- Penn National apparently has some serious designs on Atlantic City, with two casino projects on the drawing board.
One, said Penn National spokesman D. Eric Schippers, is along Route 30, where the zoning has been changed to allow gaming...He said Penn National has an option on a 23-acre site on Route 30, about a mile from the boardwalk.I mention this because, as you may know, Penn National is one of the partners which owns Freehold, and which has refused to sign the NJ purse subsidy agreement. I've defended, on principle, their resistance to signing an agreement which would limit their ability to compete, in the form of a restriction on their right to pursue gaming outside of Atlantic City. But this story kinda shows how full of it they are. Flush with $1.5 billion of cash received thanks to the cancellation of the takeover of the company by two private equity firms, they obviously have no shortage of opportunities to pursue in the state within the current guidelines. Makes one see how hypothetical and hypocritical their stance is, given just how unlikely the prospect of gaming outside of Atlantic City is, and the substantial capital and resources they already have earmarked to potential gaming inside of the city. Also makes one realize how anxious they must be to dispose themselves of a small potato like Freehold that can't possibly make them much money, if any, at all.
In its preliminary plans, Penn National indicated it would like to build a 100,000-square-foot casino and 1,500-room hotel.
The second location is at Bader Field, a former airport.
Atlantic City is seeking proposals for developing that area, and Schippers said Penn National intends to bid on property there.
In fact, it already has: In January it reportedly offered $800 million for the land, which it planned to subdivide, building a casino on one parcel and selling the other parcels to other casino developers. [TMCnet.com]
- According to my unofficial stats, trainer Gary Contessa has a six day winning streak going on at the Big A. He would have had two on Sunday had 15-1 Brother of Gold not shied from the whip and got himself DQ'd in the third; he took the sixth with Kamboo Man ($5.20). Another winner for Pletcher, whose Blues Street dead-heated for the win in the finale. Steve Zorn has some comments on the Pick Six and Pick Four payoffs that resulted.
I of course was watching the Jets game on Sunday, but managed to lose a little anyway. I took a fancy to Scholastic, first-time, on the grass, for Christophe Clement in the 4th. This well-bred daughter of Johar, out of a Royal Academy mare and from the distaff family of Henrythenavigator, was 10-1; I've noticed that you will sometimes see this barn's horses debut at a nice price and run well. So I was on board, and thought I had a winner until Americas Dreaming came along. An obvious one to follow up on, but next time she'll be a short price for sure, damn.
I recently mentioned the stallion Flatter, and the sire got his first graded stakes winner when Jack O'Lantern upset the G3 Hollywood Prevue; he was, by far, the longest shot on the board at 19-1.