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The Week in Review: August 22, 2019
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 2019
by: Valerie Mellema
From potential new horse racing opportunities to the sidelining of a top filly, here's the latest in horse racing news!
Suffolk Downs Owners Bid to Bring Back Racing at Berkshires
The owners of Suffolk Downs, which is now only open for simulcast racing after being sold, is working to bring live racing back to the Great Barrington Fairgrounds since 1998. The owners of Suffolk Downs believe that the “permanent license” granted by the state racing commission at the time in 1998 may still be valid. If so, they may be able to “grandfather” in horse racing at the historic fairgrounds. However, local officials aren't making it easy, as they aren't sure if approvals in the county are needed, and opponents may be forcing a citizen's referendum.
The Suffolk Downs officials have also entered into an agreement for a long term lease of the Great Barrington Fairgrounds. Chip Tuttle, chief operating officer at Suffolk Downs, met with town officials in July to address their questions. He believes that two environmental permits and another for running a commercial amusement business at the fairgrounds may be required. The plan is for Suffolk Downs to invest $15 to $20 million in refurbishing the fairgrounds and hopes to run four racing weekends in the Fall of 2020. However, they may be required to get a license that will allow the company to operate in two different locations and to have a license that would last longer than a year.
New Mexico Regulators Say No to 6th Racino License
After months of uncertainty and millions of dollars spent by the applicants, the New Mexico horse racing regulators announced they will not grant a sixth state horse track and casino license stating that it was in the best interest of the existing track and casino operators.
The invitation for a sixth racino was opened up by the former Republican Governor, Susana Martininez, but this decision follows the appointments by the new Democratic Governor, Michelle Lujan Girshman and the former administration never selected a candidate for the sixth license.
The current racinos are located in Hobbs, Ruidoso, Farmington, Albuquerque and Sunland Park. The proposed location was Tucumcari on Historic Route 66, as well as Clovis. The other proposed location was Lordsburg, near the Arizona border. The current administration cited that there may not be enough market to support another racino.
Colonial Downs Brings Back Live Racing After 5 Year Absence
After being dormant since 2014, Colonial Downs is running a 15 day race meet, which started last Thursday. The live racing followed the enactment of historical horse racing machines, which function similar to slot machines and base their payouts on the results of old horse races. Admission to the track is free throughout the meet.
The Colonial Downs Group also operates at three locations throughout the state under the name Rosie's Gaming Emporium. In June, gamblers wagered over $88 million in the machines and wagering at the Colonial Downs location grew by 10 percent between May and June.
The Breeders' Cup at Del Mar Logo Revealed
The Breeders' Cup will hold the 2021 World Championships of horse racing at Del Mar. Breeders' Cup officials unveiled the official logo Saturday as well as the dates for the 2021 Breeders' Cup. The world championship races will be held Friday, November 5th and Saturday, November 6th at the historic Del Mar track.
Former Jockey Julie Krone Honored at Del Mar
The most accomplished female jockey in the history of Thoroughbred racing, Julie Krone, was honored on Pacific Classic Day at Del Mar. She was presented with the prestigious Laffit Pincay, Jr. Award. She was also there to take part in a book signing. Her book, “One Sweet Ride,” documents her 2003 season at Del Mar, the year she was the Pacific Classic on CANDY RIDE.
Krone, 56, won many accolades over her career and was inducted in horse racing's Hall of Fame. She was the lone female to ride a Triple Crown race winner and was the first female to win a Breeders' Cup race. She was also inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and National Women's Hall of Fame. She now resides in nearby Carlsbad, California.
Top Turf Filly, Concrete Rose, Sidelined
CONCRETE ROSE was scheduled to try and sweep and the Turf Tiara series in New York, but will be sidelined the rest of the season due to a hairline fracture in her right front leg. The filly had very strong victories in the Belmont Oaks (G1) and the Saratoga Oaks (G1). The fracture was discovered at series of X-rays before the very faint fracture was located.
Have a great week!
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