As always, horse racing in the around the world is ever-changing. Each year brings exciting stories and this year is no different. On the track or behind the scenes, there are 10 horse racing changes in 2013 that all fans will want to be aware of.
1. Churchill Downs’ new prep race points system
Churchill Downs has changed their system for selecting 2013 Kentucky Derby contenders by assigning points to the prep race season. The new Road To The Roses is geared to be one of the biggest horse racing betting seasons of all times. The kickoff for the points collecting for the Kentucky Derby prep race season began in September, 2012. However, it does not pick up steam until the beginning of March.
2. Hollywood Park’s $95 million parking lot
Management at Hollywood Park has been clear with the public that the racetrack is at risk financially. In order to ameliorate the situation, the PaulickReport.com reports that a 60-acre parking lot will be sold to generate revenue. Currently, this land is on the market for $95 million.
3. Australia’s horse racing television rights are transferred
In America, horse racing is not one of the dominant sports. On the other hand, the common Australian sports fan has a special place in their heart for the racetrack that only someone from Louisville, Kentucky could understand. For this reason, Australians are tuned in to any channel where horse racing is broadcast on live television. Due to a new agreement, the Australian Financial Review report that changes for North South Wales and Victoria horse racing, “could reap an additional $250 million or more over the next 15 years from the deal.”
4. Key foal activity anticipated
Everyone weeps when mares like Zenyatta or Black Caviar give birth. However, 2013’s celebrity mare will be Mosheen. Recently purchased by Japan’s famed breeder, Katsumi Yoshida, he will attempt to pair her with top winner Deep Impact.
5. Tulsa horse racing will stay another year
The horse racing industry in Oklahoma has been sweating bullets over the past year, but this anxiety is coming to a rest for the moment. Local reports in Tulsa, Oklahoma say that horse racing will get another chance in 2013. Instead of closing down racing at Fair Meadows, officials are still discussing irregularities in contracts.
6. Hurricane Sandy will not keep Monmouth Park shut down
When the great storm took over the East Coast, it took a large chunk of New Jersey’s coastline with it. Atlantic City, home of Monmouth Park, was dealt several blows and the horse racing industry became concerned that the 2013 season would be affected. Monmouth Park was also being used as an emergency shelter area during Hurricane Sandy. Thankfully, BloodHorse.com reports have stated that Monmouth Park will be holding several racing dates despite the Hurricane Sandy damages.
7. Mid-March’s Cheltenham Festival will usher newbies
In England, Cheltenham Gold Cup Day introduces some of the best thoroughbred horses. For this reason, top UK horse racing expert Jim McGrath is looking forward to March 15, 2013. This is the day that some of his top picks, such as Bobs Worth and Silviniaco Conti, will be presented to the world.
8. Ongoing NYRA changes
2012 was a harsh year for the New York Racing Association. Depending on which expert that you get your information from, NYRA is prepared to deal with more power shifts in 2013. The state of New York feels that NYRA has needed a wakeup call for some time with Senator John Bonacic criticizing NYRA for, “horses dying on the track [and] NYRA keeping $8.5 million from fans.” Governor Perry Cuomo has also made promises to continue to privatize the New York horse racing industry over the course of 2013.
9. Illinois bans advance deposit wagering
When it comes to horse racing and gambling in America, there is always some sort of battle. This is evidenced in the recent decision by Illinois to place a ban on advance deposit wagering starting in 2013. This affects companies that allow customers to bet online by placing a deposit in their account and could sorely affect companies such as a TwinSpires.com.
10. Year-round Florida horse racing in 2013
Have you ever wish that you could hang out on the beach and go see live horse racing every day? Throughout 2013, you can keep your fingers crossed about a proposal by Florida’s Gulfstream Park and Calder Casino and Race Course. Currently, horse racing management at these two racetracks are filing the paperwork to get approval from the Florida government for these changes. If it is approved, horse racing will begin year round in Florida in December 2013.