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Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Noive (Or, If I Only Had A Brain)

Atrios has his Wanker of the Day feature, and if I did that, the hands-down winner this week would be repeat offender Donald Groth, the Capital Catskill OTB President, who, it seems, has been fighting against the idea of NYRA being involved in off-track betting for nearly 20 years at least. Groth was quoted by Paul Post in the Saratogian of saying, with respect to the creation of the Task Force on the Future of Off Track Betting:

“The very idea that OTB could be better run by the ‘bankrupt’ New York Racing Association or the failed harness raceways of New York state that only exist by remittances from OTBs ought to be immediately discarded by task force members." [The Saratogian]
It's not the fault of empty suits like this guy that it was the advent of OTB, structured as it is in this state as bloodsucker of the tracks, which precipitated the decline of horse racing in New York at the turnstiles and, in turn, financially. They were just fortunate enough to know and/or contribute to those who doled out the high-paying jobs. But certainly, even Groth has to be well aware of role that OTB played in NYRA's bankruptcy and the precipitous decline of New York's harness tracks. And for Groth to not only not acknowledge that, but to twist the story completely around so as to actually credit OTB for the very existence of what's left of the industry is the height of arrogance and hypocrisy, a particularly pernicious combination. "Remittances from OTB?" How about pittances from OTB?

- First-time starter Lateday Edition was a close and game second at a lively 6-1 in the 7th at Belmont on Wednesday for trainer George Weaver, who I'll certainly be continuing to follow (nothing Thursday and Friday). First-timer Screen Saviour ($19.80) was another winner for Tom Bush, now 15 for 53 (28.3%). He's a son of Hook and Ladder out of a daughter by Brunswick, the 1993 Whitney winner who stands in Canada for $2500 (CAN).


Anonymous said...

Comments by Capital OTB chief are just typical of an entrenched bureaucrat whose power and livlihood are threatened. Thanks, Alan, for bringing this to our attention by recounting the background of how OTB's came into being as independent fiefdoms, and have been a leading contributor to the long decline in NY racing over the past 30+ years.

OTB's, who have no "product" to sell unless it is produced by racetracks, need to be operated by the racetracks, for the racetracks, and for the people of NY State, not for the 7 or 8 empire builders who now control the regional OTB's. Why do we need them, anyway? LATG, thankfully, has been on top of this story and reminds us when timely.Will the Albany crowd do the right thing this time?/S/greenmtnpunter

Anonymous said...

Man I hope so. since Mario Cuomo, plans and studies have been made, so maybe now that all states are in crisis mode, something will come of all the reports and task force meetings.

Anonymous said...

More State money spent on connected consultants to study something that has been studied and studied and studied over the years with complete inaction to follow.

Consultant is probably the same one hired to study the bids for the VLT parlor, they must be real busy creating useless reports that will be ignored by all on the taxpayer dime.

Status quo, every year the beginning of the Saratoga meet is an excuse for all these party's to create new press releases and hire consultants, rehashing the same story over and over.

The picture will be no different in the the summer of 2019, except there will be a Native American gaming resort somewhere within NYC's borders to complain about.

If you breed a horse in NY this year you will not get a dime of increased breeder awards from VLT's unless he is still running at ten years of age.

Anonymous said...

I think he's with Catskill OTB, not Capital OTB. He's the same guy who stated during the Pick-6 scandal that he had spoken to the ticket holder and the ticket was definately legitimate.

If you had ever been in a Catskill OTB parlor you would know he's no friend of the horseplayer. He should be running a lemonade stand.

Alan Mann said...

>>I think he's with Catskill OTB, not Capital OTB.

Ooops, that's right, thanks for the correction.

jamesp said...

Off topic a bit Alan - but then again maybe not - is the recent casino-fueled purse boosts at the Pennsylvania tracks. Last Saturday, Penn National's ten races were run for a total of $375,000., which came within a couple thousand of matching Belmont's ten races on the same day.

Penn National!! Home of lame-assed and doped-up nags for how many years now? Do you remember the "mishap" that took place a few years ago when the jockey in the lead bailed off his horse in deep stretch?

On Saturday the Penn National card had full fields of 12 in almost every race, but I checked through the pp's and could not find ten horses on the
entire card that had run for a claiming level higher than $15,000 this year.

What is happening to the sport? Wouldn't you think there is more downside than upside to a situation like this?

Anonymous said...

The Saratogian (, Serving the Saratoga Springs, N.Y. region

NYRA signal back at Long Island OTB

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Saratogian

SARATOGA SPRINGS – New York Racing Association has restored its television signal to Long Island residents served by Nassau Regional Off Track Betting Corporation’s in-home network.

The move allows Nassau County residents to watch races from Saratoga Race Course, whose 2009 meet opened Wednesday.

Almost two months ago, on June 3, NYRA stopped the service after learning that Nassau OTB had been streaming its races from Aqueduct on the Internet without NYRA’s approval, from Jan. 29 to April 15.

NYRA charged Nassau OTB with deliberately "pirating" its signal and demanded that the firm identify the responsible individuals. OTB said it had no knowledge of the mistake, which it immediately corrected upon learning of the situation. OTB says two other firms have accepted responsibility – Scientific Games, its tote provider, and Roberts Communications that oversees the OTB Web site.

Nassau OTB has filed a $30 million lawsuit against NYRA in Nassau County Supreme Court, charging that NYRA defamed OTB officials with allegations of "pirating."

NYRA said it restored its signal to Nassau County residents at the request of state Racing and Wagering Board Chairman John Sabini.

"NYRA is restoring its live racing signal to Nassau County residents despite the refusal of Nassau OTB officials to admit that they were aware, during the 75-day period in question, of their illegal video streaming of our intellectual property," NYRA President and CEO Charles Hayward said. "We regret that our loyal Nassau fans suffered a disruption of service caused by Nassau OTB’s irresponsible actions, and we are reinstating in-home simulcasting while we pursue an equitable resolution in the courts that will protect our legal and statutory rights to our thoroughbred racing content."

Sabini said, "I asked NYRA to turn on the signal because doing so is in the best interest of racing fans in Nassau County. Because of NYRA's cooperation, fans can now enjoy watching racing in their homes and will be able to catch the world's most exciting action being featured throughout the Saratoga thoroughbred meet. I'm pleased that NYRA was responsive to my request. The Racing and Wagering Board will continue to monitor and review this situation."


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