RSS Feed for this Blog

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Odds and Ends

- Paul Post reports in the Saratogian that Wanderin Boy was the 19th fatality at NYRA tracks this year.

Prior to this weekend, NYRA had a fatality rate of 1.14 horses per 1,000 starts, compared to national averages of 1.47 and 2.03 per 1,000 on artificial and dirt surfaces, respectively.

Two horses died this summer at Saratoga from racing-related injuries.
I wonder whether these stats are even statistically significant - in other words, if you took the entire population of horses who started at NYRA tracks this year and put them in a field, where they can still take bad steps, crash through fences, develop colic or other disease, would significantly less than 19 horses pass away in 12 months time?

- Former governor Eliot Spitzer has been emerging from his shell of late. He attracted some attention last month with this op-ed piece in the Washington much so, that some people have seriously suggested that he be considered by President-elect Obama to head the SEC.
Yes, he hired a call girl, but so did Sen. David Vitter (La.), and he's still a sitting Republican senator in good standing, who apparently plans to seek re-election. Yes, he committed adultery, but so did Newt Gingrich (thinking about running for president), Rudy Giuliani (thinking about running for governor), and John McCain (the most recent Republican presidential nominee). [Washington Monthly]
Yeah, I wouldn't hold my breath. But now Spitzer has scored a gig as a columnist for Slate; here's his first column.


Anonymous said...

Who the hell reads Slate?

What a Loser!

ljk said...

We might be opening a can of worms, but I agree completely. Madeleine Paulson-Pickens thinks that by buying a million or two acres and turning out retired thoroughbreds with wild mustangs will result in tranquility. Crazy. What happens to a horse in the wild who takes a bad step and breaks down is quite a bit uglier than what happens at the track.

Off topic: The NYRA 2009 stakes schedule on-line via It looks like they've gotten away from piling a bunch of grade 1 races the first weekend at the spa. There are grade 1 races every Saturday at he spa this year.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but Spitzer is a bit more "slimey" than the others. On subject for this blog, how did he ever go from loathing NYRA to a NYRA supporter anyhow? What, or who, made him change his mind? One of NY's greatest unanwswered questions.

Anonymous said...

Hi Alan,

I'm following up to yesterday's session about Delaware North. Did they come forward with a confirmation of their financing and start date for the Aqueduct vlt project? I'm beginning to wonder if this thing ever gets built.

alan said...

>>On subject for this blog, how did he ever go from loathing NYRA to a NYRA supporter anyhow?

My theory was that he was totally disinterested in the subject and unwilling devote any of his time and resources. So he didn't want to deal with a drawn out court fight over the land and took the easy way out. And it didn't help that, at the end, the bidders were each fatally flawed.

Of course, Fred Dicker in the Post had heard something different.

alan said...

>>I'm following up to yesterday's session about Delaware North. Did they come forward with a confirmation of their financing and start date for the Aqueduct vlt project?


Anonymous said...

WOW. Just read the link back to the April blog string. Almost forgot about all the specualtion then about a Spitzer/NYRA "fix," with blackmail as a possible motive. That security VP at NYRA refered to in the April string must be noneother than Ken Cook, a former NY State Police dude that might have know a lot about Spitzer's prostitute interests. Cook was the guy who this year at the Belmont, said he knew nothing about the death threat to Micahel Ivaronne and his family if anything happened to Big Brown during the race, even though the Nassau County Chief of Police was on site to protect the Big Brown connections. The smell of something rotten has been rekindled.

Anonymous said...

None of those other politicians held themselves up as paragons of virtue who were going to change the culture of Albany -- change everything -- on day one.
He didn't care about racing, Paterson doesn't care about racing and abetted by Spitzer, NYRA started a whole national trend of blackmailing government into providing bailouts to rich white guys who really don't know how to run a business or deal with money and can't manage anything properly, but who know how to pick the pockets of the public on a grand scale.
SO the New NYRA franchise will someday be recognized by historians and economists as the veritable straw that broke the economy's back -- not only sending the global economy into recession and possible depression with the resulting chaos -- but also leaving Spitzer as the modern Nero who diddled with his socks on while Rome NY burned.

alan said...

>>WOW. Just read the link back to the April blog string.

Keep in mind that Dicker cited lobbyists for other franchise bidders as his source...and some of the attacks launched on NYRA by two of those bidders in particular were distorted at the very least.

Anonymous said...

Alan, still depressed following November 4, have sworn off politics for now, and haven't paid much attention to LATGeither. But I caught your post on Spitzer being talked up as SEC chief and had to respond.

The sex was not it with Spitzer: The worst part of Spitzer's career in public service was the Wall St witch hunts as AG. He had totally alienated everybody by the time he rendezvoused with "Kristen" and the sex was just the convenient excuse to embarrass him from office. Roger Stone bragged about leaking that one- the Wall St crowd owes him big time.

Spitzer is a tyrant who rules by intimidation and abuse of power, a sure disaster as SEC chief. I can just imagine what the boys on Wall St are thinking- we thought we got rid of that bastard and now he's being resurrected. We're broke and out of deals, why us??!!

It also reminds me of what FDR is said to have replied to an advisor who questioned FDR about his appointment of old Joe Kennedy as SEC chief: "Remember, it takes a thief to catch a thief", or something memorable like that.

Hopefully Obama recalls that memorable line from his long ago hero. Obama has been around enough crooks in Cook County to know their M.O. cold so I expect he will make an enlightened appointment to the post? /S/greenmtnpunter