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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday Morning Notes and Nuts

Oh yeah, they're back at Belmont, first two days in the books, two days of awful weather, sloppy tracks, off-the-turfers, and around 7,200 people in attendance, combined. Welcome to what NYRA still bills as the Fall Championship Meet ("you lie!"). At least the weather is beautiful here on Sunday morning; great day to sit inside and watch football.

Belmont is featured in the Own This City section of Time Out New York magazine; perhaps a result of the recent marketing and PR efforts of the revamped communications department at NYRA. The writer got most things right, but not everything. She says, misleadingly, that "you can wager as little as $1 on most races, and even ten cents on the day’s final race." And she asserts that jeans aren't permitted in the clubhouse, and that the races are "about a minute apiece." Makes it sound like a fancy-schmancy quarter horse track, maybe the distinctive Steve Wynn design.

Then the article degenerates into a discussion of lewd horse names of the past

Horse names are the new porn pseudonym! Try two of our fail-proof formulas.

The hook from your favorite song + your drink of choice = Heartless J├Ągerbomb.

Or your favorite candy + sex position = Starburst Cowgirl. You’re set, Sweet Child O’Wine.
Huh? Horse names are the new porn pseudonym? Well, any publicity is good publicity as they say. I guess.

- The Aqueduct racino saga goes on, with Labor Day being the latest missed deadline. If news reports are accurate, Governor Paterson was to have received the recommendation of his advisors by the holiday; but, with the process shrouded in secrecy, we're handicapping without a Form here. Two of the three leaders who will ultimately make the decision were in Albany when the New York Senate was in town for a special session on Thursday to try and pass some mostly non-controversial legislation (though not two bills related to the racing industry).

But it seemed pretty much business as usual. NY Senate G.O.P. Blocks Stronger Albany Ethics Rules read the headline in the Times. With a senator mourning the death of his father, the Democrats were one frustrating vote short of the required 32 votes to pass legislation. The Republicans objected to an amendment which would stack a key campaign finance committee with Democrats. And while perhaps the GOP had a valid point (though the fact is that the Democrats have earned their majorities and positions via the popular vote), you'd still think they'd strive to avoid headlines such as these which figure to haunt them in November 2010.

The Democrats withdrew the legislation altogether figuring they'll have the numbers next time. However, with Senator Hiram Monseratte's trial for assaulting his girlfriend set to begin Monday, who knows what the near-term future will bring? This trial definitely goes in the "highly anticipated" category given its significant political implications, the sensational nature of the charges, and the potentially incriminating video said to exist. Monseratte turned down a plea bargain deal under which he could have retained his Senate seat and, presumably, his committee chairmanship and stipend which were restored to him after he flipped back to the Democrats after the coup. So it's full steam ahead, and I'll be keeping an eye on this one here.

- The Rangers have opened their training camp, and a reader sent along a note about one-time Blueshirt Eddie Olczyk hitting a big Pick Six at Hollywood Park. "Every squirrel finds a nut every once in a while, so I just happened to get lucky." On a $166 bet, Olczyk collected, according to this article , some $500,000, a pretty jumbo nut indeed!


Anonymous said...

So poor weather can downgrade the Fall Championship Meet to the Fall Amateur Meet? Is that your logic?
The Fall Championship meet certainly is not at Oak Tree/ Santa Anita. The BC's decision to run their "championship" races at the same synthetic track two years in a row coupled with their inflexibility to move the venue even when a Rachel-Zenyatta race would have been practically guaranteed on a dirt track has put even more emphasis on the importance of Belmont's Fall meet.

Anonymous said...

The Aqueduct "buzz" in Albany is the Governor has (2) recommendations to consider, both a little different from the other. If this is the case, that means (4) have been eliminated from consideration. That's probably the easiest way to evaluate the bidders and get down to the two finalists.

Whatever happened to the horsemen and breeder screams for help? Secrecy is the rule of the day as it seems.

Anonymous said...

So Wynn says according to Crain's today, That if he loses, "he'll take it with grace." Interesting, as this is the first admition from the man that he may not be the chosen one.... unless of course he partners with a NY based group with the state experience he doesn't have, according to the same article.

jamesp said...

Congratulations, Eddie, but I think it's "Every BLIND squirrel finds a nut once in a while." It doesn't make sense the other way - squirrels can help themselves to all the nuts they want.

Anonymous said...

Most squirrels around me seem to eat Acorns. I don't know if an acorn is scientifically classified as a nut or not, but to me it seems a stretch to call it a nut. Food for thought. (Get it?)