduce a new HHR system that it says will qualify based on the court's Sept. 24 opinion.

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Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”) (Nasdaq: CHDN) released today the following statement regarding the Kentucky Supreme Court ruling on the Exacta system used in historical horse racing machines (“HRMs”) in Kentucky. CDI does not use the Exacta system in any of its HRMs in any facility in Kentucky. We will work within our legal rights and in coordination with Kentucky legislators to ensure the ongoing legal operation of our HRM facilities in Kentucky so that we can continue to provide critical funding for the equine industry and support the citizens in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Although CDI does not use the Exacta system in question at any of our HRM facilities, we appreciate Ken

If some deep-pocketed backers have their way, Kentucky might soon get a new harness race track and a new casino. The majority owners of the Kentucky Downs horse racing track have partnered with the Keeneland Association to submit an application for a license in the Bluegrass State that would allow it to operate both options. If things go according to plan, the harness track would be set up in the city of Corbin, while the casino would be developed on the way from Corbin to Williamsburg.

The best in the state of Illinois gathered on closing weekend as 11 harness racing stakes races were contested on Hawthorne Race Course's Night of Champions. ... The summer meet was capped with great performances on Night of Champions as the best in the state competed for nearly $1 million in purses. A look back at the Night of Champions finals:

Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen notched his 9,000th career win Friday night at Remington Park with claimer Troy Ounce. He trails all-time leader Dale Baird by 445 wins for the all-time leading trainer title.

The Nebraska Supreme Court has reversed a Lincoln judge's ruling that the state's Racing Commission exceeded its authority in 2018 by ordering tracks in Lincoln and Omaha to turn over funds they collect to the Nebraska Thoroughbred Breeders Association. Friday's decision was a reprieve to tracks in Grand Island and Columbus, which have shared in the pooled funds for nearly two decades, as more of the funds came from wagering on simulcasts rather than live racing in the state.

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Anticipating that there will be no recurrence of this year’s 2 ½-month COVID-19 interruption and that construction progress will continue on the racino project, the Illinois Racing Board on Wednesday awarded Hawthorne Race Course 2021 harness and thoroughbred dates that mirror those the track raced from 2016 through 2019. The 63-night harness meeting will be held from May 7-Sept. 26 and will be sandwiched between March 6-April 25 and Oct. 1-Dec. 31 thoroughbred meetings with a total of 50 programs.

A desire to help Nebraska horsemen could lead to live racing in the next few months, though the races won’t take long to run. Four of the state’s racetracks have applied to the Nebraska Racing Commission to run 1-furlong sprints in October and November. The tracks had their regularly scheduled meets canceled earlier this year because of COVID-19.

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The Illinois Racing Board has approved a 2021 racing schedule that splits live dates and revenue-producing dark days according to an agreement between Arlington International Racecourse and Hawthorne Race Course. Horsemen, wary that Arlington's parent corporation, Churchill Downs Inc., may elect not to race in 2021 despite the board's unanimous approval of 68 dates, asked for protection for their purse account.

On-track business suffered as capacity was limited to 750 spectators, substantially below the 2019 average attendance of 6,592, however wagering handle soared due to the schedule change as horseplayers across the country bet on Canterbury's races in unprecedented numbers. Handle this season has already exceeded 2019's record $48 million, with $63.8 million bet during the first 51 days and an additional $4 to $5 million expected over the final two days.

Keeneland announced Tuesday its 2020 Fall Meet, to be held Oct. 2-24, will be closed to the public due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Only a limited number of participants and essential personnel will be permitted to attend the live race meet.

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PointsBet, a premier global sportsbook operator, announced today that it is now providing its mobile app and digital sports betting product in Illinois. Illinois marks the fourth operational state for PointsBet's premium sports betting product, following successful launches in New Jersey, Iowa, and Indiana. In addition to launching the PointsBet mobile app and digital product, PointsBet's convenient retail presence in Chicago will soon debut at four sites that flank every corner of Chicagoland. Hawthorne Race Course (Stickney, IL) represents the flagship retail location, and additional off-track betting (OTB) premium sportsbooks will debut in Prospect Heights, Oakbrook Terrace, and Crestwood.

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Beginning Oct. 1, Betfair will no longer accept exchange wagers from its New Jersey customers, ending a brief and unsuccessful experiment in the U.S. for a form of wagering that couldn’t overcome a number of obstacles that stood in its way of success.

A bill co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Paul D. Tonko, D-Amsterdam, that would bring the first national regulations to thoroughbred horse racing is moving closer to becoming law. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Wednesday approved the proposed Horse-racing Integrity and Safety Act in a 46-5 vote, sending the bill for final action by the House of Representatives. Tonko on Thursday said that he hopes to see a floor vote before the end of the month, which would culminate a six-year effort to try to bring nationally consistent regulations banning race-day drugs and addressing other issues.

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