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Saturday, April 23, 2005

Saturday Morning Notes

- There’s a big split between the two legislative houses in Florida on taxes and regulations for slots in Broward County. While the Senate has come up with an industry-friendly tax rate scale of 30-35%,

In the House, where individual members work more under the discipline of Gov. Jeb Bush and the Republican leadership, a bill moved forward that would tax slots revenue at 55 percent -- a rate gambling operators said could thwart their plans or lead to the construction of shabby "slots barns" rather than glittery entertainment complexes. [Sun-Sentinal]
Whatsmore, Bush and the House are still pushing for the so-called bingo-style Class II machines. Even in the Senate, supporters had to defeat a proposal by a conservative Christian Senator, Daniel Webster, to force the pari-mutuels to choose between slots and racing! With just 2 weeks to go in the session, it’s questionable whether any agreement between the two houses can be resolved.

- Once again comes a story about night racing at beautiful Monmouth Park; though it’s too late for this year, it’s apparently not off the table for 2006, and that would be a real shame. It seems too that the track and NJ Governor Richard Codey, are being silent (evasive?) on the issue, and a councilman from the track’s borough is concerned.
"I'm somewhat suspicious.....No one is saying anything. I don't know why they wouldn't have come to tell us what their studies show or what their plans are."

Borough officials became concerned in November when Codey said he wanted night racing at the track. Codey made the statement before he was sworn in and without informing local officials.

Shortly after he said that, the Legislature's Joint Budget Oversight Committee earmarked $1 million to install the lights needed for night racing. [Asbury Park Press, via Albany Law School]

- John Servis is confident about Rockport Harbor in the Lexington today. " I think he’s going to run a big race, "Servis said." He’ll be much fitter than he was for the Rebel. I don’t know if he’ll be on the lead on not. I’ll leave that up to Stew." Robert Yates of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette sums up Rocky’ missed training:
Rockport Harbor missed two days of training (Feb. 20-21) with a shoeing problem involving his left front foot, three days of training (March 12-14) with an infected right hind foot, another day of training (March 25) to repair a small crack in his right hind hoof and four days of training (April 2-5) with a blood clot in the right side of his neck. [Arkansas Democrat Gazette]

- The preliminary report we've received on the breeze by our Tactical Cat colt at Ocala is not that encouraging - 2 furlongs in 22 4/5. It’s faster than Zito’s Willie Mays fractions for High Fly and Noble Causeway yesterday, but that kind of number, in itself, is merely average at best, and won’t attract the big bucks at the sale. It's a disappointment to be sure, though you never know what's going to happen until he hits the sales ring, and it doesn't necessarily preclude success. Nonetheless, with rain falling in New York and elsewhere around the country, and tracks surely turning sloppy, I think I'll find some alternate activities to occupy me today...