- In New York, while I was gone, NYRA filed its reorganization plan in bankruptcy court. The plan basically mirrors the MOU between NYRA and Governor Spitzer, including the surrender of the land claim, and the bailout by the state. But, with the Gov and the Senate still miles apart from agreeing on a franchise plan, it's certainly worth noting that the plan will likely be pulled from bankruptcy court if an approved franchise agreement differs in any respect from the details of the plan. [DRF] That would send NYRA's lawyers back to the drawing board, thus racking up more bills that the state will probably end up paying.
The part of the reorganization plan that really disappoints me is NYRA's agreement to drop its lawsuit against the Pataki Administration for stonewalling its Aqueduct racino plan. I would have loved to hear the ex-Gov try to explain his way out of what seemed on its face to be blatant and vindictive stalling. And besides, I kinda miss Ol' George. What the hell happened to his presidential run? That disappeared as quickly as the Colorado Rockies!
Also, now everyone - and I mean everyone - is pissed at Spitzer over his agreement with the Bush Administration over his driver's license plan. The Republicans are still opposed to documenting illegals at all, and many Democrats are furious, feeling that he sold the immigrants out by agreeing to a lower class of license and, worse yet, agreed to Bush's Real ID plan that raises questions of privacy. Hard to believe that the atmosphere for a franchise agreement could be poisoned more than it was, but that seems to be the case.
In Saratoga on Thursday evening, they'll be a panel discussion including horsemen such as Nick Zito and James Bond regarding the uncertainty over racing's near-term future beyond Dec 31.
And NYRA, seeking to act like the franchise incumbent it believes it will be, will host a meeting of the minds of racetrack execs from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware to discuss simulcast scheduling, stakes schedules, racing dates, and other topics impacting Thoroughbred racing in general and the region’s racetracks in particular.
“Although there are areas of healthy competition among the region’s racetracks, we all face many of the same challenges and concerns,” Hayward said in a statement. “We know these challenges can be met more effectively with better communication and cooperation among the neighboring racetrack operators. [Bloodhorse]Now there's some constructive, forward thinking for you, the kind that was missing from NYRA's, and, for the most part, all of the franchise bids.