RSS Feed for this Blog

Friday, August 15, 2008

Pre-Travel Odds and Ends

- Heading up to Saratoga this afternoon, just in time it seems for the weather there to clear out for the next three racing days. I feel a little bad about that....but not too much! I've had my fair share of bad weather luck up there to be sure!

A few odds and ends until before I go:

- As reader Late Scratch reports: Saratoga Special winner Run Away And Hide will not run in the Hopeful on the last weekend; he'll prep at Keeneland for the Juvenile instead: "Probably a good decision to give a lightly raced 2 YO more than 17 days between races." That sent me scurrying to check out this: Secretariat's lifetime past performances. No, I don't know that Run Away And Hide is the sport's next superstar. But I do know that Big Red ran no less than three times as a 2 yo during the then four-week long Saratoga meeting; and in the Hopeful and Sanford just ten days apart. Yet 17 days does seem like an almost irresponsible interval with a two-year old.....or with just about any classy individual these days.

- Former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno has registered as a lobbyist with respect to his new job as the CEO of CMA, a company which has a history of having business matters before the state. Under the law, he's prohibited from lobbying legislators for two years, though he may lobby the executive branch, including his good buddy Paterson.

However, no worries, because, as you might expect here in our great state, there's a convenient and large loophole through which Bruno can still show his love for his former legislative colleagues and possible future lawmakers. There's no law against Bruno showering them with some of the ample funds left over from his campaign account, in which he still holds nearly $1.5 million.

Bruno's 32-day pre-primary financial filing shows his largest contribution was $100,000 to the Senate Republican Campaign Committee. The state GOP only got $1,750.

He also sent $5,000 to his home county GOP (Rensselaer), and maxed out with $9,500 contributions to the following senators and candidates: Morahan, Leibell, Robach, Alesi, Delano, Renzi, Murtagh, Maltese, Donno, Padavan, Winner, Trunzo. Another candidate, Mike Razenhofer, received $8,500.

All told, Bruno spent $242,640, and most of that was done after his formal last day in office - July 18. [Daily Politics]
Even out of office and still under federal investigation, Bruno continues to be able to slime the line between politics and his private business; amazing.

- As reader jk noted: Gotta love NY politics. A call for cutting 1 bil from a 120 bil budget in a bad economy starts a free for all. Actually, Governor Paterson is only looking for $600 million in reductions from next week's special session, and oh boy.

Looking everywhere (except the mythical Aqueduct racino) for revenues, Paterson wants to collect some $400 million annually from Indian tribes on their cigarette sales.
Although Indians may sell goods to other Indians free of sales taxes, most Indian sales are to non-Indians. Tribes argue that treaties dating to the 19th century allow them to avoid state government sales taxes. But state officials going back to the 1980s have argued sales to non-Indians are taxable and the money should be collected. [Newsday]
As you may know, the tribes have a pretty good deal in New York all around, especially the Oneida tribe, which operates the Turning Stone casino for which it pays the state no tax on revenues at all under a 1993 compact agreed to by Governor Mario Cuomo. The Seneca tribe's casinos in the Buffalo area pay up to 25% of slot and table games revenue to the state.

That's the same figure that Gov. Spitzer had negotiated with the Mohawk tribe for their proposed casino at Monticello that didn't come to fruition. So, I suppose that's how Louis Cappelli was able to get that same bargain rate from the state for his development at the Concord which will include a racino and the new Monticello track. Yesterday, Cappelli got the additional local tax breaks he was seeking from Sullivan County, which were passed in less than five minutes on Thursday and [with] no discussion. [Times Herald-Record]

- And finally, for the racing fan who has everything, we have the Harness Racing Thong:

[Harness Racing Blog] Can't imagine it would be made anywhere else. Speak to you next from New York's Capital Region.


Anonymous said...

Sans 'Run Away And Hide' in the Hopefully I'll look to Pletcher trained 'Munnings' to be the star in that race. That horse has gobs of talent. However hard to beat RAAH's 2 graded stakes wins in three starts.

Anonymous said...

I had somehow forgotten about Munnings. You're right, that one was EXTREMELY impressive in his debut. Good-looking Speightstown colt.

Anonymous said...

Hey Alan, did you get a piece of Trinity Magic today?

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your being mentioned by Steve Crist as one of the top bloggers...

the best of the current blogs are among the most interesting racing journalism (outside these pages, of course) being practiced anywhere: Check out Alan Mann's "Left at the Gate," Jessica Chapel's "Railbird," Seth Merrow's "Equidaily," Kevin Martin's "Colin's Ghost", or the eponymous "Kennedy's Corner." Their authors are all passionate fans of the game, which is more than you can say for the bowling or hunting writer who gets stuck covering the occasional horse race for a metropolitan daily.

Anonymous said...

Congrats, Alan, on LATG being named primus inter pares racing blog by Steve Crist, it's well deserved! Blogging has been a great boon to racing, indeed, I will go out on a limb and say that blogging has done much to revive a racing game, which at times seems to be on life support, by creating a forum for dedicated racing fans to sound off and exchange ideas and opinions on all manner of racing industry and handicapping topics.

LATG has been a consistent leader in this trend and revival and I'm sure your many LATG readers will join me in saying "Thanks, Alan!" for creating the most intelligent, literate, well informed, lively-never dull, and humorous entry in the racing blogosphere. And speaking of the lighter side, what with the foul weather, the Olympics, the conventions, etc. all in progress, or coming right up, I would think that the time is nigh for a special edition, LATG Spa Top Ten? /S/Green Mtn Punter

Anonymous said...

NY politics are still pretty tame compared to Taxachusetts; those Bay State leeches would laugh at Joe Bruno's modest payback for his many years of public service. Time to turn the spotlight on Speaker Sheldon Silver over in the Assembly, isn't it Alan? In the interests of being an equal opportunity basher? /S/Green Mtn Punter

Anonymous said...

From Monday's DRF, David Grening in an article about Proud Spell's game win over Music Note, "But somewhere in the spacious Saratoga grandstand....". Well, there must be two Saratogas because the one in upstate NY very definitely doesn't have a "spacious grandstand".

Or, maybe he meant specious grandstand.