Industry News

Tax Deduction Notification

Federal law requires Indiana HBPA to provide all members with a written estimate of what portion of membership dues goes to lobbying and political action expenses. For 2016 the amounts spent for lobbying and political action expenses will exceed the amount of the dues collected. Therefore, none of the dues paid by Indiana HBPA members in 2016 will be allowable as a business expense for federal income tax purposes. The same federal law requires Indiana HBPA to give its members an estimate of the 2017 lobbying and political action expenses that are considered to be paid from dues. It is anticipated that the 2017 expenditures for lobbying and political action expenses will again exceed the amount of dues collected for the year. Therefore, none of the dues paid by Indiana HBPA members in 2017 will be allowable as a business expense for federal income tax purposes. Members are encouraged to consult a tax professional about individual and business tax returns and liability.

Dates announced for 2017 racing at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

Racing dates for the upcoming 2017 Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse season at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino have been approved by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission. The 120-day meet begins Tuesday, April 18 and concludes Saturday, Oct. 28.

Racing will be offered Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2:05 p.m. EST while Saturday night racing will be conducted at 6:05 p.m. EST. Thursday racing will be added to the schedule from July 6 through August 24, also offering a 2:05 p.m. EST post time.

Quarter Horse racing will be provided during the season at the conclusion of most programs, and six nights showcasing all-Quarter Horse racing will be announced at a later date. In addition, Indiana Grand will announce its 2017 stakes schedule for both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing soon.

Stall applications are available online at www.indianagrand.com. They are due back to Kevin Greely, director of racing, by Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. The barn area and racetrack will open Monday, March 13, weather permitting, in preparation for the 2017 racing season.

Grade III $500,000-added Indiana Derby set for Saturday, July 15 at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

The date for the 23rd running of the Grade III $500,000-added Indiana Derby has been set. Indiana’s richest horse race will be held Saturday, July 15 at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.

The Indiana Derby began during the inaugural season of pari-mutuel Thoroughbred racing in 1995 at Hoosier Park and was moved to Indiana Grand in 2013 when the state established the Shelbyville track as the location for all Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing. Over the years, the race has grown in status, displaying some of the best three-year-olds in the country. Last year’s event was won by Cupid for Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert, who scored his fourth win in the race in the past eight years.

The Grade III $200,000-added Indiana Oaks will join the Derby on the July 15 racing program that boasts more than one million in purse money each year. Indiana Derby Night will once again be complemented by other activities in the days surrounding the event along with other stakes races, bringing the attention of the horse racing world to Indiana during that time.

ARCI Town Hall Meeting to Be Held at Indiana Grand

The Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) will hold a Town Hall meeting at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, after a previously scheduled Indiana Horse Racing Commission (IHRC) meeting at the track, September 14, 2016.

ARCI, the association of regulatory commissions overseeing racing at the state level, has held a series of these meetings throughout racing jurisdictions in the United States. Their intent is to gather information and to build consensus from racing participants with an eye toward developing uniform regulatory policies across all jurisdictions.

More information will be forthcoming, regarding the meeting location and start time. All horsemen with opinions (o.k., that seems redundant, doesn’t it) are encouraged to attend.

The IHRC meeting that precedes this ARCI meeting normally begins at 9am.

Indiana HBPA: Working to Grow Fan Appreciation

In the middle of a very busy meet, the HBPA has been more active than ever in trying to promote racing and breeding in Indiana. The local affiliate has added a variety of co-promotional activities with our track partner, Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, to educate our fans and grow appreciation of the great racing in our state.

At the end of July, HBPA co-sponsored “HBPA Back-to-School Night” on a hot Saturday night during racing. Families brought their children out to the track to participate in drawings for backpacks filled with school supplies, between races, and an iPad drawing after the last thoroughbred race of the evening. The track had face painting and a bounce house, in addition to strolling Toy Story characters passing out school supplies.

We will hold an additional HBPA promotional night event on September 17, in cooperation with the track, called, “HBPA Boots & Brews Fan Education.” The event will include horse racing book and race voucher giveaways after each race, plus mechanical bull riding, food and the aforementioned brews.

For the first four months of the meet, HBPA and Indiana Grand put on “Grand Mornings at the Track,” one Saturday each month, as a means of giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at parts of racing they rarely see. Fans came out to the track during Saturday morning training for a free continental breakfast with guest speakers and themed presentations.

The first focused on the life of a jockey, with a tour of the jockey quarters led by Clerk of Scales Steve Cahill. The second was all about training horses, featuring a presentation and q&a by HBPA Director, and 2nd Vice President Michael Lauer and a backside tour,

including a stop at Lauer’s barn. The third Grand Morning centered on the starting gate and maintenance of the racing surface, with participants going inside the gate and talking with Starter Steve Peterman, and going onto the track for a q&a with Track Superintendent Roy Smith. The fourth in the series had not taken place at this writing, but was scheduled to be all about the horse, with interaction with a farrier and a q&a with a working track vet.

