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Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Gate Is Closed

- Time for a break. The Head Chef and I are headed back to one of our favorite paradise spots, and I'm leaving the laptop behind. Left at the Gate will return on Saturday, Jan 13th, unless the Jets beat the Pats this Saturday and I'm watching the game. As always, thanks so much for stopping by, and for the wonderful comments and feedback you've contributed in the nearly two years of this blog, (the archives of which are listed by month on the right sidebar, or at the bottom if you're using some versions of Explorer). It's that thoughtful feedback and kind words that inspire me to keep going.

Feel free to use this as an open thread to discuss anything that's going on, or to talk behind my back (though I'll see it next week). Enjoy the races and, again, here's wishing you a Happy and Safe New Year.

Peace.

8 Comments:

Anonymous said...

LATG, I'm a new reader who's enjoying your insightful views very much. I was beginning to think that these matters were only discussed around the water cooler at the NYRA offices. Its nice to know there are concerned and enlightened horsemen out there such as yourself.

Have a great vacation. DVP

Green Mtn Punter said...

Alan, forget about the laptop or returning for another Jets game this year- Big Game Belichick, Brady and the Pats are as good as it gets for a sure thing on Sunday. Supposed to hit 61 in the Green Mtn State today- no end in sight. Enjoy your winter break- you'll be back just as new developments are expected to break in the NYRA vs State of NY and the franchise battle. Remember what they said about Nixon in '68?! "Tanned, rested, and ready", yup that will be you and the Head Chef after your week in the sun!

Walter said...

Have a great trip, Alan!

Green Mtn Punter said...

Just saw the latest Derby insanity- The Win Package- 25 grand gets you tickets for 2 to the Derby, hotel limo, pretty good seats and some 2nd rate parties, not even Bluegrass blueblood stuff. All because the Derby impresarios invented a myth about the Derby and marketed the hell out of it. Whatsamatta with the entrepreneurs in NY these days? The Belmont and The Travers are both older stakes races than the Derby, have more inherent cachet and market appeal than the Derby if properly marketed, the Belmont more than the Derby is the champion-determinant, and it is run in the Big Apple, making Louisville look truly "bush" by comparison. And this glowing praise coming from a life-long New Englander and Red Sox fan! The Travers is the oldest stakes race in North America, is run at America's oldest and most beloved racetrack, and # 1 race meet in America, besides having all of the historic and country fair charm of Saratoga Springs, Lake George, and the Adirondacks, the perfect summer racing vacation destination! What is the matter with the marketing dept at NYRA? "Myth" building about NY racing is so easy because there is so much good stuff to use, and all of it is true!

Walter said...

Hope you guys caught EZ Warrior's act in the San Miguel today. Broke on top and pretty much just strolled around the track without a serious challenge, against a tough group of sprinters no less. Not too shabby in his first appearance since the spring/summer Hollywood meet. Incidentally, he had been working head-up with the $8 million colt Mr. Sekiguchi in preparation for today's effort. That one himself re-surfaced after a long layoff today, and ran extremely well vs. a very tough allowance group. So despite the long absence, EZ Warrior has been keeping some good company of late. The usual flood of EZ Money poured in as well, sending him off as the 1/2 favorite. Those good young Bafferts sure get bet, don't they?

cookie jill said...

I nominated you for a Koufax Award for Best Expert Blog. (They didn't say an expert in what...I think Pony Playing classifies.)

Not as expensive as nominating for the Breeder's Cup, thank goodness.

Green Mtn Punter said...

Breeders Cup adds a day and 3 races, KY Derby BS starts already, yadda, yadda, yadda. I want to know which franchise hopeful will restore NY to #1 in the racing world, use some of that VLT dough to increase the purses on the fall championship races sufficiently to make the BC unecessary, promote the Belmont and Travers as the historic and prestigious 3 YO classic races that they are, and the Derby as the johnny-come-lately, and generally sing the Sinatra tune "if you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere" or my slight revision "if you make it there you won't need to make it anywhere else"?! That's what I want to hear from the franchise bidders? Is The Boss listening?!

Green Mtn Punter said...

Alan, while The Gate has been shut down for vacation, I decided to do some research on the NYRA ownership claim by perusing the 32-page NYRA complaint against the State of NY, Pataki, et al. It's posted on Bennett Liebmann's Racing & Gaming Today website of the Albany Law School. It sounds pretty damning in re the Pataki Admin's blatant efforts throughout 2006 to delay the VLT's at Aqueduct and thereby deprive NYRA of revenue much needed to right the fast sinking ship. It's also a pretty good overview of NYRA's history as NY racing franchisee beginning in 1955, fascinating reading, really. Unfortunately, much as I am a NYRA supporter, I think I found the Catch-22 in their ownership claim, specifically in para 26 of this document which was, ironically enough, authored by NYRA's legal counsel. It seems to me that even if NYRA prevailed in the ownership claim, Excelsior could just pay the $300 Mill or whatever the 3 tracks are worth. Then, if I read para 26 correctly, NYRA would then have no further reason to exist and, by it's charter and/or state law, must liquidate and distribute it's assets, i.e., the net sale proceeds from the sale of the 3 tracks. The assets are to be distributed to another non-profit at the direction of "the governor then in office...." OK, Excelsior forms a non-profit to operate the racing side of the business and Gov Spitzer directs the NYRA assets to be distributed to Excelsior- thus Excelsior ends up paying $0 dollars for the 3 NY tracks. Sounds too easy- so what am I missing here? Do we have any NY atty-fellow LATG bloggers who could enlighten us on this point? Pro bono, of course!