Sunday, July 6, 2008

Victory at Ellis Park -- and Calder?

My previous post, using the brief closure of Ellis Park as the lead-in for a discussion of horsemen's attempts to win a fair share of simulcasting revenue, has, happily, been superseded by events. The racing press is reporting that the Ellis horsemen have been successful in negotiating a deal for a fair share -- 6% of handle or one-third of the takeout, whichever is higher -- of revenue from advance deposit wagering (ADW) sites that accept bets on the Ellis Park races. That's exactly what the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group has been seeking, so far without success, in its negotiations with tracks owned by Churchill Downs Inc. and other corporate powers. As a result of the agreement, Ellis Park will reopen Friday, July 11th.

I've updated my previous post to reflect the Ellis Park agreement. This is an important victory for fairness, and for the horsemen.

Also, the press is reporting that horsemen have reached an agreement with Calder, which is owned by Churchill Downs, Inc., covering the contributions to purses both from simulcasting and the soon to be installed slot machines. No details are yet available, but it's another positive sign.

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