The series was largely the product of planning and coordination between Indiana Grand Marketing Manager Tammy Knox, racing Broadcast Production Manager Rachel McLaughlin and Indiana HBPA Director Tianna Richardville. This year’s events drew a good base, but we hope the events will grow more frequent and more popular next year.

2016 Meet Numbers: So Far, So Good

Just past the halfway point of the 2016 meet, the Indiana Grand thoroughbred handle has generated much-improved numbers, aided by enhanced simulcast revenues.

Overall daily handle at Indiana Grand is up approximately 15 percent, compared to the same race date last year (which was up, compared to 2014,) so the trend is in the right direction. Our field size, so far, is 8.07, compared to 8.07 in 2015.

The daily average has been just over $190,000, including breed development funds. We would like to find a way to shift some revenue into the Indiana program from the unrestricted program. Because of the large number of Indiana program races needed to fill cards early in the meet, when open races were not filling, breed development funds – and, ultimately, the number of races – are being closely watched.

Friday Night Warmup, Morning Eye Opener at the Track to begin at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

SHELBYVILLE, Ind.; – May 14, 2016 – Friday, May 20 will kick off the first of seven “Friday Night Warmup” events sponsored by the Indiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protection Association (HBPA). The event will take place from 6-8PM in the Always Turned On tent and includes free pizza, free wagers and special events and contests. In addition, the first “Morning Eye Opener at the Track” will take place the following morning from 9-11AM trackside.

The “Friday Night Warmup” event is geared toward providing information and assistance to fans wanting to learn more about horse racing. The session will begin during the last part of the Friday afternoon racing program, which begins at 2:05 PM, and provide racing fans the opportunity to stop in and talk with members of HBPA as well as participate in special handicapping contests and learn the basics of wagering on horse racing.

Rachel McLaughlin, Indiana Grand’s on-air racing personality, will host the event along with members of HBPA. Free pizza will be provided in the tent and mix-master DJ Niko Flores will provide music to get the party started on select Fridays from May through September. Also, Bill Downes, Indiana Grand’s track announcer, will also assist guests with questions about handicapping.

Free wagers will be offered to guests who stop in for each of the “Friday Night Warmup” events.  Each event will have a different contest or promotion linked to it, from handicapping contests for racing wagers to corn hole and karaoke contests. In addition, guests will have the opportunity to meet some of the participants of the sport, including trainers, owners and jockeys.

Additional dates for “Friday Night Warmup” events are June 3, June 17, July 1, Aug. 5, Aug. 19 and Sept. 2.

In addition to “Friday Night Warmup,” the HBPA is also hosting a special “Morning Eye Opener at the Track” from May through August. Guests of all ages are welcome to come out to the track on select Saturdays from 9-11AM during morning training hours for free continental breakfast and a look behind the scenes at racing. Each morning event will feature a guest speaker along with “backstage access” to areas normally not available to the general public.

The first “Morning Eye Opener at the Track” is set for Saturday, May 21. Breakfast will be served from the first floor Family Pavilion and guest speakers will be trackside while horses are training on the track. The first session is geared toward “The Life of a Jockey” and will include a tour inside the jockey’s quarters with information on the jockey’s equipment. Also, a horse will be in the paddock and a saddling demonstration will take place.

Additional dates for the “Morning Eye Opener at the Track” in 2016 are June 18, July 23 and Aug. 20. The June 18 event will include a backstretch tour to one of the barns at Indiana Grand.

Live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing is conducted Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 2:05 PM EST with Saturday racing beginning at 6:05 PM. The 120-day season runs through Saturday, Oct. 29. Thursday racing will be offered during the months of July and August from July 7 through Aug. 25 with a post time of 2:05 PM.

Grand Morning offers inside look at horse racing

By ROSS FLINT- rflint@shelbynews.com

Starting Saturday, Indiana Grand is offering a new program for horse racing fans who want to learn more about the sport.

Grand Mornings at the Track will start at 9 a.m., trackside on the apron.

It’s first of a four-month event for the track, which hopes to educate fans with a behind-the-scenes look.

Fans can come watch while enjoying a free continental breakfast during the morning training hours. Guest speakers will be there each month and for those 18 and older, they can receive a free $2 race wager and program for that night’s horse racing.

“We thought for the casual fan it might be fun to get background context,” Mike Brown of the Horseman’s Benevolent and Protection Association (HBPA) said.

The event lasts two hours and continues through August.

Each event will include access to the behind-the-scenes through the program’s theme each month.

Saturday’s focus will be the life of a jockey. It will include a tour of the jockeys quarters and information on their equipment. There will be a horse in the paddock and visitors will see a saddling demonstration.

On June 18, there will be a trainers forum and a backstretch tour at one of the barns on the track.

On July 23, the focus is on track maintenance and the starting gate. The final session, scheduled for Aug. 20, is all about the horses themselves.

