- Even as Yonkers Raceway president Tim Rooney spoke about an eventual $60 million in annual purse money, more than even the Meadowlands (though with nearly twice as many dates), once they reach their full capacity of 7500 slot machines, Joe Faraldo, head of the Standardbred Owners Association told the NY Times: “I don’t believe management has any intention of having live racing here in calendar year 2006."
“They don’t care about racing; racing has become secondary to them. Racing is not cost efficient when you can have slot machines. With slots, you don’t have to grade the track, cart away manure. You don’t have to do a whole myriad of things. The longer they can get away with not racing, the better.”Faraldo is saying something that racino owners all over the country likely think to themselves all the time. Damn, that racing, what a nuisance! But that's the price they pay to be in existence and churn out millions in profits every day - $2.6 million is what Yonkers officials are hoping for. A day!! So what's $60 million in purse money in the scheme of thing? It's just the cost of doing business, and the horsemen benefit with a subsidy to which I can't really come up with anything comparable in the world of business.
- I suppose that Yonkers will be using some of their chump change to pay the $9 million fine they've been assessed by the Department of Environmental Conservation for dumping vast amounts of sewage into the Bronx River over the past six years. [Albany Times Union] Nice.
- It didn't take long for the effects of Yonkers' casino to ripple across the river to New Jersey, where Atlantic City interests and South Jersey politicians have thus far managed to prevent VLT's at the Meadowlands.
New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority President George Zoffinger countered that the arrival of VLTs in New York and Pennsylvania "is going to be disastrous" for the Meadowlands Racetrack.- Todd Pletcher's Magnificent Song will try to join her stablemate Wait A While as a three-year old winner against older in Grade 1 company on the grass when she starts in the Queen Elizabeth stakes at Keeneland on Saturday. It's entirely possible that the trainer will have a trio of sophomore fillies – including Jade Queen – in the Filly and Mare Turf; that would be something just in itself. Ouija Board will skip the Champion Stakes due to soft ground and train right up to the BC.
"It doesn't have to be slot machines, but we either have to find a source of money that will keep the purses competitive or, if not, we'd just have to make a decision to sell the tracks," Zoffinger said. [NorthJersey.com]
And the UK's Times Online reports that George Washington will gallop on an all-weather track along with a contingent of stablemates to kick dirt in his face. He's being considered for the Breeders Cup Classic.