- Reader Glimmerglass points out that trainer Gary Thomas has appealed the stewards' decision to take no action against the dead heat winners of the Delta Downs Jackpot. His horse, Golden Yank, was between, and just a neck back of Z Humor and the fast closing Turf War at the wire. Anything that happened did so in the very latter stages of the race, and personally I can't see anything on the pan shot. Can't find a head-on (not on Cal Racing), so I'll have to reserve judgment on this one.
- The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority has re-upped for exclusive coverage on TVG. The network's future has to be considered fuzzy given the sale of its parent company, and the fact that its deal in New York expires along with NYRA's franchise at the end of the year. TrackNet will obviously be seeking those rights for its HRTV network, and some people have speculated that Joe Bruno's interest in the state controlling NYRA's simulcast signal is related to a desire on his part to reward the Magna/Churchill partnership with those rights. The Senator denies that. (His son worked as a lobbyist for Magna until January, 2006.)
Accompanying the article linked to above on Bloodhorse.com is another on the future of NJ racing with its subsidy from Atlantic City casinos having expired.
“The elephant in the room is the casinos are killing us, and legislators are scared of the casinos,” [trainer John] Forbes said. “The Breeders’ Cup (at Monmouth) may convince legislators that, even though they don’t want to give us slots, they have to go to the casinos and say, ‘Pick your poison. Either give racetracks the ability to have slots or give them money.'"Across, and up the Hudson River, the NY State Senate is set to return to Albany for a special session on Thursday, but the Assembly has no plans to do so. Closed door sessions on the franchise are said to be continuing, and a Bruno spokesperson said: "There has been some progress made by the staffs" of Silver, Bruno and Spitzer.
A spokesman for Sheldon Silver, the Assembly majority leader, said he was optimistic the issue will be resolved soon. [Newsday]- Breeders' Cup chief Greg Avioli told the Lexington Herald Reader that they've had "very preliminary discussions" with Churchill about hosting the 2009 event. "We're just not as far down the road as we are with Oak Tree (at Santa Anita)."
- Peace has broken out between Philly Park management and its horsemen. After management's foiled attempt to scrap plans for a standalone casino, the horsemen have agreed to a 7-year deal which includes commitment for a $250 million racino to be constructed in the parking lot. This will allow the track to be, as Dick Jerardi puts it in the Philly Daily News, the track again, not with slots on two of the three floors. The track also agreed to a $25 to $30 million backstretch renovation.
Management has agreed to renovate all 36 barns over an 8-year period and the 12 dormitory facilities over a 4-year period. If someone used the term "horse ghetto'' to describe current conditions on the Pha backstretch, that would be a charitable characterization.
"Philadelphia Park has really stepped up and delivered,'' said Mike Ballezzi, PTHA executive director. [Philly Daily News]