- Excelsior needs to gag Steve Wynn, and soon. He once again demonstrated his utter ignorance of the racing industry in New York in an interview with the NY Post. Speaking of the state's OTB's, Wynn said: "I would . . . probably get rid of most of them [and] have bigger, more beautiful places that were consistent with the new image of racing."
Of course, while that's a nice idea, it's not something that is up to him, at least without the approval of the state legislature, which has shown no indication that it is willing to tackle the issue this year....or any year, for that matter. So an Excelsior spokesperson had to chime in with a clarification.
"Mr. Wynn's comments were based on the potential that, during this process or at a point thereafter, the winning bidder will either work with a joint venture" or a direct acquisition of OTB, bidder John Johnston told The Post.- Dale Romans is one of the trainers we caught heating up at Keeneland, and the switch to Churchill has done nothing to slow him down. Just in the first three races on opening day, he had a second, and then won the second and third! Ken McPeek also had a winner, but had two losing favorites, including Bold Start in the Derby Trial. A guy I've been noticing with a lot of in-the-money finishes is Dallas Stewart, so keep an eye out for him. After this, you're on your own down there in Kentucky. With Churchill having opted for HRTV where I and many others can't see the races, they can keep them (except for Saturday) and forego their takeout share of my betting as I turn my full attention to Belmont, which opens on Wednesday, along with NYRA's long-awaited internet wagering.
- A compromise slots bill has passed both houses in Indiana, where the House and Senate split their differences on the number of machines and the up-front fee to be paid by the two tracks. The law would allow 2,000 machines at Hoosier Downs and Indiana Downs, and require the two tracks to pay a $250 million fee. The bill now goes to Gov. Mitch Daniels.