“We’re always excited to have people come watch the horses,” Brown said.

Pa. horse racing industry puts integrity first: PennLive letters

By Letters to the Editor on May 20, 2016 at 12:53 PM

Despite recent stories from Pennlive about Penn National Race Course, horse racing at the East Hanover Twp. facility – and the industry in general – reveal a sport that is among the most tested of any in the world. The results show a healthy industry that puts integrity first.

In 2011, racing commissions conducted 21 times more drug tests than the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), according to Racing Commissioners International (RCI). Unlike USADA, horse racing tests for more substances and does not permit therapeutic use exemptions for stimulants, opiates, hormones, narcotics and a host of other substances. Despite testing more often and banning more substances, 301,769 samples from tested racehorses revealed 99.59 percent were found to have no violations.

Locally, Pennsylvania is home to one of the finest horse toxicology laboratories in the world, the Pennsylvania Equine Toxicology and Research Lab (PETRL). PETRL, which tests all winning horses, is the first laboratory to develop and establish a method for confirming blood-doping agents in racehorse serum. In all, 99.5 percent of all post-race testing samples in Pennsylvania are cleared by PETRL.

The Pennsylvania Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (PA HBPA), which represents all horse owners, trainers and their employees at Penn National, is also doing its part.

We’ve donated substantial funding to PETRL to enhance its testing technology, ensuring a level playing field on the racetrack for owners and trainers. Pennsylvania HBPA is also one of the first organizations in the country to implement third-party administration of race day treatments, banning private veterinarians from treatment stalls, now considered a national standard.

The Pennsylvania HBPA is committed to our horses long after they’re past their racing prime.

We’ve created “New Start,” an adoption program for retired racehorses, which is funded by a fee paid by all horse owners at Penn National. We would encourage PennLive readers to learn more about this important program at www.newstartforhorses.com.

TODD MOSTOLLER, executive director, The Pennsylvania Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, East Hanover Twp.

Indiana HPBA Newsletter

The April edition of the Indiana HBPA Newsletter includes information about new organization staff, minutes from 2016 board meetings, and additions to HPBA policy. Read the newsletter (pdf format).

Get a Bill of Sale!

For your protection, if you sell or give away a horse, make sure you have a bill of sale, and make sure that bill of sale specifies that a condition of this transaction is that the horse is not changing hands to go to slaughter.

Several recent incidents of gifting or selling a horse have resulted in the initial seller being blamed for what a third or fourth party may ultimately do with the horse. You can’t control what might eventually happen, but you can make it clear that your transaction was not for slaughter.

The bill of sale or signed agreement should specify: this horse is being sold or given away for pleasure riding, racing/breeding, or show riding only, and it must specify that both parties to your agreement understand that this individual transaction will not lead to the horse going to slaughter.

Indiana HBPA has met with the stewards to get specific language included in the Indiana bill of sale. When approved, the amended document will be available on the Indiana HBPA website.

Tentative Dates for 2016

With the end of the 2015 racing season, we can start planning for the 2016 Indiana Grand thoroughbred racing season. Dates are not official until they are approved by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission, which is scheduled to take up the question at its December 9 business meeting. Centaur, the owner of both Indiana tracks, has indicated what their race dates request will be.

They propose racing four days a week, from April 19, 2016, through May and June. In July and August, we would race five days a week, followed by four-days-a-week racing through the end of the meet, October 29.

By contract, the backside of the track should be open at least 45 days before opening day, barring weather delays.

2015 HBPA election results

On October 1, the Indiana HBPA counted ballots, re-electing President Joe Davis for another three-year term. The election also established owner and trainer directors for the HBPA Board.

HBPA counted all ballots received up to and including that day’s mail at the office of the accounting firm supervising the HBPA election process, in the presence of the HBPA election committee and candidate representatives.

President Davis and the new board began their three-year terms on October 5.

Owner Directors elected include Merrill C. Roberts, Kathryn Kunz Duran, Ron McKay, Penny Lauer and Kim Hobson. First alternate was Blaine Davidson.

Before the first meeting of the new Board, Owner Director Kim Hobson resigned. Accordingly, First Alternate Blaine Davidson joined the board. The new First Alternate is Larry Smallwood.

Trainer or Owner/Trainer Directors include Kim Hammond, Tianna Richardville, Michael E. Lauer, Randy Klopp and Marvin Johnson. First Alternate is Steve Fosdick.

The Indiana HBPA would like to recognize and thank former Director Gale Bess for his service to horsemen during his three years on the Board.

“I’d like to thank all horsemen and women who demonstrated their willingness to work for thoroughbred racing by putting their names up for election,” said President Joe Davis. “And, thank you to those members who cared enough about Indiana to participate in our future by voting.”

