Aqueduct slots get back on track.
At least according to this report in the NY Daily News.
All bids should be received by today and vendors will be required to pay money upfront, said state Sen. Joseph Addabbo, whose district includes the underused racetrack.An ambitious goal indeed considering the years of delay. Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer noted the lack of support for slots at Belmont in the Assembly (meaning, by Sheldon Silver), and explained: "Aqueduct is the home of winter racing. It's centrally located. The train stops right there."
“By March 31, we’ll see what kind of bids are out there,” Addabbo said Friday. “We can’t start the [request for proposals] process all over again. Hopefully, this year, we’ll see work and money.”
With all due respect, I think that's an argument that Assemblywoman Pheffer doesn't want to make. Belmont clearly has the advantage in that respect with the Long Island Railroad link from Penn Station in Manhattan. Ask the average Manhattanite if he or she would be willing to take the hour-plus ride on the A train to Aqueduct, and they might look at you as if you asked them if they wanted to spend some quality time in the local OTB.
With the budget resolved...at least in the minds of the three Democratic leaders...perhaps we'll get some more definitive news on the Big A in the next few weeks. Attention is also turning to the plan to save NYC transit riders from the draconian fare hikes and service cuts - including the planned phase-out of that Belmont link - promised by the MTA if no bailout plan is reached in Albany. However, Governor Paterson said today that tolls on the East and Harlem River bridges, a key component of the Ravitch plan, are off the table. Back on January 27, I wrote on this site that the plan to toll those bridges has no shot. And that's just part of my continuing effort, given the rarity of recent successful racing picks, to point out that I am sometimes right about some things.