Why exclude NYRA from your list of suspects? They really never wanted anything to do with slots (or OTB or simulcasting) from the beginning. This unlikely scenario plays right into their supposed strengths - a not-for-profit who can put on a boutique meet front-loaded with graded stakes.I think that makes a lot of sense; whats more, since NYRA is, presumably, the only bidder in direct contact with the governor's office, it's conceivable that it's an idea that was brought up during the negotiations. One anonymous commenter noted that it must have originated from a politician- it's a lousy idea. While I wholeheartedly agree with that statement in principle, if this one came from a politician, I think it was someone other than Spitzer. I don't really think that Governor "What's the difference if there are horses running or not?" has considered anything other than the potential for revenue, and that he neither knows nor cares enough about the industry and the issues to even have been able to conceive of such a thing. I wonder if he could even name the bidders without referring to his notes.
And another anonymous poster pointed out that the Port Authority may take precedence over any private development of a shuttered Aqueduct site. This whole scheme has been a disguised eminent domain issue from day one. I would imagine that Spitzer would fight any sale that doesn't bring the most money possible; and considering that the fencing that for many months closed off so much of the Big A parking lot was nothing more than a big 'fuck you' encircling a completely empty space, it's hard to see what justification they would have for wanting the whole property. However, the Port Authority has always been at the center of Big A rumors in the past, so I suppose we shouldn't expect anything different now.
I also liked the irony in Late Scratch's comment, regarding the lack of people at Belmont, that maybe if we held a Stanley Cup final game there..... I know they are totally different situations, but still, with all the talk last week about how hockey was below even racing on the sports totem pole, even a typically poorly-attended and moribund Islanders home game (as in, any game not against the Rangers) can outdraw several days worth of crowds at the track.
- Andrew Lakeman has spinal cord damage, and the doctors would not comment as to what the implications are. [Charles] Hayward said Lakeman, 32, had “severe spine trauma, the implications of which is why they’re not making any prognosis.” [NY Times]