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Saturday, November 14, 2009


Just want to clarify pursuant to a comment on the last post, that I've never backed AEG's bid on this blog. In fact, I've never endorsed any particular bid, partly because of the lack of transparency which has denied us all the opportunity to fully evaluate them for ourselves; and partly because I don't really care anymore. I mean, for God's sake, just select someone and get on with it. I think that all of the groups are fully capable of running a racino at Aqueduct with at least an acceptable level of competence. It's not a particularly complicated business model, you or I could probably do it. And I honestly just don't know which model - slots in a box or a grander complex - is more appropriate for the locale. Besides, I believe that Belmont will eventually be the site of a casino which will make Aqueduct irrelevant and/or defunct (if it ever gets built).

But at this point, it seems obvious what's going on, and I would personally be outraged if the Senate Democratic leadership manages to prevail in what seems an all-too-obvious campaign to provide Malcolm Smith with a glorious send-off to easy street on Rockaway Boulevard. Perhaps AEG really has the best bid. Maybe they are truly the best choice for the racing industry, the horsemen, the fans, the community, and the state. But the state had better damn well be prepared to open up the books to demonstrate that if they are selected; show us all of the documents, and explain to us exactly why. Or else.......what? I dunno, I guess the usual consequences that the voters of New York dole out to their elected representatives for selling them out to their own self-interests. We'll re-elect them. That'll show them.


Anonymous said...

Why does this aqueduct Entertainment Grouup receive all the bad "politics" rap! They seem like a serious and qualified consortium of professionals.

All the other bidders have their "people" involved at all levels of decision making; the budget department, the lottery, the consultants used by Governor Paterson, Shelly's office, various Senators, hell there are even high level politicians from Washington, D.C backing certain parties! My guess on what's happening is that those bidders that specialize in trying to make their worthy competitors stink worse than them so they look better are the ones so focused on Smith.

I do agree with Alan on one thing for sure though and that's pick a team, for whatever justifiable reason, and get the darn thing going!

Anonymous said...

Watchful Horseman

Validity in the above comment.

jk said...

State investigates Yonkers Raceway tellers

YONKERS — State racing
officials are investigating claims that tellers at Yonkers Raceway are illegally placing their own bets at the track — and skirting federal tax laws.

The investigation by the state Racing and Wagering Board began a year ago and is focusing on pari-mutuel betting at the raceway. Subpoenas have been issued as part of the probe, which is continuing.

"We are looking at several activities in the mutuel department," said Joe Mahoney, a spokesman for the board. "The management at Yonkers has been cooperating, and the board is grateful for that."

Anonymous said...


Do you know for certain that Senator Smith has a "job" lined up at Aqueduct if AEG wins? If so, in what capacity and when does it start? Why you've bought into this "Smith's on easy street" gossip is curious.

As I see it, Smith, Sampson and Flake are Afro-Americans, sharing similar values and praying together, while doing their best at what it is they are compelled to do for their constituents, customers or followers. If any of them are comfortable recommending any other one in a business situation based on merit, community involvement, or common vision so be it.

I also guess if this were about Caucasian men of a common religion or ethnic background, we wouldn't even be talking about any perceived "impropriety." When Shelly Silver supported Jeremy Jacobs and DelNorth last time, was the sinster press and rumor mill shouting about them both having the same color skin and praying in the same church? I don't think it was.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Yonkers, have you ever seen the NYRA teller indictment that described the schemes used by these folks? You'll start going to automated machine or the inetrnet real fast if you have!

Anonymous said...

I have an idea to raise some money. Let's make every car owner in New York State get new license plates, for $50 a pop. And let's tell 'em its for their own safety. Mike D.

Anonymous said...

Watchful Horseman

the 6.31pm, Afro Amercian blog - yes again a valid point, although I'm ashamed to admit it, being an anglo saxon.

Most of the bidders, sensibily have lobbyists in this and most large state tenders, projects, so best of luck to DN and AEG and who ever else is using the system in obtaining as much political pull as possible.

At the end of the day, winning bidder, will certainly need a similar 'pull' and traits, to deal with the demanding unions and various community groups or this will never see daylight.

alan said...

Anon 6:31 -

When Shelly Silver was recommending Delaware North, the press yelled about the influence of that company's lobbyist, his former aide and confidante Patricia Lynch. When Empire Racing was bidding, the press noted the fact that Bruno's buddy Jared Abbruzzese was part of that team. When Excelsior was in the race, the press screamed about Richard Fields. So don't give me that bullshit.

Anonymous said...

I suppose you're right. It is just human nature to support those that you are most familiar with and most confident in.

alan said...

Understood, sorry for the profanity.

Anonymous said...

The group left standing at the end will either have had the most influential lobbyists, the most dish on Patterson, Silver, etc., or the least taint of their own. Or probably the best blend of the three. That's politics.

Anonymous said...

Nowhere do I see a reference to the eventual winner selected based on the merit of their plans, but rather by influence.

What a shame.

Its time to term limit EVERY elected official in the land, at every level.

Why just the president?

And we need the white collar laws strenghtened to provide actual deterrent.

I am not saying the parties here are corrupt, but the process gives that appearence.

But any corruption while in an elected capacity needs to be punished appropriately, not with a slap on the wrist and an investigation by some ethics committe.

Treble damages plus real jail time, and not in some swank federal prision.

Anonymous said...

First time commenting horseman, in response to last "Anonymous" comment, says: AEG's bad press is engineered by NYRA CEO Charlie Hayward - former DRF publisher - controls the horse industry press. Witness: Tom Precious in The Blood Horse, suggesting “NYRA run the Aqueduct Slots operation.”

NYRA sabotages any entity it feels might push them to do their job, to actually get busy running NY Racing. NYRA is all about distractions – like pulling the plug on Nassau OTB just before the Belmont Stakes! Led by chairman, Steve Duncker, NYRA’s dirty tricks are right out of the Goldman Sachs playbook.

Truth is, as Anonymous points out "all bidders have their people' involved at all levels of decision making." Also true is that AEG (and its partners) have the best interest of Racing (and the welfare of local host communities) uppermost in mind; and this has been the case long before Smith rose to his senate leadership position.

Let's not lose sight that AEG has amazing plans for Aqueduct: AEG will turn "The Big A" into a new waiting room for JFK that shines its light on (and saves) NY Racing!