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The management team of Lexington-based Hallway Feeds, a manufacturer of equine feed and nutritional products, has formed a new company called SportForce. SportForce has developed a line of equine products specially formulated for all breeds and disciplines of horses and features products in seven categories: digestive management, bone growth and development, antioxidants, hoof and joint supplements, probiotics and electrolytes to meet the targeted needs of all horses.

Keeneland closed its 2009 fall season with an 8.7 percent increase in total wagering for the 17-day race meeting, held Oct. 9-31. On-track wagering on live racing was down 9.1 percent as unseasonably cool, rainy weather throughout most of October pushed on-track attendance down by 19.6 percent compared to last fall’s attendance.

The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board has approved the University of Kentucky for $358,904 in state Agricultural Development Funds for the development of the Food Systems Innovation Center. The goal of the Food Systems Innovation Center is to become a sustainable entity that will provide a wide scope of research and development services. The center will help Kentucky food processors create healthy, profitable and safe food products by providing nutritional analysis, consumer evaluations, microbiological consultation and other processes to better enable Kentucky farm-based food producers access to markets.

The University of Kentucky is the lead institute in a group of universities that received a $6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the molecular genetics and biochemical potential of medicinal plants. “Our major goal is to capture the genetic blueprints of medicinal plants for the advancement of drug discovery and development,” said Joseph Chappell, who is the project coordinator and professor of plant biochemistry in the UK College of Agriculture. During the two-year project, researchers will look at the chemical composition of 14 medicinal plants. Researchers will study the plants’ genetic materials to determine key components that may be important in the treatment of human diseases with the goal of advancing the drug development pipeline.

Dealers’ Financial Services LLC (DFS), a Lexington-based company that provides services to military personnel seeking auto loans, is being acquired by Dollar Financial Corp. for $118 million. Dollar is a Pennsylvania-based financial services company that focuses on unbanked and under-banked consumers. The company plans to operate DFS as a stand-alone business unit.

A multidisciplinary biomedical research center at the University of Kentucky has received $10.5 million in renewed funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Center for Biomedical Research Excellence in the Molecular Basis of Human Disease is supported by the National Center for Research Resources, a part of the NIH that supports thematic, multidisciplinary Centers of Biological Research Excellence across the country through its Institutional Development Award program. In its first five years, the center provided support for research projects that focused on neurodegenerative diseases, cancer and diabetes. The center can support five pilot projects concurrently.