More than $4 million in stakes races slated for upcoming Thoroughbred season at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

SHELBYVILLE, Ind.; –March 2, 2015Indiana Grand Racing & Casino has released its 2015 stakes schedule for the upcoming Thoroughbred meet. The schedule includes 37 stakes worth more than $4 million in purses for the 120-day race meet, which begins Tuesday, April 21.

Highlighting the 2015 stakes schedule is the 21st running of the Grade II $500,000-added Indiana Derby, which will move away from its traditional fall date to Saturday, July 18. The Indiana Derby is the state’s richest Thoroughbred race and will be complemented by four other stakes on the racing program, including the Grade II $200,000-added Indiana Oaks. The week leading up to Indiana Derby will feature seven stakes Wednesday, July 15 through Friday, July 17.

“We have been considering a date change for our Indiana Derby the past few years, mainly to avoid inclement weather, and we found the perfect spot in mid-July,” said Kevin Greely, director of racing. “By moving the Indiana Derby to the summer, it will give racing fans the opportunity to enjoy the race during warmer weather and it will also give Indiana Grand the opportunity to create a multi-day festival leading up to the big race. We have added an additional day of racing that week, and will offer more than $1.6 million in purses for 12 stakes over four days.”

In addition to Indiana Derby, the top turf stakes of the season, the Listed $200-000-added Centaur Stakes for three-year-olds will be run Wednesday, Sept. 9. The Centaur Stakes will be joined by three other stakes that day, including the $200,000-added Indiana Grand for three-year-old fillies on the turf, also a Listed stakes.

Indiana Grand will feature its first “Indiana Sprint Championship” Wednesday, Sept. 30, highlighted by six Indiana bred or sired stakes, all at a distance of six furlongs. The 120-day race meet will conclude Saturday, Oct. 31 with four stakes races highlighting the inaugural “Indiana Champions Night”, featuring the best state-bred horses of Indiana.

“We are really focusing on the quality of our stakes program and have added two new open stakes races to expand our 2015 schedule,” said Jon Schuster, vice president and general manager of racing. “Once again, Wednesday afternoon will be the focus for most of our stakes races. This has proven to be a great spot for a national audience. In addition, it gives us the opportunity to draw entries from some top stables in the region, boosting the quality of our stakes as well as our overnight races.”

In all, 27 of the stakes will be run over the one-mile dirt course, with 10 stakes scheduled for the turf course. The first stakes race will be contested Saturday, May 30, which will help create a great atmosphere for the second annual “Jockeys and Jeans,” a fundraiser for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF). The event will feature Ron Turcotte as the honorary chairman as well as the other two living Triple Crown winning jockeys Steve Cauthen and Jean Cruguet. In all, more than a dozen Hall of Fame riders are expected to be in attendance for the event, making it the largest gathering of racing legends ever assembled in the Midwest.

Live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing returns to Indiana Grand Tuesday, April 21. The 120-day race meet will be conducted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 2:05 p.m. with first post for Saturdays set at 6:05 p.m. Thursday racing will be added Sept. 17.

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino stakes schedule features more than $4 million in 2014

SHELBYVILLE, Ind.; –April 18, 2014Indiana Grand Racing & Casino is stepping into a new light in the horse racing industry. Beginning Tuesday, May 6, the facility located in Shelbyville, Ind. will race under a new name, logo and color scheme featuring shades of gold for the 120 day Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meet. In those 120 days, more than $4 million will be offered over 35 stakes with more than $1.5 million available for Quarter Horse stakes.

The focus of the meet always falls on the first Saturday in October with the 20th running of the Grade II $500,000-added Indiana Derby. The race, contested this year Saturday, Oct. 4, is Indiana’s richest and is complimented by eight other stakes on the card, including the Grade II $200,000-added Indiana Oaks. Other stakes for the day include the $100,000-added Michael G. Schaefer Mile, the $100,000-added Mari Hulman George, and the $100,000-added Ta Wee. In all, a total of more than $1.3 million will be offered in racing that day, making it the richest day of racing in Indiana history.

“We raised two stakes purses this season,” said Kevin Greely, director of racing. “The Indiana Grand Stakes , set for Wednesday, July 23, was raised from $125,000 to $200,000 and the Ta Wee on Indiana Derby Night was raised from $65,000 to $100,000. With the exception of Indiana Derby Night and the final night of racing Saturday, Nov. 1, all of our stakes will be carded on Wednesday afternoons with a first post of 2:05 p.m.”

Other stakes races that will capture attention from outside influences in the racing world will include the $200,000-added Centaur Stakes and the $100,000 J. Kenneth Self Shelby County Boys & Girls Club Stakes set for Wednesday, June 18. Both races are scheduled for the turf and are open, which will draw entries from outside the state of Indiana with three-year-olds featured in the Centaur Stakes and four-year-olds and up heading into the other event.

