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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More Info Needed From NYRA

- The Racing Oversight Board wants more information on NYRA's personnel expenses before it will sign off on its 2009 budget. Citing the dormant economy, chairwoman Laura Anglin (also Governor Paterson's budget director, so excuse her if she's in a crappy mood these days) expressed concern "about the revenue and expenditure assumptions that are contained in the budget" Oh, that's all?

Board member Steve Diamond questioned a "sharp" increase in retirement costs, and referred to a reduction in cash flow for 2009; odd since the association is projecting its first profit since 2000.

But the most depressing note I saw was this:

NYRA officials also said they will continue not charging for parking or admission to Aqueduct, an effort begun last fall, because they found it is cheaper than having to provide staff to collect the money. []
That is really sad on a couple of accounts, though the thought of the poor folks who've lost their jobs obviously overshadows the fact that Aqueduct can't even attract enough people for NYRA to pay them.

Irene Posio, NYRA's CFO, claimed that Saratoga will improve over last summer's results, though not quite back to 2007 levels. She also expects the Aqueduct winter meet to improve because the horse fields are stronger. So I guess she's excited about Scott Lake and Michael Maker being here too.


Anonymous said...

I posted this in a string late yesterday, better here:

the old NYRA only transfered $5 million in cash to the New NYRA, essentially right after the Newco was formed in late september. Chances are that in Oct/Nov/Dec the NYRA lost more than the $5 million available in cash for operating expenses, this based on historic data for these three months. if this is true, then the new NYRA is broke and my bet is Laura Anglin knows this and is reluctant to approve any budget going forward until NYRA shows all its finacial information as of today. Per the Franchise Agreement, the state of NY is obligated to pick up certain NYRA exenses if VLTS aren't operating by March 31, 2009,(obviously the case) but if the NYRA goes broke before then, a rather gray area subject to lawerly interpretation of the Racing Franchise Law.

On a related note, what is the latest on the Aqueduct VLT's and the DelNorth accepting the terms and conditions of the agreed upon MOU? If this deal isn't signed and put into place soon, my guess is the political focus is placed on the proposed Belmont Park development as soon as possible.

Anonymous said...

Pure conjecture, but I still believe that somehow someway the Big A will be sold as realty in the next few years, and Belmont converted to a year round facility.

Been writing this since day one of this process, and until I see the VLT's up and running I will continue to be skeptical.

Seems both the newNYRA franchise deal and the VLT deal are far from air tight.

Where there's a will there's a way, especially in Albany, and I believe the will is to sell the Big A land to the highest bidder, build a casino at Belmont and stiff the purses as much as possible.

Pure speculation, but tell me why it can not happen.

Anonymous said...

Last comment makes lots of sense. Why do two backside rennovations when you can do just one. Why have the costs of maintaining duplicate sets of racing surfaces, grandstands and clubhouses when you are only using one facility at a time.

Anonymous said...


The state has moved the goalposts, to accommodate DelNorth's up front lump sum, but they still are, unable to come up with the funds, for even stage 1.

Shouldn't then, the state choose one of the other two bidders…..
Anyone know if there's a time limit, on DelNorth having to agree, to state's, terms & conditions ?

Can see another procrastinated quagmire..…DelNorth's 'paper tiger', enormous lump sum payment, looks great in print….only trouble is, even horses can't chew on that….be too much, to allow one of the other bidders to give us some of their more sensible, drip feed, Vitamin M….money.. thereby reaching right through the racing & community sector, over many years, & beyond the pollies media mileaged, lump sum band-aid.

Steve Zorn said...

There's never a time limit, as far as the state is concerned. Things just drag on forever.

The only thing wrong with the sell Aqueduct-renovate Belmont scenario is that Belmont simply cannot accommodate winter racing. (1) the place isn't heated; (2) the grandstand faces north, into the wind; and (3) the racing surface isn't designed for the winter. Fixing all that would take at least a year and a lot of money that NYRA doesn't have.

Anonymous said...

Again we find out why Empire was bad news for NY racing. I had forgotten that one of Walter Noel's partners at Fairfield Greenwich Group is Jeff Tucker who races a few out of Stonebridge Farm in Schylerville. Tucker is a long time NY breeder, had a 3YO sprint champ in Acey Deucy a couple of years ago. By the way, that's the same Fairfield Greenwich Group which sent 7.5 BILLION of it's investors cash to Bernie to work his magic on. Something tells me that we won't be seeing much of ol' Jeff around the Spa this coming season. My God that Empire outfit had some real "winners" in the group, didn't it?! /S/greenmtnpunter

Anonymous said...

Sell Aqueduct and its land for millions. Winterize Belmont track. Sell half of its 400 acres Apply for solar energy incentives from the fed. Build a much smaller grandstand facing east. Build a new all weather tracks. Build multilevel parking garages.Buy some VLTS. Hire some professional to run them. Do what Philadelphia Park did and increase the purses. Don't as NY taxpayers for more money. Carol