- The Times reported this morning on a flurry of last minute activity in the New York legislature as the session comes to a close today. There was no mention of any bills regarding the franchise; only of the one to lower the taxes on the state's racinos in favor of more money for marketing. That proposed law is apparently still stalled in the Assembly, and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, who as you may know is the chairman of the Committee on Racing and Wagering, said: “Usually, businesses pay for their own marketing....I don’t think that’s a price worth paying to save someone who made a bad business deal."
My answer to that would be that usually, businesses don't get bailed out by slot machines and usually, businesses aren't taxed at rates over 60%. In short, this is not a usual business situation. While I understand that Mr. Pretlow is concerned about a loss of education revenue, and his point about bad business decisions is well-taken, the idea is that more revenue for marketing will enable the racinos to better compete, and in the long run produce even more money for the state, even at a lower rate. In any event, the racinos won't produce any revenue at all if they're out of business.
Tom Precious, reporting for Bloodhorse.com, confirms today that efforts to resolve the NYRA franchise situation, as expected, will not happen before legislators leave town. There's talk of a special session in July, but far more time would be needed if they are going to do this the right way, i.e., addressing the matter of the OTB's that compete with the tracks.
- An anonymous commenter wrote about the use of the whip in this country, citing rules against excessive whipping in England. Indeed, just the other day, Michael over at Curb Your Enthusiasm was watching the races from Royal Ascot, and reported that there was an inquiry regarding Frankie Dettori's use of the whip on Ramonti, the winner of the Queen Anne Stakes (with George Washington rallying to finish a close 4th). The result stood, but there are very specific rules regarding the whip in the UK. You can find them here, on the Horseracing Regulatory Authority site.
The HRA has asked Stewards of Meetings to consider holding an enquiry into any case where a rider has used his whip in such a way as to cause them concern and publish the following examples of uses of the whip which may be regarded as improper riding:It's worth reading the whole page for some other interesting rules; for example, a rider is supposed to show the whip to the horse and give it time to respond before using it. I wonder if there are any rules regarding whipping at all in this country, other than using it past the finish line?
* to the extent of causing injury;
* with the whip arm above shoulder height;
* rapidly without regard to their stride, i.e. twice or more in one stride;
* with excessive force;
* without giving the horse time to respond.
Hitting horses which are:
* showing no response;
* out of contention;
* clearly winning;
* past the winning post.
Hitting horses in any place except:
* on the quarters with the whip in either the backhand or forehand position;
* down the shoulder with the whip in the backhand position;
* unless very exceptional circumstances prevail.
* with excessive frequency.
And reader Mr. Ed brought up an interesting point about yesterday's DQ which threw some bettors (including he) for a loop:
The only question, and the reason I think it took so long to adjudicate, was whether the final and most severe contact occurred before or after the finish line.True, the head-on angle I saw doesn't really address that. But I think that Corny V could, or at least should, be facing a suspension even if the stewards had decided that the contact happened after the wire.