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AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Private equity firm Z Capital Partners has acquired the parent company of Daily Racing Form, which has been covering horse-racing for more than 100 years.

History: Private equity firm Arlington Capital Partners bought Daily Racing Form in a secondary buyout for a highly-levered $170-$190 million in 2007. But it never really could pull off the digital transformation so, several years back, it defaulted and control went to the banks. Z Capital first looked four or five years ago during an initial auction process that never got consumated, and got a call when the banks restarted the process several months ago.

Counterintuitive: Z Capital's Since there is nothing we media folks like more than to discuss media, I spent some time on the phone with Z Capital's Jim Zenni says the company pulled off the digital switch under bank control, and that the digital margins are actually higher than were the print margins. That's not how most newspapers have viewed the world, but he argues that DRF is more of a data provider than an ad-driven news provider. Moreover, DRF now has a major online betting component.

Trendlines: "Obviously attendance at tracks have declined, but the amount of online wagering has increased a bit. And the amount of advanced deposit wagering has been growing at between 15% to 20% per year," Zenni says. He adds that the deal shouldn't cause too much heartburn for Z Capital's limited partners, given that his firm already owns casinos.

Go deeper

2 mins ago - Sports

Where it stands: Weed policies by U.S. sports league

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With public support for marijuana legalization nearing unanimity, and more athletes using cannabis to treat pain, the four major U.S. sports leagues continue to reduce restrictions and punishments.

Driving the news: NBA players won't be subject to random marijuana testing this season, an extension of an agreement between the league and its players' union that began ahead of the 2020 Orlando restart.

3 hours ago - World

Scoop: Jake Sullivan discussed Saudi-Israel normalization with MBS

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg and Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan raised normalization with Israel during his recent meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, three U.S. and Arab sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Saudi Arabia would be the biggest regional player to sign onto the "Abraham Accords" peace agreement with Israel, and such a major breakthrough would likely convince other Arab and Muslim countries to follow suit.

Tech's leaky world

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Tech companies are learning what everyone in Washington already knows: Leaks of confidential info are inevitable, and "plumbing" operations to close them rarely work.

Why it matters: Most tech firms talk up the power of transparency but prefer to keep details of their operations secret from competitors and the public. Researchers, regulators and the media are increasingly relying on information provided by dissident employees and whistleblowers to see inside companies' workings.