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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Eclipse This


(Photo credit: The Head Chef)

(I'm not entering this in the TBA Do-Over Photo contest, but you can submit your entry, and see what's been sent in thus far.)

Once again at the dawn of a new year, I want to express my most heartfelt thanks to all of you, my loyal readers, those of you who may have recently stumbled upon the site, and even to those who may have dropped out along the way due to certain political and philosophical differences (and particular gratitude to those who have stuck around despite them). Here's wishing everyone a safe, healthy, happy, and....well, just a better new year in many ways for people and equines alike.

Peace. See you in 2009.

28 Comments:

suebroux said...

Awesome! Love the Alan the Blogger Flying Dismount off the keyboard!

Thanks for all your efforts, insight, and wit. Have a great new year!

jk said...

Happy New Year!

http://tinyurl.com/758zqx

Horseman's firm loses billions in scam
Owner of Stonebridge Farm's firm out $7.5B in Madoff investments

By DENNIS YUSKO, Staff writer
First published in print: Wednesday, December 31, 2008

SARATOGA — A hedge fund investor who poured millions into Saratoga's equine economy has abruptly stopped all new construction on his huge horse farm and wants to sell his thoroughbreds after losing some $7.5 billion in the Bernard Madoff scandal.

Jeffrey Tucker, the founding partner of Fairfield Greenwich Group, bought Stonebridge Farm in Schuylerville in 2004, and has since built New York's first track with a synthetic racing surface and indoor arena on the 188-acre farm. Tucker, 62, owns and cares for about 50 thoroughbreds on the site, considered one of horse racing's premier training facilities, and recently purchased a 230-acre satellite farm in Gansevoort.

Handride said...

Why can't I enter this!!!! I guarantee a top 10 finish

Anonymous said...

Great "stuff" on this blog Alan! Information, gossip and inside stories from the world of horse racing and politics.

alan said...

>>Why can't I enter this!!!! I guarantee a top 10 finish

You said it can't be staged, so I don't believe it to be eligible.

Anonymous said...

It would be a shame to lose Stonebridge Farm. Tucker loves his horses and the sport of racing.

Handride said...

you mean this isn't the winner's circle at Yonkers?

Winston...not really said...

Did the folks at the BC do your signs?

Geno said...

If only that sweatshirt said "JESTS" I'd be down on voting for you!

Happy New Year.

Handride said...

i've come back now like 3 times, this pic keeps getting better. Something about the jets hoodie.

Kelly said...

great pic :)

Keep up the good work. I don't comment much but do enjoy reading :)


May the force of Barbaro be with you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Alan, and the long suffering Head Chef for putting up with us, and the many commenters/contributors for another interesting year at LATG, the sport's most stimulating blog with news and comment in generally good humor on all aspects of racing, handicapping, wagering, racing personalities, trends, politics, and other areas of easy consensus! Happy New Year! /S/greenmtnpunter

Cookie Jill said...

The odds are in our favor that 2009 will be better than 2008.

Happy New Years to you and the Head Chef.

Anonymous said...

Tucker & Stonebridge derserve a bailout. Any TARP money left, Hank???

Anonymous said...

jersey joe says

thanks for everything Alan. Now listen to that dude who requests no more hunch bets and this blog will be at its best.

new year no hunch bets

steve in nc said...

I was off-line for some days awaiting a new computer. glad to be back.

I totally agree with Mr. SGMP. If divergent folks like us both endorse you, that kinda puts you in Obama's league. Heady stuff.

Happy New Year to all Mann kind!

John said...

Happy New Year Alan!

Still the best blog on the block.

Anonymous said...

Not only Tucker, which is a sad situation happening to a very good man, but a good argument can be made for a bailout of the entire industry, which employes a ton of people and is one of the few industries with a net positive overseas trade balance.

Of course, as luck would have it, their most ardent proponent in congress, the senate minority leader, is one of the fiercest critics of the bail out concept, so it ain't happening.

Anonymous said...

Last Anon post says that Tucker is a very good man? Huhhhh? Have I missed something? And to top it off, he was the Empire Racing big cheese! Bet the Empire investors are thinking, "Gee ,we dodged a big bullet there- if we had won the franchise in that Albany poker game FFG/ Bernie would be working their magic with our cash balances, the NYRA cash reserves, the NY Horsemen, etc etc."

Sen McConnell, R-KY, a big booster of the thoroughbred industry (being from KY he better be!),has already put the brakes on the Obama spendathon. Thank God for some grown-ups being in the room, eh?! The glory days for KY breeders are over as the Dubai Sheihks, our positive trade balance, will be buying at half price just like everybody else. Nice while it lasted, though. /S/greenmtn punter

Anonymous said...

now you know why Aqueduct gets about 1500 people per day on regular days of the week. This is absolutley obsurd.

Effective Jan. 1, 2009, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board (NYSRWB) has implemented a new rule concerning any winning pari-mutuel ticket purchased at a New York pari-mutuel facility that is not cashed within ten days and has a cash value of $300 or more.

Under the new NYSRWB mandate, such a ticket can only be cashed at specific designated pari-mutuel windows after the name, home address, date of birth and social security number of the relevant patron have been provided.

No other racing jurisdiction in the country makes this requirement of its customers.

