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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Train Not In Vain

Great news for jk and all the other rail-railbirds. The Belmont Special is back!!

13 Comments:

forego is my witness said...

Really? REEEEALLLLLY??? Dang! Mean I gotta take a few days off during the week this summer and get to Belmont. Sweet!

Steve Zorn said...

That train was my introduction to race oh so many years ago. John Lee and Joann Adams of NYRA, and I, representing the NYTHA, did make a strong case for the train's continuation at a public hearing earlier this year, and now that there's sort of an MTA rescue in place, at least for this year, it's nice to see that the train will be back.

Anonymous said...

If they can build an entire new station for the Yankees they should be able to give the Belmont station a face lift and keep it up and running.

Might be able to increase usage if NYRA would actually advertise to the tourists in the Manhattan hotels. You can not convince me that one of the biggest international tourist cities in the world attracts no one interested in horse racing.

alan said...

>>Might be able to increase usage if NYRA would actually advertise to the tourists in the Manhattan hotels. You can not convince me that one of the biggest international tourist cities in the world attracts no one interested in horse racing.

I think that's an excellent point, but only in conjunction with your first one - to give the station a face lift. It's so dilapidated now that I think any tourist promised an easy trip to a lovely racetrack would receive a very poor first impression!

And your idea is also why I personally believe that it's Belmont, and not Aqueduct, that would be a more appropriate choice for a slots venue.

Anonymous said...

Alan,

Why keep your favorite racetrack, The Big A, functioning if you move the gaming development to Belmont? Makes no sense to do nothing at Aqueduct, if all the action is at Belmont, but if this was the case, i suppose it would be best to knock down the buildings and split up the land. I wonder what Audrey Pheffer, Joeseph Addabbo and Community Board 10 would think of this at this juncture?

alan said...

Yeah, well, you got me there. I mean, I could give you reasons from a racing standpoint to leave the Big A open, and I think year-round racing at Belmont would be awful. But from a financial standpoint, I'm sure the place would get knocked down. I'm just saying that from a logistical standpoint, in terms of location, transportation, accessibility, the surrounding populace, current wasted space, etc., Belmont makes a lot more sense. In my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Its the old Catch22, build the VLT parlor at Belmont and ruin the track's atmosphere, or do nothing and let it die a slow death.

I have not stayed in a Manhattan hotel in ages, wondering if they have those little "things to do in New York" racks with flyers promoting various activities like they do in many other cities, and if they do, does NYRA advertise?

Anonymous said...

I hope it does not happen since I have a certain fondness for the Big A, but sure year round racing at Belmont is going to happen someday.

Extend the Spa Summer meet, build a VLT parlor/casino on one of the parking lots and an all weather track inside the current turf courses, and voila, no need for the Big A, at least in the eyes of the politicians.

You lose a few ponds and the attractive infield, but economically it makes perfect sense.

Anonymous said...

The concept of eliminating racing at Aqueduct and selling off some land to the Port Authority, and the rest for in-fill development is not new. This concept has been analyzed so man times by so many committees, the last being the Asset Maximiization Force put together by Governor Paterson. Duplicating efforts, both racing and VLT, along with associated projects, at both Aqueduct and Belmont has makes less sense than some other alternatives.

Former Governor Spitzer floated the idea back in early 2007 with very few takers. If it benefits horse racing and breeding in NY, why not? There must be more than the summary report released last fall on Belmont Park done by the previously mentioned task force?

Will the Queens politicians support the "adaptive reuse" of the Aqueduct property go on unopposed? Audrey Pheffer and Joseph Addabbo have been very quiet since the new round of bids at Aqueduct, so who would know what they are thinking.

I've got an idea, let's just do something!

Anonymous said...

Leave it to the NYRA to get the MTA to renew service to Belmont AFTER a holiday weekend!! You can't make this up. Oh, by the way, the MTA is raising the fare to take the train. This is as if to say, paying more to put up with the same service is something all bettors should feel privileged to do.

Anonymous said...

Any attempt to close Aqueduct and sell off the land would result in massive opposition from the local community. Any attempt to sell any more of it to the Port Authority would ignite even more than massive opposition.

Anonymous said...

Unless of course the developer of the land had the correct local political connections.

El Angelo said...

I still fail to see why a train that brings 100 people a day to the track is a big deal, but a win's a win, I guess.