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino will offer two other days throughout the season that showcase stakes in excess of $300,000, featuring the $100,000-added Girls Inc. of Shelby County open to all older females on the turf and the $200,000-added Indiana Grand open to three-year-old fillies on the turf set for Wednesday, July 23. The track will also host the $150,000-added Governor’s Stakes for Indiana bred three-year-olds and the $150,000-added Indiana First Lady for Indiana bred three-year-old fillies Wednesday, Aug. 6.

The meet will conclude Saturday, Nov. 1 with $470,000 in stakes monies for four events, the $150,000-added Too Much Coffee, the $150,000-added Frances Slocum, the $85,000-added Miss Indiana and the $85,000-added Indiana Futurity, all Indiana-bred stakes. The event will fall on the heels of the Breeders’ Cup, which will begin earlier in the day from Santa Anita Park and will flow into live racing from Indiana Grand at 5:05 p.m.

In Quarter Horse action, a total of 17 stakes will take place throughout the season with 6 days dedicated solely to the sprinters. Among those days, nine stakes will boast a purse of $100,000 or higher with the featured events including the $150,000 Gordon Mobley Futurity and the $150,000 Miss Roxie Little Futurity set for Saturday, Oct. 25. Other major stakes include the $100,000 Born Runner Classic Saturday, June 14, the $100,000 Blue River Derby and the $100,000 Jaguar Rocket Stakes set for Saturday, July 26, the $100,000 QHRAI Stallion Service Auction Futurity set for Saturday, Sept. 13 and a trio of $100,000 events set for Saturday, Oct. 25 with the Governor’s Stakes, the QHRAI Derby and the Sterlie Bertram Memorial.

Days reserved for all Quarter Horse racing include Friday, May 30, Saturday, July 5, Saturday, July 26, Saturday, Aug. 30, Friday, Oct. 10 and Saturday, Oct. 26. All other Quarter Horse races are held at the conclusion of the Thoroughbred races on specified days.

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino will offer four days of racing May 6 through Nov. 1, 2014, adding Thursday racing July 17. Racing begins at 2:05 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with a 5:05 p.m. post Friday and Saturday. For more information, please visit indianagrand.com and click on the racing tab at the top of the homepage.

Monday, April 14, 2014

National HBPA Applauds the ARCI’s Actions Regarding Medication Regulations

The National HBPA commends and applauds the Association of Racing Commissioners International’s (ARCI) actions last week approving various changes to some of the Medication Model Rules.

“The fact that the ARCI has been able to take a step back from where it was before, and making revisions based upon both scientific measures and veterinarian needs, represents a resurgence of reality-based rulemaking,” said Phil Hanrahan, CEO of the NHBPA. “For many industry observers, this isn’t exactly man-biting-dog news, but the NHBPA thinks it’s important for horsemen to recognize positive steps when they occur,” added Hanrahan, who noted that in the ARCI’s approved medication related changes, in general, represented good news for the health management of our equine athletes and the safety of jockeys.

“The various changes to recently passed medication model rules recommended by the RMTC and adopted by the ARCI earlier this week, will move the industry closer to the uniformity that the National HBPA has always hoped would be realized,” said Dave Basler, the Chair of the NHBPA’s Model Rules Committee, and Executive Director of the Ohio HBPA. Basler added, “The NHBPA is in complete agreement with Ed Martin, the President of the ARCI, that the industry needs to break free from what he referred to as a ‘culture of negativity.’ In that vein I very much respect Mr. Martin for his acknowledgement at Tuesday’s ARCI Model Rules Committee meeting that the ARCI moved forward too quickly on certain model rules based upon various outside pressures.”

Robin Richards, Chair and President of the NHBPA added, “The NHBPA agrees with Mr. Martin that uniformity is a worthy goal, but we as an industry have to get it right.” Richards further stated, “The NHBPA believes that action taken at the ARCI’s meeting is a positive step to get it right and that, in fact, the Schedule of Controlled Therapeutic Medications is a ‘living document’ that will be periodically amended based on scientific research.”

The actions by the ARCI are consistent with the NHBPA’s position regarding the regulation of racing medication:
1. The National HBPA’s focus has always been, and remains, the health and safety of the horse, the safety of the jockey, and the safety of all individuals coming into contact with the horse including grooms, hot walkers, trainers, and veterinarians.
2. The National HBPA believes a truly independent and transparent Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (“RMTC”) composed of industry stakeholders (including the NHBPA, Jockey Club and TOBA, among others) not dominated by an individual organization, with input from appropriate medical and veterinary professional bodies such as the American Association of Equine Practitioners, must be the final evaluator of medical and veterinary science.
3. The National HBPA believes that RMTC approved medication rules should be reviewed by the Association of Racing Commissioners International on behalf of state racing commissions, and following an evaluation based on science and medical research with all industry stakeholders being heard, the rules should be adopted or rejected by a majority vote.
4. The National HBPA contends that uniform medication rules must be based solely on published scientifically determined regulatory thresholds, with published scientifically determined withdrawal time guidelines, all based on and supported by data published in the scientific literature.
5. The National HBPA believes that RMTC and ISO-17025 accredited laboratories should perform all medication testing.
6. The National HBPA does not tolerate cheating in this sport. The NHBPA supports rules wherein repeat offenders of medication rules, after due process, should be severely penalized, including permanent expulsion from the industry.

