- Highland Cat had a leisurely maintenance work this morning; a half mile in a relaxing 51.09. He's getting ready for his scheduled next appearance this coming Wednesday. It's a 30K claiming event for non winners of two lifetime, at a mile and a sixteenth. Seems like a realistic spot.
- Steve Wynn is looking for a racetrack operator for his Thoroughbred Racing – NY. Sid Davidoff, the "lawyer and influential lobbyist" that is representing the group, said that it could include entities already lined up with other bidders. Because after all, who is really left at this point?
"There aren't many left after you get past Magna, NYRA and Churchill," NYRA Chief Operating Officer Bill Nader said.Gary Pretlow, a member of the Ad Hoc Committee, is understandably perturbed that new bidders have been allowed to waltz in at this point, echoing the sentiments we expressed yesterday.
Keeneland and Del Mar are both non-profit firms that aren't apt to partner with a mega-casino developer such as Wynn. Penn National Gaming Inc. operates six tracks, owns 11 casinos and manages one other, but Vice President for Public Affairs Eric Schippers said his firm is not involved with Thoroughbred Racing-NY. [Saratogian]
"Where were they a year ago? The bidders, all of them including NYRA, did a lot of work."By the way, what's with that name - Thoroughbred Racing-NY?? How much thought did they put into coming up with that? Probably about as much as Wynn's slots customers put into that endeavor.
They also spent a great deal of money. Excelsior Racing Associates, which won the ad hoc committee's recommendation, spent $2 million preparing its proposal, spokesperson Katie Burke said.
Last week, Spitzer said integrity would be a key factor when evaluating each firm's proposal. But he might have compromised the selection process by inviting new firms to submit bids more than six months after everyone else. Each of the original bidders' proposals was made public two weeks ago, and a new firm could simply pick and choose the best elements from each of them. "Exactly," Pretlow said. [Saratogian]
- Barry Irwin of Team Valor is doing the Bloodhorse.com's Talkin' Horses thing today, and here's the definitive word on King of the Roxy (pay attention you futures bettors).
Team Valor is not thinking about the Kentucky Derby with King of the Roxy. We did not plan on running him around two turns this spring until he surprised us with how easily he won the Hutcheson. He is forcing us to stretch him out. We have chosen the Santa Anita Derby as the race. Richard Migliore will ride him, as Edgar Prado is busy at Oaklawn Park on the same day. If Roxy surprises us again, I would say the Preakness is a lot more likely than the First Saturday in May.