RSS Feed for this Blog

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Spitzer Neutral on Franchise, Goes to Whip on Bruno

- Saratoga mayor Valerie Keehn told a City Council meeting on Tuesday that she was told by Governor Spitzer's counsel Richard Rifkin that the plan to split the franchise into racing and gaming parts is not set in stone.

"His statement to me was that there is a lot of information coming out of the press that is not actually accurate with regard to what the governor would like to see happen...The reality is that he’s not leaning one way or the other. He’s trying to get the proposals out there that might be potentially feasible on how the racetracks would be run." [Glens Falls Post Star]
The New York Post reported exclusively today that the allegations regarding the improper use of state helicopters and police escorts by Senator Bruno was the result of an unprecedented State Police surveillance program ordered by Governor Steamroller.
A senior state official familiar with the surveillance program told The Post that he believed the governor and his aides had sought to "set up" Bruno by having the State Police keep track of his travels.

"Why else would they do it if not to set up Bruno - by getting on him something they thought was incriminating - when they weren't doing it to anyone else?" said the official.

Bruno himself said "it appears" Spitzer and his staff used the State Police to try to obtain negative information on him in an effort to "set up an officeholder" with whom the governor disagrees.
A Bruno aide contended Spitzer's actions "are reminiscent of Richard Nixon with his 'enemies list.' " [NY Post]
- Philadelphia Park, buffeted by a drastic decrease in attendance and handle since herding its customers onto the 4th floor, is raising its purses drastically; its second increase of the year.
Purses will jump from $175,000 a day to $210,000, the highest level in track history. Philly Park opened in 1974 as Keystone Race Track.

“With this increase, we tried to address some of our key races,” Philly Park director of racing Sal Sinatra said. “For instance, the maiden special weights have gone from $28,000 to $34,000, and the first-level allowance races will jump from $30,000 to $37,000.” [Bloodhorse]
After an outcry from horsemen, fans, and politicians alike, the track withdrew its application to make the present temporary slots facility permanent, and it will now presumably proceed to build the standalone building it had promised.

- And Frankie Dettori has been suspended for overuse of the whip on the winning Ramonti during the Queen Anne Stakes. The two week suspension will expire in time for him to ride Authorized in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes on July 28. Dettori struck Ramonti 25 times inside the final 2½ furlongs at Royal Ascot. [BBC Sport] Ramonti said that he had no hard feelings, and that it was "all in a day's work."