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Friday, March 06, 2009

A Matter of Taste

Jerry Bossert, writing in his The Day at the Races column in the Daily News, calls NYRA out for skipping Wednesday's spill on its replay show.

"It was a judgment call on a particularly scary-looking spill," said John Lee, spokesman for the New York Racing Association.

The NYRA is afraid of the video being used by groups such as PETA for their gain or for television stations that never show horse racing except for spills.

But in this day and age, the video is already out there. You can watch the spill at
Other racing jurisdictions practice this, but NYRA never did until Wednesday. It is wrong for the sport to try to cover this up as it unfortunately will always be part of the game.

What will the NYRA do next? Stop showing the races live until it gets a chance to edit them to its liking?
I have to say that I have mixed feelings about this; I think both sides have a point. The replay show is not a news program; it's a presentation of the days' races by NYRA, which owns and controls the content. So I think they certainly have a right to make a judgment call based on what they see as good taste and decency. (I'm assuming here that there was some kind of explanation of the omission.) I haven't watched it myself, and would have changed the channel if I knew it was coming up. Besides, as Bossert said, the video is already out there for people to see; I can't imagine that NYRA could be naive enough to think that their skipping it would possibly mitigate its spread. If anything, it probably encouraged some people to go and seek it out.

But on the other hand, I think Bossert makes a valid point regarding the question whether if it's OK to edit out a spill, then what else is OK? And that: "It is wrong for the sport to try to cover this up as it unfortunately will always be part of the game." So I'm going to take a pass on passing judgment here; feel free to weigh in.

- Construction of the new Concord and Monticello Raceway is on hold. Developer Louis Cappelli has been pretty upfront about the difficulties in raising money presented by the present financial environment....that as opposed to Delaware North and the state with respect to Delaware North. Despite that, Cappelli had been putting up a brave front. But he's issued conflicting statements of late, and now concedes that he doesn't have the money to proceed.
The developer said he's waiting before resuming construction on the Entertainment City hotel and racino resort until he locks down $1 billion. That means workers aren't likely to be back soon.

"I have $550 million dollars spoken for," Cappelli said in an e-mail Thursday. "Can't start yet because we don't meet the legislative hurdle of $1 billion dollars."

Cappelli and partners need to invest $1 billion to reap the benefits of a state tax deal that would pay tens of millions more from the video lottery terminals at a new racino.

Cappelli says he has partial financing, but the plan is to suspend construction while he climbs the considerable hurdle of selling $400 million in IDA municipal bonds during times when the bond market is horrible and gambling resorts are going bankrupt. []


Anonymous said...

They didn't show the spill, but you get a half hour of Andy "I am wholly consumed in myself" Serling. Exactly what does NYRA pay this guy? What is his affiliation to Steve Crist? After all, he sits in the same box with Crist at Saratoga. Is Serling paying for this out of his own pocket? See, last year Serling was called on to handicap races when his on-camera pal, Blewitt, became ill. Serling was all chatty in the Saratoga box, like he usually is, and was babbling on how the "winner" he gave out didn't hit the board and that he was glad he didn't play it. But he did play something ---- else.

NYRA does a wonderful job in covering up things they don't want the general public to see. Did John Lee's job before the one with NYRA happen to be as press secretary assistant in the Bush administration? Lee is the master of spin. He deserves an Eclipse award all by himself.

NYRA banned trainer Ralph Nicks earlier this decade for injectibles. Someone with DRF Formulator access would be able to add to this if he has raced since at NYRA, but it is highly doubtful he's been back. So, the question is, if Nicks's Triple Crown runner eyes the Belmont, will Nicks be allowed to run the horse in his name as trainer? What spin might Lee give this one?

By the way, what is the legality of people like Serling and Blewitt, who must be employees of NYRA, are allowed to wager on NYRA races? Think of it as the relation to the stock market and insider trading. It's small potatoes compared to some of the schemes on Wall St., but how much inside info may be known and is not released on the handicap before the race and at night. Trips & Traps.......and Tricks?

Anonymous said...

Memo to John Lee......

Major League baseball didn't ban the video of Randy Johnson beaning the bird.

The NFL has allowed numerous television outlets, including its own NFL Films, to show Mike Utley, Dennis Byrd and the Buffalo Bills' tight end becoming severely injured during its games.

The NBA still allows the video of Kermit Washington smacking Rudy Tomjonavich in the face.

Oh, back to baseball, one of the greatest examples of hustle in baseball is Pete Rose leveling Ray Fosse in, of all things, an all-star game.

The NHL has had two players be injured during its games over the past twenty years in which arteries in their necks were severed. That was shown on television stations, too.

Wonder what Jim McKay would think of this censorship? Remember the "Agony of Defeat?" It was a human being being injured, not an animal?

And wonder, too, what is some producer from Ripley's Believe It Or Not show or some other television production called NYRA and said, "We'll give NYRA a hundred grand for the rights to show that five horse spill."

The worst thing I have seen in person was Bobby Frankel's Indian Flare dying in front of the grandstand at Saratoga. One of Frankel's stablehands tried to hose the horse down, believing she had suffered heat stroke, but she had suffered a fatal internal injury. The spray from the hose could not reach the fallen mare.

And one last memo to John Lee...the REALITY show, Jockeys, has been showing spills for the past few weeks on Animal Planet. Who has been complaining of this coverage? Those spills are seen in high definition if you have HD, too.

Anonymous said...

Well maybe Delaware North will finally back down so the MOU can be signed with another? This would be positive news for NY racing to get the project going with one of the other parties a.s.a.p.

Anonymous said...

Truth and full disclosure is always best.

raypaulick said...

I could be wrong, but I think that in California the Horse Racing Board prohibits the showing of a replay (at least at licensed facilities) in which there was a severe breakdown. If that's the case, I'm not sure what the definition or where they draw the line. It's an interesting subject.

Reminds me a bit of a discussion I had with some veterinarians about why they oppose disclosure of all veterinary and medication treatments of a horse: "PETA and other groups would have a field day if they saw everything given to a horse," one said. I asked if they can't defend a procedure or a medication, why are they doing it?

Anonymous said...

I noticed this week that Out Of Gwedda and Metro Meteor, two former stakes level horses that I have had long term watches on, were running at the bottom in Penn Nat and La Downs.

Want to see gruesome, attached a video cam to their heads for the next few months.

Anonymous said...

Re: Metro Meteor

I believe he was scratched the other night. The stable currently managing him has been trying to sell shares in him to an unsuspecting public for alomst 2 months. The MP tells prospects he's "raceway sound"

Anonymous said...

Sad, thanks for the update.