Phil Combest, the President of the Florida HBPA stated, “The Florida Horsemen are gratified to hear that the ARCI has displayed a willingness to step back and revise and update some of the important aspects of the Medication Model Rules. There is no question that uniform medication rules are one, if not the, most critical challenges to racing universally. That’s why we have to get it right and that’s simply not an easy process.”  Kent Stirling, the Executive Director of the Florida HBPA and the Chair of the NHBPA’s Medication Committee, added, “Horsemen across the country want just one thing, a level playing field, and that’s what Uniform Medication is all about. Florida is 100% on board with that goal and we’ll continue with an open and frank dialogue with the ARCI, the Jockey Club and the RMTC as we move forward united toward that common end.”

Piroplasmosis Testing Lifted

The Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) voted at their January meeting to lift the equine piroplasmosis testing requirement for horses entering Indiana race tracks, effective February 1, 2013. Read the release.

Indiana HBPA closes Indiana Downs meet with a computer giveaway

On July 9th, the Indiana HBPA gave away nine laptop computers during Saturday night racing at Indiana Downs, as part of a promotion to reach out to students and families of students.  The computer giveaway, limited to high school- and college-age students, drew more than 150 entries.  One name was drawn after each thoroughbred race.  Winners had to show school identification and claim their prize in person, before the next race.

A similar promotional event will be held at Hoosier Park, on a date yet to be announced.  Congratulations to the following Indiana Downs drawing winners.

Catherine Kelly, Shelburn, Indiana, who attends Ivy Tech at Terre Haute
Marquita Sayre, Holland, Ohio, who is home-schooled
Jessica Cernel, Shelbyville, IN, who attends Ball State University
Chad Martindale, Indianapolis, IN, who attends Ivy Tech at Indianapolis
Brandon Ringham, Camby, IN, who attends Mooresville High School
Jessica Northcutt, Waynetown, IN, who attends North Montgomery High School
Zach Crafton, Shelbyville, IN, who attends Ball State University
Jan Muldoon, Edinburgh, IN, who attends Vincennes University
Ryan Hosea, Indianapolis, IN, who attends Ivy Tech at Indianapolis

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino Completes Successful 2010 Racing Season

Anderson, IND. (Oct. 24, 2010) – Hoosier Park Racing & Casino concluded a very successful 16th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing Sunday, Oct. 24. The meet offered 63 days of action, beginning July 30. A total of 35 days included Quarter Horse racing.

Leading trainer Tom Amoss made his final trip for 2010 around Hoosier Park’s oval a winning one Sunday, Oct. 24 en route to his first leading trainer title at the Anderson, Ind. racetrack. Amoss completed the meet with 24 wins.

A native of New Orleans, Amoss started off the season slow, but quickly gained momentum. By the third week of action, his horses were winning steadily and grabbed the top spot in the trainer standings. He kept a string of 12 horses on the grounds during the meet under the direction of Shane Jolivette during the meet, and also shipped horses in from his home base at Churchill Downs. Amoss adds the honor at Hoosier Park to his impressive resume of titles, including multiple leading trainer awards from Fair Grounds.

Jeff Smith, general manager of racing, made the presentation to Jolivette for the Amoss Stable in the winner’s circle following their final race of 2010. Also, Randy Klopp, president of the Indiana HBPA, presented the Amoss Stable with a new exercise saddle for their accomplishments.

Leandro Goncalves was the primary rider for Amoss at Hoosier Park and he secured his first leading rider title at the track. The native of Brazil earned three wins during the final day of racing to boost his tally to 103 for the meet. Goncalves becomes only the fourth rider in the 16-year history of Hoosier Park to earn more than 100 wins during a season.

Ranked 13th in the nation by wins, Goncalves earned the leading rider title at Indiana Downs earlier this year. He now moves into the top 10 all-time with 224 wins at Hoosier Park with the completion of the 2010 meet.

Goncalves was presented the leading rider award by Rod Ratcliff, Chairman and CEO of Centaur Gaming along with Smith following the fifth race of the day.

“I just want to thank all the trainers that gave me the opportunity to ride such good horses this year,” said Goncalves. “Everyone on the backstretch really supported me and my agent, Jimmy (McNerney) works hard to get me on great horses. It is a very nice honor to win the title and I hope to be back next year to try again.”

Gary Patrick pulled in his second leading owner award for the conclusion of the 2010 meet. Patrick, who also earned the title in 2002, scored 17 wins to lead all owners. He is ranked second on the list of all-time leading owners at the track with 240 career wins and is the only owner to surpass the $3 million mark in earnings during the 16-year history of the track.

