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Friday, November 18, 2005

News and Other Crap - Nov 18

- Well, Highland Cat did not draw into Saturday’s ninth race – so much for his turf debut. While I’m going to be out of town and I’m glad that I won’t be missing it, there are no more grass races for him in New York this year, so overall it’s a disappointment. Waiting word on what’s next.

- What’s next for NYRA remains to be seen in the wake of their cool reception towards the recommendations made by the state’s Oversight Board as to how they should deal with their financial crisis. As expected, raising the takeout, a non-starter as far as NYRA goes, was key among the suggestions, which also include deferring their NTRA dues, which would save $3.3 million over the next 13 months. I don’t imagine they consulted NTRA about that!

Other recommendations, and they are just that and have no binding authority, include negotiating a cash advance from VLT partner MGM, renegotiating simulcast contracts, settling lawsuits against NYC OTB and Finger Lakes that the board feels stand in favor of NYRA, selling their stake in Equibase, and monetizing their Belmont Stakes contract with ABC. The latter would involve finding an investor to front cash in anticipation of future revenues, which would be returned with interest.

NYRA wouldn’t even comment on the recommendations, about which the board demanded a response by Nov 28. "It is becoming a bit of a circus and we're not going to respond to a letter sent to Charlie Hayward from the oversight board. We're not going to play this out in the media,'' said Bill Nader [Bloodhorse]

Nader also would not comment on NYRA’s response to the Racing and Wagering Board regarding the art sale; but the catalog including the paintings is once again posted on the Sotheby’s website, and NYRA has shown no sign of backing down on this.

The idea of racing in New York shutting down is something that seems unthinkable; yet, some horsemen are starting to have serious concerns.

"It's almost like a slow death here, watching this happen," said Alan Foreman, lawyer for the New York State Thoroughbred Horsemens' Association.

He said everyone from backstretch personnel to trainers and owners are worried NYRA may close its Aqueduct meet, which is supposed to run all winter.

"We're all becoming concerned that that could happen here. I represent the people whose livelihood depends on that racetrack opening every day," Foreman said. [Albany Times-Union]
Gee, perhaps we’ll all have to start playing poker instead. I’ve written things here in the past, such as calling the vice-president of the United States a ‘lying prick,’ about which I’ve braced myself for negative reactions from readers, but it took my calling poker ‘crap’ to finally elicit such a respone. Reader David Rex replied (in capital letters, no less):
THAT CRAP GIVES YOU GREAT ODDS AND A 10% CHANCE OF BEATING YOUR COMPETITION IF YOU ARE GOOD AT FOLDING W/A GOOD BUT NOT the WINNING HAND.
That may very well be true; I have no knowledge as to which game gives one a better chance of winning, and I have nothing against those who enjoy the game and/or find success with it. My aversion to poker has to do more with the fact that I feel that its popularity on TV is merely part of the cultural abyss of reality programs we presently find ourselves in, as viewers gravitate towards shows which are based on real people lying to and deceiving others. I have no more desire to watch some pompous ass wearing sunglasses to conceal his eyes try to fake another out of his money with a weak hand than I do to watch cruel pranks such as those on repulsive shows such as Punk’d. Perhaps I’m being oversensitive, jealous of poker's popularity as compared to racing, or carrying my hatred for reality TV too far, but it all just rings the same to me. No offense to true poker lovers intended.

2 Comments:

Tote Board Brad said...

Once you get hate mail from the green visor set, you know you've arrived as a full-on publication. Most of those guys can't even read! Although I agree with the lad that poker offers better odds (read: lower takeout and less skilled opponents) and rewards skill more readily, it doesn't begin to compare with the far more complex endeavor of handicapping. With the greater learning curve comes greater reward.

I loved that you called out Merv the Fascist with his ridiculous characterization of Beyer Speed Figures and for generally being an idiot. He calls himself a horseman? And, If Watchmaker loathes those anointing horses as "great" too liberally, he must nearly vomit each time he passes Haskin's office.

davidrex said...

Didn't realize I was in upper case till I read it on your blog...sloppy..sloppy.
Seems to me your anger should be directed at drf.(didn't they endorse Cheney?)
No better way to spend a few hours on-line than w/a good hand and showing good form.