The New York Racing Association strongly opposed this new rule when it was circulated for industry comments and continues to oppose the rule as fundamentally bad public policy, because it will not remedy any material harm that can be articulated and it will therefore needlessly damage the business of the state's pari-mutuel facilities.

“The New York Racing Association is the industry leader in integrity based on its anti-money laundering policies, its race day security barns, and its refusal to do business with unregulated off-shore rebate shops,” said NYRA President and CEO Charles Hayward.

“However, this rule is not about integrity; it is further inconveniencing the customer who is fortunate enough to have placed a winning wager. No other state in the country punishes its customers for holding on to a winning ticket for more than 10 days. Given the current state of the industry and the economy in general, this new ruling could not have come

Anonymous said...

GM Punter you are a bitter man/woman, sort of enjoying the fate of Tucker and his apparent demise. I've seen you post on sevral blogs about Empire/Tucker as if it is personal between you and them. You never gave Empire Racing the time of day, can't understand why not as when initially formed, the entity's mission was for all the right reasons? NYRA's corrupt ways and its political payoffs kept the organization in place. This too may someday be the NYRA's fatal blow. Did you ever wonder why Spitzer "flipped' on his original intentions to throw NYRA out in the street?

DC said...

Happi Nu Yeer, Alen!

Anonymous said...

Anon 757 agree completely. No reason to take shots at a good man because of his association with Empire, or his financial losses.

Tucker has been in this business a long long time, for the right reason, the love of the animal. He and his staff do things to old fashioned way, the right way, always putting the horses welfare first, making it very difficult to compete.

He is a long time advocate of horse welfare, having established a retirement facility upstate that I presume is now in jeopardy.

He built the first artificial surface training center in NYS at his own cost.

He was a founding of Empire, which when originally established was a terrific concept, that horsemen would run the racetracks.

Unfortunately, Albany being Albany, the orgazization was forced to do battle in the political gutter, and they made some bad decisions along the way.

To somehow disparage the man because of his connection to Empire and his investment losses is uncalled for.

It is unfortunate for him, his investors, his racing employees, his horses, and NY racing that he is apparently going to be forced to downsize if not liquidate.

Racing needs more sportsmen like Jeff Tucker.

Glimmerglass said...

Props on the 'award winning' picture. I do hope that in 2010 we will see it yet again - and pretend its all new ;>

So TVG hasn't finished a deal with HYRA? Wasn't it just about 60-days ago that the equine press was still saying TVG was still going to be sold before the end of 2008?

Maybe there was once an effort to swap a majority stake in Frank's Energy Drink for TVG (just kidding!). Oddly enough that drink, per their site, is the Official Energy Drink of the Indy 500. Wouldn't you think it would've been the same for the Preakness too?

Anonymous said...

No, Anon, it's not just schadenfreude. Jeff Tucker, Walter Noel and Co give the legitimate Wall St players a bad name. Losing that kind of dough through utter negligence of their fiduciary duties is just inexcusable but what's more is the misery of the innocent investors in FFG.

I suppose Anon will say they deserve to lose if they were foolish enough to invest in such a scam, a scam which had been talked about on Wall St for years. And Mr Tucker never had an inkling that something might be amiss? Try and tell that to those investors.

Empire's problems began with it's principals and spokespeople, and the distasteful way they did business, much of which was exposed on LATG thanks to Alan's digging and alert reporting.

I can agree that racing needs more people like Mr Tucker provided they aren't playing with ill-gotten gains. It sounds like Anon is saying Tucker should get a pass and be forgiven all because his intentions in NY racing were good?/S/greenmtnpunter

Anonymous said...

Alan it"s great to see a picture of you!
nice to see you look like all of the rest os us degenerate horse players

Anonymous said...

Correction, that's FGG- Fairfield Greenwich Group where Jeff Tucker is a partner. And there is this sentence in the lead posted earlier from, I believe, the Albany Times-Union story "....(Tucker)wants to sell his thoroughbreds after losing some $7.5 billion in the Bernard Madoff scandal." Um, this reporter forgot to insert "of his investors' money" after the $7.5 billion!The way this piece is written, you would think it was Tucker's $7.5 BILLION that was lost. The way we've been throwing $$$$ billions and $$$$$ trillions around lately, I don't think the enormity of this FGG crash has begun to sink in, we're all still in the ether.
/S/greenmtnpunter

Anonymous said...

Nah, not a pass for Tucker GM Punter. If he is found guilty of either a civil or criminal violation of the law, he should suffer the appropriate consequences. Just like anyone's favorite trainer found guilt of a positive test. My guess is that you don't really know that the money he spent on his farms, and treating his race horses the right way was ill-gotten, that's your presumption because of his firm's ties to Madoff. The class displayed by Empire Racing during the franchise process was far superior to any behavior shown by the notorious NYRA. Empire's biggest mistake was not understanding the power of the staus quo, a formidable opponent particularly if historically corrupt. Unfortunately, that is what NY racing and fans are stuck with for another 25 years. Tucker was a part of a well considered industry stakeholder revolution that kept getting stuck in the political quagmire known as Albany. For this effort, Tucker gets my praise. If he knowingly put other people's money at risk in a Ponzi scheme, he should indeed forfeit what he has and go to jail.