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At the races

Racing set to resume at Charles Town

Racing set to resume at Charles Town

April 04, 2006|by LARRY YANOS

Charles Town Races & Slots will resume live thoroughbred racing Wednesday.

"We'll be back to live racing with a resurfaced racetrack and a new tote system," Charles Town Director of Racing Richard Moore said. "Some sand and a summer mix was put on the racetrack and, hopefully, things will be fine."

Live racing hasn't been conducted since last Sunday.

Moore said that live racing will now be held Wednesday through Sunday, with 10 races on each program.

"We hope to run 220 live racing dates this year," Moore said. "As far as the purse structure is concerned, it should remain the same. We're giving away a little over $200,000 per day. That figure could improve with the projected increase in slot-machine revenues and a better racing handle during the good weather months. Management and horsemen are very optimistic."

Breeders' Cup tickets

Officials of Breeders' Cup Limited and Churchill Downs announced that ticket applications for this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships are now available.

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The 23rd Breeders' Cup, consisting of eight Grade I races with purses and awards totaling $14 million, will be held on Nov. 4.

Ticket applications may be obtained in the following ways:

Complete an online ticket application. Go to either of these Web pages - www.churchilldowns.com or www.ntra.com - and click on the Breeders' Cup event logo to locate the ticket website and online ticket application.

Print a ticket aplication from the Web site. A version of the ticket application is available to print, compete and mail to: Churchill Downs Breeders' Cup Ticketing, 700 Central Avenue, Louisville, KY, 40208.

Request a printed ticket application be mailed to you. Contact Churchill Downs via e-mail at breederscup@kyderby.com. Include your name, complete address and phone number.

All applications must be received at Churchill Downs no later than June 1 to be included in a random drawing that will determine the order in which applications will be processed.

Applications received after the deadline will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis, dependent upon seating availability.

Tickets will be limited to six per household.

General admission for the Breeders' Cup World Championships is $25, with no advance purchase required.

NTRA handicapping

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association is launching a Web site where handicappers can qualify for the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship.

The NHC has become the preeminent handicapping tournament in North America and last year awarded $540,000 in prize money at the finals. The complete details about 2006 contests are available at the new Web site, www.nhcqualify.com.

The first online event is scheduled for Saturday, with players competing in a two-round format.

Round 1 contests will typically be held on the first three Saturdays of every month. The top Round 1 players each week will advance to the Round 2 contests, to be held on the last Saturday of each month.

National Handicapping Championship qualifying spots will be awarded to top finishers from each Round 2 contest. The number of NHC qualifying spots awarded will be determined based on the number of players participating in each Round 2 contest.

The site is licensed to and administered by Heartland Jockey Club, which owns and operates Beulah Park and is also the majority owner and managing partner of AmericaTab, one of the leading online, interactive advance deposit companies in North America.

Entry fees are currently set at $100 per Round 1 contest. All entry fees, minus operational and administrative costs, will go directly to the purse of the National Handicapping Championship finals.

Up to 25 qualifying spots to next year's National Handicapping Championship will be awarded through the new online qualifying site. The NHC finals will be held Jan. 26-27, 2007, at Bally's Las Vegas.

Pony tales

Beginning today, the first post at Laurel Park shifts from 12:35 to 1:10 p.m.

The winter meeting ends April 15 and the Pimlico spring stand begins five days later.

Apprentice jockey Julien Leparoux broke the Turfway Park record for most wins in a single meet when he guided Harpers Lane to a front-running victory in the sixth race last Wednesday. The win was Leparoux's 151st since the Winter/Spring Meet began on Jan. 1 at the Northern Kentucky racetrack.

The previous record for wins was 150, set in the 2004 Winter/Spring Meet by Rafael Bejarano.

Woodbine Entertainment Group officials have announced that a Polytrack surface will be installed on its one-mile dirt track at Woodbine in suburban Toronto. Construction will begin in early July.

Revolutionary in its design, Polytrack is an entire system, encompassing a specially designed top layer that works in tandem with a unique vertical drainage structure. The top layer, comprised of silica sand, fibers and recycled materials, provides a soft cushion for the horse and rider.

It is covered in a wax coating that allows water to flow freely through the top surface to the sub layers below and helps avoid a freezing or inconsistent racetrack - even in inclement weather.

Woodbine is the second North American racetrack to install Polytrack as its main racing surface. Turfway Park installed Polytrack last August.




Larry Yanos is sports editor of The Daily Mail. He covers horse racing for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or by e-mail at larryy@herald-mail.com

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