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Monday, November 02, 2009

Let's Try This Again (Again)

Governor Paterson has issued yet another request for "final" offers from the six bidders for the Aqueduct racino, with a deadline of Nov 6; this came to me from a person with knowledge of the deliberations, and was then confirmed in a report by Tom Precious on Bloodhorse.com. Here, Precious also confirms the information I reported here last week regarding the Senate Democrats' support of the Aqueduct Entertainment Group. I think I deserved one of those "as first reported by the blog Left at the Gate" credits on that one, doncha think?

The letter includes an important caveat: details on how the bidders would be able to pay the state $200 million within 30 days of signing a deal.

The new demand would, on the surface, knock some of the bidding groups out of contention because their offers do not include such quick payments to the state. But the letter from the governor’s counsel, Peter Kiernan, was being interpreted by bidders as a final chance to reconfigure their previous offers to ensure the big upfront payment can be made.

Moreover, the letter from Kiernan said bidders, by Nov. 6, must provide “conclusive evidence” how they can ensure payment of “$200 million or more” to the state within 30 days of signing a memorandum of understanding for the casino project. [Bloodhorse.com]
Seems almost like a partial do-over, some two months after the Labor Day weekend on which many of us anticipated a final decision.

Via reader jk comes this press release from Penn National regarding an agreement with the hotel union, alluded to in the Bloodhorse report last week; as well as a partnership with Russell Simmons’ Rush Communications of NYC.
The agreement with Russell Simmons’ Rush Communications of NYC brings together Penn National’s unparalleled financial stability and liquidity, role as one of the nation’s largest investors in the re-development of pari-mutuel facilities and operator of successful horse racing facilities, with Rush’s local resources, community advocacy and focus on corporate social responsibility. [Yahoo]
This is the first attempt I'm aware of by Penn National to involve a local and/or minority group in its bid. The group still appears to lack any local political entanglements though, which might help its chances as a safe, neutral choice, and one with ample experience, plenty of cash and a solid balance sheet.

8 Comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.forbes.com/2009/07/15/gambling-bad-checks-personal-finance-informer-freehold-raceway.html

Penn National comes with plenty of baggage. Whatever happened in this above litigation coming from the gambler at Freehold Raceway(jointly owned by P.Nat and the Philly Park group) that suggested he was permitted to keep passing bad checks on his parimutual credit wagers until his gambling debt grew to over .5 million bucks?

I can't belive that Aqueduct could become the next Charlestown races! They may have the $$$ but go to one of their racinos and you'll get the picture.

Anonymous said...

alan,
so your source provides inside info to Precious as well? Every one of the three men; Paterson, Silver and Sampson surely have a favorite bidding team, just like Shelly Silver and Governor Paterson had the last time with Delaware North, so that angle is more gossip than substance if you ask me. but, you do get 'stuff' before some that's for certain!

Sunny Jim said...

So it's Breeders Cup week. Jim Mazur is an interesting cat when he gets into his racing stats. I was looking at his Breeders Cup analyses.

The ironic thing is that the crushed plumbing supply parts they run on at Santa Anita produced by far the chalkiest Breeders Cup of this decade last year. The early nineties were way more chalky than '00 to '07, or '98 to '07 were.

Mazur's list of hyped Europeans that have flopped as co-favorites in past California Breeders Cups is pretty formidable (though there have been longer-shot Europeans that have won there).

It was 90 degrees there today, and expected to still be around 80 at the end of the week, will that have an effect on horses from Northern climes? Will there be a home field advantage for the California horses? Remember two years ago in the rain at Monmouth, when 8 of the 9 Saturday winners were New York-area stabled and had mud experience?

Here is a brief sum-up of some of the stats from the past decade:

In the CLASSIC, 9 of the past 11 years have produced a 'double digit' win price, and it's about 50-50 in the 25-year history of the race that the winner will not be one of the three post-time favorites (the second and third betting choice are both just 2 for 25).

In the TURF, 5 of the last 6 years have produced double-digit winners.

In the TURF MILE, the one single-digit win price this decade came last year.

In the JUVENILE, '07 and '08 had single-digit winners, breaking a streak of 8 straight years before that with double-digit winners.

The SPRINT has been the chalkiest of Saturday's races, with 7 of 10 single-digit winners.

If you want to bet chalk, Friday's races might be better according to the stats, although a couple of Friday's races have only been around a couple of years.

In the JUVENILE FILLIES, the post-time favorite has won the past 7 years.

And will there be anybody here who will be betting against Zenyatta? She only paid $3 last year and might not fetch that much this year. I even forget what they call that race now....The Race Zenyatta Is Running In.

Cheers.

McCarron said...

Sunny Jim, the pundits show their true colors this time of year....To wit, I have to admit I don't regularly pay attention to Andy Serling, but I happened to catch him on Thoroughbred weekly on MSG/MSG+/MSG-/MSG12 (it was on some damn MSG). This was the BC Preview Show and the guy could not have been more sickening about his disdain for synthetic surfaces. Plastics this and fake turf that and even went as far as to say that synthetics allow marginal horses to win. "Marginal" based on what lense? Keep in mind, these surfaces are not dirt....therefore accomplished dirt horses or even accomplished turf horses for that matter may not take to them. Marginal on one surface could be brilliant on others. Some hall of fame turf horses didn't take to dirt and vice versa......Keeneland, which he seemed particularly ambivalent toward, rarely rewards cheap speed. Distance cutbacks, fitness, previous poly form, and other handicapping elements are more important there than on dirt surfaces. