- Reserved seating for the Belmont has long been sold out, but if you're planning to go, or if you want to but only if you have reserved seats, there are plenty of them - good ones - being sold at face value or less on Craig's List. Needless to say, last year you couldn't find any for much less than double the face value.
- Several weeks after Magna signed a deal to build a $100 million racetrack in Detroit, someone has finally taken a closer look and wondered why
..many racing industry experts say the Romulus racetrack may end up being another case of Stronach's vision failing to match up with reality.Now, a local harness track is challenging Magna's license.
Specifically, they question why a company would invest $100 million in a horse track that cannot offer gamblers lucrative slot machines.
In November, Michigan voters rejected a proposal to allow video lottery terminals at racetracks. "He has a history of making promises he doesn't keep," said Jacob L. Miklojcik, president of Michigan Consultants in Lansing and a gaming adviser. "I can't see spending $100 million on just horse racing. It doesn't make financial sense."
"They are saying the same things in Detroit that they said three years ago in Maryland," said Alan Foreman, general counsel for the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association. "You have a company that has very questionable finances and seems to be in trouble. The cash flow from racing operations doesn't seem to be sufficient to justify the expenditures they've made in these projects." [Detroit News]
Northville Downs argues a third in Metro Detroit will oversaturate the market and force the 61-year-old track to close.Links via Albany Law School Racing and Wagering Page. That last sentence about the effect of casinos on the harness tracks makes Magna's decision all the more ponderous.
Officials at both the Northville and Hazel Park tracks argue that Metro Detroit's waning appetite for horse racing can no longer support three tracks.
Detroit Race Course, which offered thoroughbred racing, closed in 1998. Faster action at casinos has bettors taking their wagers to the gambling halls in Detroit and Windsor, track officials say, noting that revenue plunged 30 percent at Northville Downs and 35 percent at Hazel Park after all Detroit casinos became operational in 2001. [Detroit News]
- The Belmont will be Indy Storm's third race in five weeks, but unlike Sal Russo's concern over Reverberate being tired, Nick Zito is not worried. "I'm kind of glad we pushed the envelope a little bit with him, because it woke him up a bit".If you notice over the years, trainers like Allen Jerkens, the good trainers, do that sometimes to wake a horse up." [Thoroughbred Times] Trainers always have an explanation ready to justify anything they do. Indy Storm is by Belmont winner A.P. Indy, out of a full sister to Banshee Breeze, winner of the mile and a half CCA Oaks, so one would think he should be amenable to the mile and a half.
- A few weeks ago I posted about a Pennsylvania State Senator, Michael Stack III, who stood to profit from slots due to his ownership interest in some land that was being eyed as a casino site. Now, Ameristar Casinos is no longer interested in that property.
Ameristar Casinos Inc. said it reconfigured its option to buy a plot of waterfront land because of lingering questions about Stack's role in a state sale of the water rights to the land. [Philly Daily News]- Please feel free to email me with links, comments, suggestions, or questions.