Patrick was presented with his leading owner award by Smith. Also, Klopp and Joe Davis of the Indiana HBPA presented Patrick with a blanket for his leading owner honors.

Total wagering for the 63-day meet reached $48.1 million, an increase of 8 percent over the $44.6 million wagered during the 63-day meet in 2009.

On-track wagering was up 16 percent, as $40,590 was wagered daily in 2010 compared to $34,875 in 2009. Attendance at the racetrack is no longer calculated since the addition of the casino. However, the track pulled in a record crowd for Indiana Derby Day Saturday, Oct. 2 with an estimated 12,000 people on hand for the event.

Average daily purses for both breeds rose again in 2010 as horsemen raced for $273,323 per night, versus an average of $221,325 in 2009. Total purses distributed during the 2010 meet equaled $17.2 million, an increase of 23 percent from $13.9 million distributed during the 63-day meet in 2009. A total of 585 Thoroughbred races were held in 2010 compared to 608 in 2009, marking a decrease of 4 percent. An average of 8.6 starters per race went to the gate in 2010, compared to an average of 8.1 in 2009.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better meet,” said Hoosier Park’s Jeff Smith. “To be up 16 percent in on-track wagering and eight percent in our off-track business at a time when most racetracks are experiencing significant declines is phenomenal. The quality of our racing product was the best it’s ever been, and the numbers reflect that.

Being able to host a horse such as Lookin At Lucky for our Indiana Derby really brought national attention to our racing program. Our Indiana Derby set several records, including handle for the day that was more than double compared to the previous year’s event.”

For more information, visit www.hoosierpark.com.

Indiana Downs raises purses

By John McDulin, Daily Racing Form
June 25, 2010

Indiana Downs racing secretary Butch Cook has announced a purse increase, beginning Tuesday.

“We have raised all purses, with $7,500 claimers through allowance races getting a 30 percent boost,” Cook said. “The $5,000 claimers will get a 15 percent increase.”

Maiden races will now be $42,000 and upper allowance purses will range from $58,000 to $60,000.

A combination of things led to the increases, according to Cook.

“We have canceled several days and so we have the purses from those races,” he said. “Also the slots are doing better than originally projected.”

The Indiana Downs meet runs through July 14.

Indianapolis Star Feature

State horse racing set to lead the field

Slot machines have been boon to purses and breeding in Indiana amid national slump

By Bill Ruthart | Posted May 10, 2010

ANDERSON, Ind. — As sunlight poured through a small barn window at Hoosier Park, trainer Jim Mulinix prepared Big Mama Gerdie for her qualifying run and explained why he considers himself lucky to race horses in Indiana.

It’s because he’s from Ohio.

“It’s just terrible there. The purses are low, the tracks are dirty and run-down, because there’s no money to put into them and no one is breeding horses in Ohio anymore,” said Mulinix, who lives in the small Buckeye town of Wauseon.

“Racing in Ohio is almost dead, and if Indiana didn’t get those slots, there’d be no real racing here either.”

A 2007 decision by the state legislature to grant Indiana’s two tracks slot machines has solidified the industry here during a time when the nation’s horse-racing business has been mired in one of its worst slumps.

Banks have all but quit lending to those who buy horses. Thoroughbreds are fetching half of what they used to in the auction ring. Breeding has dropped by nearly a quarter. And for-sale signs pepper horse farms across Kentucky and states considered the marquee breeding grounds for champion horses.

Although Indiana’s industry, too, has been socked by the sharp national recession and the aftershocks it has sent rumbling through the horse-racing community, the effect hasn’t been as bad here, thanks to those 4,000 slot machines at Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs in Shelbyville.

Revenue from the slots has been used to more than quadruple the subsidies for horse racing, driving up purses and creating an unprecedented incentive to breed Hoosier horses, because many of the state’s race purses are open only to Indiana-bred horses.

“Unfortunately, because of the economic downturn and horse racing falling into disfavor with a portion of the public, that’s really muted to a substantial degree the progress the Indiana horse-racing industry might have made otherwise,” said Joe Gorajec, executive director of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.

“But unlike some states where they’re in a free fall, Indiana — just by inching forward — is doing much better than a lot of other states.”

Nationwide, the number of thoroughbred mares bred has dropped by 20 percent, and the number of stallions standing stud has declined by 25 percent since 2007, according to the Jockey Club.

But in Indiana, the number of registered mares exploded from 520 in 2007 to 1,038 in 2009, and the number of registered foals almost doubled from 322 in 2007 to nearly 600 last year, according to racing commission statistics.

“We’ve had the best stallions we’ve ever had coming to the state the last two years and the best mares we’ve ever had, too,” said Eddie Martin, executive director of the Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.

That spike in breeding has been driven by the tens of millions of extra dollars that have been poured into the industry.

