HOME > HORSE RACING RADAR
The Week in Review: February 6, 2020
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2020
by: Valerie Mellema
Here's what has been happening this week in the world of horse racing.
Proposed Pennsylvania Budget Could End Racing in PA
Governor Tom Wolf presented a proposal Tuesday for Pennsylvania's 2020-2021 budget with a provision that could end horse racing in Pennsylvania, taking with it 7,385 jobs in the state.
The Democratic governor proposed diverting the money earmarked for racetracks in the state's Horse Racing Development Fund into a new scholarship fund to help students pay for college and stay in Pennsylvania. Under the program, students will be granted funds to pay for college if they promise to stay in Pennsylvania for at least four years and up to a maximum of 6 years. If they leave the state without meeting that requirement, the grant money will be converted into a loan.
On the other side, Pennsylvania's horse racing economy will suffer as racetracks would encounter severe blows to their purse accounts. According to the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Association study from 2018, the racing industry in the state supports 7,385 jobs and adds $527 million in direct value to the economy. The state is home to three Thoroughbred racetracks including Parx, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course and Presque Isle Downs. The Horse Racing Development Fund is funded by slot revenue from the state's casinos and provides the purse money for these racetracks. The $200 million diversion in funds would mean that 25,000 students would qualify for scholarships.
Churchill Downs Purchases 20-stall Starting Gate for the Kentucky Derby
Churchill Downs has entered into an agreement with Steriline Racing to design and build a new 20-stall starting gate exclusively for the Kentucky Derby and other races with large fields. The company is based in Australia. Historically, a six stall auxiliary gate has been attached to the standard 14 horse starting gate and has often been criticized. The hope is that the new gate will provide a clean start for all 20 horses and enhance the safety of horses and riders. The new gate is slated to arrive in early April and will be 65 feet wide and designed to fit comfortably within the 120-foot space on the racetrack at the quarter-mile pole.
Baffert Considers His Kentucky Derby Contenders
Trainer Bob Baffert has opened up in two interviews over the past week about his Kentucky Derby contenders. Here's how he breaks it down:
NADAL - Put in his first work Tuesday since January 19th. Baffert said he gave him a couple of weeks off because he ran so fast at his debut victory at Santa Anita. He says he hasn't decided on plans yet, but that he feels he is a month ahead.
THOUSAND WORDS - The colt is fresh off a win and sitting high on the Derby leader board. Baffert says he can throw off the clockers in the morning, but by the afternoon he gets better the further they go.
AUTHENTIC - The colt is slated for the March 7th San Felipe Stakes (G2), a prep race offering 50 points to the winner. Baffert says they don't really know how good he is, but he is 2-2.
EIGHT RINGS - This colt ran a disappointing sixth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Baffert says he won't make it to the Rebel Stakes on March 14th at Oaklawn, but it's still February, so there's still a chance for the Triple Crown trail.
Have a great week!
<< RETURN TO GUARANTEED TIP SHEET HOMEPAGE