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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

News and Notes - Dec 12

- 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 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]


Anonymous said...

Philadelphia Park has done nothing but break promises, not just to the horsemen and racing fans, but to the PA State Gaming Control Board. Ballezzi told horsemen 2 years ago that rennovations and upgrades would be well under way by now. How soon the downtrodden forget.

Anonymous said...

Handel leaves and a deal gets done.

Hope that's not an omen for NY Horsemen.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Jackpot, like I commented earlier I saw the head on and could not decide which of the two winners initiated the contact that did occur.

Togethar, both horse closed the hole, but individually neither would be guilty of inteference if the other did not also close the hole.

Tricky situation, think the stewards got it right, but certainly can understand the frustration of the show horses connections with 500 grand on the line.

Anonymous said...

All the way back at the Saratoga meet, NYRA was talking about getting out of their TVG deal and making a deal with Tracknet Media.
You blame everything on Joe Bruno Alan.
Where's the blame for the Assembly that won't come back unless they get a pay raise? They don't care about NYRA or racing.
When Spitzer announced the NYRA deal, I was all for it. Since then Spitzer has proven to be corrupt and inept. And every day since the deal has been announced, there's been more bad news about NYRA's bottom line.
Time to call NYRA's bluff and get a better deal. We're the only people who will care if Aqueduct goes dark on New Years Day.
The average New Yorker doesn't care about horse racing. Too bad that news hasn't reached the Jockey Club types.

Anonymous said...

"Dinny" Phipps and the old guard of The Jockey Club are indeed an impediment to constructive change and upgrades within the industry. I wonder if Duncker still dates his daughter? If not, maybe ole' Dinny will wake up and do what's best for all involved.

Anonymous said...

Duncker got married and has a kid, but it's not Dinny's Daughter...

Anonymous said...

By the way, the deal mentioned with Philly Park and Balezzi's horsemen was for the years 2012-2018, as their current contract extends through 2011. Ballezzi calls it a "Labor" contract as the PTHA is really a quasi-union organization, in more ways than one. Why would anyone bargain that far in the future for something that may not be in their best interest at that time? He must be looking to get re-elected or something.