Santa Anita Park wins Simulcast Award honors

September 27, 2016 - Santa Anita Park was declared the winner of this year’s Simulcast Award at the 24th annual International Simulcast Conference in New Orleans, La. The venerable Southern California track previously won the award in 2000, 2001 and 2015.

The Simulcast Award, sponsored by American Teletimer Corp. and ONTrack Media and Entertainment, honors excellence in the presentation of a racetrack’s live race product to its simulcast outlets. A panel of five judges selected the winner as best among the 10 North American and international racetracks entered for consideration.

The judges cited Santa Anita’s readable display which makes the most of available screen space without resorting to flashy or jittery moving elements, along with a smooth, unobtrusive scrolling tempo. One judge said: “Their graphics package is clear, bright and easy to read...the best graphics package in North America in my view”, while another noted that the post race screen is great for including everything – order of finish, fractions and payouts.

Keith Brackpool, Chairman of Santa Anita Park said, “We are honored to receive this prestigious award for the fourth time. The landscape of producing a simulcast signal is an ever evolving one and we strive to be on the leading edge. We are very proud to win in consecutive years as we are constantly seeking to improve our signal for our customers by adding camera angles and fine-tuning the graphic look. We also thank our production company, Pegasus Communications, for their partnership in producing Santa Anita’s simulcast signal.”

The 10 track entries were the actual simulcast audio and video transmission of a single race sent to wagering outlets. Each entry included the pre-race features, odds, will-pays, commentaries, the actual running of the race, the results, and post-race features.

The winner had noteworthy competition in this very close race from Keeneland and Addington Raceway in New Zealand, with Del Mar, Saratoga and Woodbine also receiving votes. Each received first, second or third-place votes on several ballots.

Previous winners of the award are Churchill Downs (1997), Turfway Park (1998), Penn National (1999), Santa Anita Park (2000-01, 2015), Hollywood Park (2002), Keeneland (2003, 2008-9, 2011-4), Los Alamitos (2007), Del Mar Thoroughbred Club (2005), and Woodbine Entertainment Group (2004, 2006-7, 2010, 2012).

The International Simulcast Conference is hosted by the Thoroughbred Racing Associations and Harness Tracks of America.

NYRA recognized at Simulcast Conference

September 27, 2016 - The New York Racing Association (NYRA) was recognized for extraordinary achievement in daily racing presentation for its ground-breaking production of Saratoga Live at the 24th annual International Simulcast Conference in New Orleans, La.

Saratoga Live, a two and a half hour program airing on race days during the Saratoga live Thoroughbred meet on Fox Sports 2, as well as regional networks Altitude and MSG+, launched July 22 and was broadcast to a regional and national audience of 65 million homes.

TRA Executive Vice President Chris Scherf noted, “NYRA’s investment and commitment to produce a network quality sports presentation was an exceptional undertaking in the racing industry.”

The show centered on the Pick 4, which consisted of the last four races each day, including the feature, with live racing commentary from a talented team of handicappers and racing experts. Along with in-depth handicapping analysis, numerous pre-production features included profiles on individual horses and interviews with trainers and owners to give the viewers a sense of the Saratoga experience.

David Nathanson, the head of Business Operations for Fox Sports Media Group, told racing writer Bob Ehalt in July: “NYRA is making a huge investment in this show and we’re happy to be part of it. We believe in Thoroughbred racing and believe there can be a growth of the audience for the show.”

The International Simulcast Conference is hosted by the Thoroughbred Racing Associations and Harness Tracks of America, in association with the American Greyhound Track Operators Association.

Castellano Passes $18 Million Mark
September 19, 2016 -  Mark Casse, who saddled Mississippi Delta to win the $350,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint at Kentucky Downs Saturday, moved into third in the North American trainer standings with $11,264,006 in current year purses.

Javier Castellano remains atop the North American jockey standings with $18,093,503 in current year purses.

Jose Ortiz is second with $16,731,258 and Irad Ortiz, Jr. is third with $16,682,632.

Todd Pletcher leads trainer standings with $16,308,734.

Chad Brown is second with $15,134,287 and Mark Casse is third with $12,000,136.

California Chrome continues to lead the equine standings with $6,930,000 and Nyquist is second with $3,565,600. Exaggerator is third with $2,588,000.

Equine earnings are for all starters of at least one race in North America and include earnings from international races. Trainer and jockey standings are for North American-based individuals but include earnings from international races.

Click here for the leaders through September 18, 2016.

Notable News:

Parx purses boosted during Fall Festival

09/28/2016 11:50AM
By Jim Dunleavy
Daily Racing Form

Sam Elliott, director of racing at Parx, Elliott is hoping that the quality of the field for this year’s Pennsylvania Derby, won by Connect, will earn the race a Grade 1 ranking from the American Graded Stakes Committee when it meets later this year.

The second annual Fall Festival of Racing at Parx begins Saturday. Overnight purses during the festival will be increased 50 percent and average between $450,000 and $470,000 a day, according to Sam Elliott, the track’s director of racing. The festival runs through Oct. 25.

On Saturday, a third-level optional $40,000 claiming race at six furlongs has a purse of $80,000. A $5,000 claiming sprint earlier on the card has a purse of $31,000.

“We’re hoping for stronger business and to up the quality of our races substantially,” Elliott said. “We want to highlight the better horses in the region, increase our field size, and get people from around the area participating here.”

Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau:

In January 1946, the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau (TRPB) was incorporated as a private investigative agency whose principal mission was to address issues of integrity and security in the Thoroughbred horse racing industry. A wholly-owned subsidiary of the TRA, TRPB represents a unified effort by TRA-member associations to maintain high standards, protect the legitimate business interests and integrity of the sport, and foster and maintain public confidence.

Upcoming Industry Events:
  Event Date
* Equine Industry Conference
Embassy Suites, Lexington, KY
October 17-18, 2016
* Coalition of State Horse Councils
Hyatt Place Kansas City Airport, Kansas City, MO
October 28-30, 2016
  American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention
Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL
December 3-7, 2016
* Global Symposium on Racing & Gaming
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Tucson, AZ
December 5-7, 2016
* Jockeys' Guild Assembly
MGM Grand, Las Vegas NV
December 11-13, 2016
* Eclipse Awards
Gulfstream Park, Hallandale Beach, FL
January 21, 2017
* Pan American Conference
(TBA) Washington, DC
May 17-20, 2017
Fred Russell-Grantland Rice TRA Sports Writing Scholarship

The Fred Russell-Grantland Rice Scholarship, begun in 1956, originally was named in honor of the late Grantland Rice, a Vanderbilt alumnus and one of the best known sports writers of the 20th century. In 1986, the name was changed to also honor the late Fred Russell, another Vanderbilt alumnus who helped guide the scholarship and its recipients. A $500,000 grant was made on behalf of the TRA in 1986 to ensure the future of this valuable stipend. Click here for a list of previous winners.

The scholarship, co-sponsored by Vanderbilt, is awarded annually to an entering freshman at Vanderbilt who plans a career in sports journalism. In order to apply, high school seniors must apply for admission and complete the online Cornelius Vanderbilt scholarship application. Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships, Vanderbilt University, 2309 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203-1721; (615) 322-3591 or email

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