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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Your Weather

Weather will remain the same
- Your Weather - Dinosaur Jr.

Weather has always been a major bugaboo to conducting a race meeting amongst the mountains in upstate New York in August....and the forecast frankly sucks for the Travers on Saturday. Not too many years that you don't eventually pay the piper when the weather is good over a significant stretch up there. There's no one living beyond the hands of fate. And, if that forecast proves to be accurate, that would be a shame for NYRA, the horsemen, and all of the fans set to make the trip this weekend. I remember when Harvey Pack used to do his thing at the Spa before the races, and when it was a rainy day, he would open his show by informing his on-track audience in no uncertain terms: "You're not going to have a good time today." I imagine that NYRA didn't much care for that, but he was basically telling the truth.

Downstate here, we're sweating over Tropical Storm Danny, predicted to take a path up the east coast, though how close to land is not known at this time. The Head Chef (and I told you about her blog, yes?) is supposed to cater an outdoor party for 100 people out near the tip of Eastern Long Island on Saturday evening. That's not good! And, by virtue of that event, if it doesn't get canceled, I'm freed up to travel down to Monmouth for Travers day, where I can learn about handicapping (and setting the clock on the VCR) from Handride. So, a lot riding on the weather for all of us, though most importantly of course for those who could be really seriously affected by a big storm. So let's just hope for the best all around.

- Tom Precious reports for that there are no guarantees a decision will be made soon on the Aqueduct racino.

Though bidders were originally told to expect a decision by Aug. 1, it could be a couple more weeks before a developer is tapped, Gov. David Paterson told reporters.

But even that sketchy timetable is based entirely on the assumption that the Democratic leaders of the two legislative houses will agree with the Democratic governor on an operator to run the facility for the next few decades. Given the not-always-so-warm relations between Paterson and the two leaders -- Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate President Malcolm Smith -- such a timetable for action could end up being optimistic. [Bloodhorse]
Based on this, the new target for Labor Day seems unrealistic. Breeders Cup day perhaps?

An anonymous reader doubts that any of the bidders with interests in other states will really be in compliance with this clause from the MOU.
"Vendor shall not utilize the VLT Facility in any way to attract patrons to other gaming facilities, whether through transportation arrangements, discount programs, or other services or attractions. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, Vendor shall enter into a comprehensive confidentiality agreement with State which prohibits use of the VLT facility gaming customer database for any purpose other than the advertisement, marketing and promotion of VLT gaming at Aqueduct, in order to prevent the diversion of VLT Facility patrons to other gaming venues. Furthermore, Vendor and its member companies and affiliates shall not advertise, market or promote competitive gaming in the New York City metropolitan area."
While one would be wary of Steve Wynn and the Don Peebles/MGM group with respect to this clause, the cross-marketing program proposed by Aqueduct Gaming for its new partner Harrah's would seem particularly dubious. So, is it just a coincidence that the MOU has become conspicuously absent from the governor's website? The original link leads to this; and a search of the site as a whole was fruitless. That's kinda odd, isn't it?


Anonymous said...

Very strange that the MOU is gone from the website? Was this entire round of bids a sham? NYRA, the NY Horsemen and the NY Breeders have all gone quiet, so do they know who is supposed to win, or are they scared to stand up and speak because the head of the seemingly powerful Lottery Commission Gordon Medinica and Deputy Bill Murray are both disinterested in horse racing?

My guess is the best political decision, the best decision for the Lottery, the best decision for the facility and the best decision for the horse industry's immediate needs may all be different names!

Its been nearly three days since frontrunner Steve Wynn has done any self promotion, so either the Lottery has made him acceptable to Governor David Paterson, Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate President Malcolm Smith or another contender from the rest of the bidders seems a better choice for all the beneficiaries of the slots dollars.

In any case, the MOU is missing! Hmmmmmmm.......???

Anonymous said...

The NYRA hasn't made a peep in many weeks about the Big A deal? Not like those guys and gals to keep quiet when so many $$$ at stake. Alan, don't you know these folks?

Anonymous said...

FYI, the MOU has been off the states website since the last round of bids were sent back to the State.

I've also seen the Breeders escorting and sitting with the Gov., Malcolm Smith, the Senate Racing Committee and doing backstretch tours with the legislature up at Saratoga.

The industry immediate needs are not who wins by any means, the statutory payments are all the same. The industry needs the machines online...period.

Take a look around Saratoga and you will see all the efforts going on. This WILL happen in Sept. Because the State has to do so.

ballyfager said...

Harvey Pack is a treasure. Years ago he used to do simulated race calls on WNBC radio in NYC.

One day a longshot came in and as they went under the wire Harvey said,"Didn't your mother tell you to always bet the longest shot on the board in a six horse field"?

Anonymous said...

Nice to hear about the NY Breeders, albeit a pubilcly silent involvement. What about Richard Violette and his NYTHA organization?

And as the other poster mentioned, where are Charlie, Duncker,Kehoe and the NYRA trustees on the current determination?

Anonymous said...

I see today that Steve Wynn's, Sr. VP & Counsel Kim Sinatra, was quoted in the Queen's Chronicle. She has a storied reputation in NY gaming, as she was the one buying dinner for Speaker Sheldon Silver in Las Vegas when Caesars was lobbying to get a casino in the Catskills with the St Regis Mohawks that became a Lobbying Commission investigation and ultimately a fine. Wynn is such an overkill for Queens, and horse racing the originally intended patient, continues to suffer fatal blows.

Perhaps Kim Sinatra and Sheldon Silver will be found to be too familiar this go round as well? One could only hope.