Before 2008, horse racing was supported by a subsidy paid by the state’s riverboat casinos, which provided $15 million toward race purses and breed development in 2007. Now, revenue from the slot machines at Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs provides the subsidy, which last year was nearly $63 million.

Much of that money has been used to increase purses.

In 2009, only four of the 28 states that awarded more than $1 million to race winners saw an increase in purses. Indiana led the way, increasing thoroughbred purses by 50 percent.

The temptation of those bigger purses kept Dick Naylor going.

He owns a small operation of seven horses and was ready to quit the business until the legislature approved the slots.

What if that had never happened?

“I don’t know if there’d be any horse racing here,” said Naylor, 69, Pendleton. “I would have been done. I had the same expenses that I have now. It’s all about what you’re running for.”

Stories such as Naylor’s are how lawmakers justified using the slots to prop up the racing industry.

A 2005 national study by the American Horse Council Foundation showed that economic impact of the industry in Indiana was $294 million per year, generating 4,400 jobs. Gorajec said the horse-racing commission is weighing whether to request a fresh post-slots study.

But the additional money and breeding haven’t translated to bigger profits for the tracks.

The amount bet on horse racing in Indiana peaked at $190 million in 2005 but has dropped steadily since to $147 million last year.

Gorajec blames the recession, but also public backlash against the sport.

He points to the high-profile euthanasia of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, followed by the 2008 collapse of filly Eight Belles immediately after finishing second in the Derby, which led to her euthanasia.

“This is a tough sport nationally,” Gorajec said, “and unless the racing industry can gain greater credibility with the public, the declines are going to continue.”

Another issue is the ever-increasing competition for entertainment — and gambling — revenue. And therein lies the double-edged sword of casinos.

Alex Waldrop, president of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, insisted horse racing hasn’t “lost its luster.” If anything has hurt its popularity, it’s been the aggressive expansion of casinos, he said.

That said, Waldrop said horse racing remains popular. Simulcast wagering and online betting, for example, have exploded over the past decade.

From 1993 until 2004, Waldrop pointed out, the national handle grew tremendously because of the increased availability of wagering. It has dropped about 5 percent per year since, he said, mostly because of overall economic conditions.

“In the old days, the marketing guy at the racetrack was the guy who had the key to the front gate,” Waldrop said. “He just unlocked it, and everyone showed up because it was their one chance to make a bet. That’s not the case anymore.”

Indiana Downs general manager Jon Schuster said two weeks into his track’s thoroughbred meet, the handle is up by nearly 2 percent, attendance on opening weekend was up 17 percent and sales last weekend for the track’s Kentucky Derby package of buffets, tickets and other perks sold out at more than 700.

Jeff Smith, the general manager at Hoosier Park, said so far betting is up during his track’s harness season.

“There are some promising signs,” he said. “The amount wagered on our product has gone up on a per-race basis.”

But it’s not all about the money.

The racing commission wants results for the extra money being invested — namely better horses.

Better horses, Gorajec said, will produce better racing and more interest in simulcast betting.

His philosophy, however, has led to a feud with many of the state’s thoroughbred breeders and trainers.

For the first time, the commission this year made the purse for open races — for which any horse from any state is eligible — more than the purses in restricted, Indiana-bred races.

For example, the purse for a 3-year-old maiden race at Indiana Downs is $22,000 for an Indiana-bred race but $32,000 for an open race. Last year, the open races fetched $18,000.

Some are concerned the shift will kill the incentive for new breeders and operators to move their operations here, but Gorajec said it is merely a “one-year anomaly.”

In future years, Gorajec said, purse amounts in both types of races will be even. He also points to a 25 percent bonus for Indiana horses that win open races. The goal, he said, is to force Indiana breeders to produce higher quality horses.

Doug Reed, director of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program, said Indiana’s racino strategy is a common one.

“I’ve lost count of how many states have added racinos. That’s the huge trend,” Reed said. “The racinos have kept open some tracks that, economically, should have shut down.”

Reed testified before Indiana lawmakers when they decided to add the state’s second track in Shelbyville in 2001. At the time, Reed warned that the Indianapolis market couldn’t support two tracks.

The state’s decision to grant the tracks slot machines proves his theory was correct, he said.

“Indiana couldn’t support two tracks, but now it’s a different story, because those two tracks have subsidized purses that have made them much more attractive,” Reed said. “If you’re a horse owner, you’re going to follow the money, and that’s what’s happened in Indiana. There’s been a shift to that state.”

A shift Mike Markos has been a part of.

Markos, 52, helps out with horses at the Cunmulag Stable in Perry, Mich., and drives four hours to Anderson at least twice a week to race and qualify at Hoosier Park.

Now, he’s shopping for a horse farm in Indiana to breed Hoosier horses.

“There’s no money left in the purses in Michigan. Racing there has gone kaput,” Markos said, as he hosed down Rose Run Harry after a qualifying run.

“We’re tired of making this drive, so we’re looking to move. It’s so much better in Indiana. The difference is night and day.”

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