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Monday, June 22, 2009

Questionable At Best

It was with a good deal of skepticism that Tom Precious reported in Bloodhorse that a decision on the Aqueduct racino will be announced by August 1; calling it a questionable timetable given the Senate stalemate. Assemblyman Gary Pretlow spoke about a potential "indefinite delay." The article says that the facility would be open by October, 2011; but I'm wondering if that's a typo given the 12-14 months usually given as a lead time.

August 1 seems even more unrealistic given that the state also requested another massive new batch of information from the six bidding entities.

[The state] wants to know how many of the 4,500 authorized VLT machines will be running when the casino opens and the start-up dates for other facilities, such as hotel or entertainment space. It also wants bidders to supply financial projections on an annualized basis up until 2023 for a whole range of items – from food and beverage sales to how much money will go to NYRA for operating and capital expenses as part of its 7% take from the casino.
Sounds like a lot of work to do - both compiling and examining - in a very short period of time. Meanwhile, Governor Paterson announced that he will convene an Extraordinary Session of the Senate on Tuesday, with the chief judge of the State Court of Appeals presiding if necessary, to tackle an array of non-controversial and mostly fiscal bills that localities need to have passed.

- With two short-field stakes with big favorites on Sunday, NYRA could only leave one of them out of the Pick Six sequence. It was the wrong one for many players I'm sure, with Cocoa Beach running last of four at 15 cents to the dollar! Another disaster for the Sheikh, who saw his three horse entry run out of the Phipps last week. You might have thought that some of those bettors, especially the bridgejumpers (in the place pool), might have noticed how Music Note ran in her first start since the Breeders' Cup. The Phipps' homebred With Flying Colors ($13.20) is a half-sister, by AP Indy, to champion Storm Flag Flying.

Out at Hollywood Park, where the weather was dry and the turf firm, Joe Talamo tried to steal the Cinema Handicap on the front-running maiden Arcodoro, a son of the hot stallion Medaglia D'Oro. Trainer Eric Guillot was telling everyone who would listen that Elusive Bluff, entered to make his first start since winning the Pilgrim at the Big A last fall, couldn't win; but he ended up scratching him instead, leaving him with 17-1 Arcodoro, making his fifth career start. Talamo was able to give the pacesetter a bit of a breather with a third quarter of 24.48, which almost made the difference. But it was the late-running Oil Man who came wide and came home in 34.83 to get the Grade 3 win for John Sadler. This is a three-year old son of Pyrus (Mr. Prospector), who won the Fort Marcy here at Belmont in 2002, out of the Irish-bred Batshoof (Sadlers Wells). Oil Man is inbred 4x5 to the broodmare Special (Forli) through her son Nureyev and daughter Fairy Bridge; and he has an extra cross of Forli as well, so some interesting breeding there.

Oil Man is from the distaff family of Flying Continental, the 1990 Jockey Club Gold Cup winner, and what better way to start a Monday morning than with a trip down memory lane.


Anonymous said...

Could the state not finance some of the capital improvements up front so the lag time would be reduced?

No matter who runs the thing and what design they choose, I imagine there are some basic infrastucture improvements necessary which are common to all bids.

jk said...

Slots are coming to Nassau OTB. This must be the "punishment" for stealing NYRA's signal.

Gov. said to back bill for Nassau OTB slot-machines

Gov. David A. Paterson is prepared, sources say, to propose slot machines (tied to the Lottery system) at a Nassau County Off-Track Betting site — with Suffolk OTB to share in the proceeds. That would be a statewide first.Before that, the Senate would need to return to its usual abnormal level of operation to vote on it. More as it develops. This comes at a moment when Nassau OTB is fighting in court with the New York Racing Association which cut off its simulcast signal alleging that the agency was pirating it. It also comes amid talk of a racino at Belmont, which appears to be unrelated to this "pilot" proposal.

Anonymous said...

I think Steinlen would have liked the synthetics.

Anonymous said...

If the state just made a binding decision and let some professional bidding team go to work, VLT machines would be printing money soon enough. Interesting comment on the state performing infrastructure needs while it debates a selection. Agree with Alan's remark that the bidders refining their proposals have quite a bit of homework to complete before Wednesday. Should show who the good students are though.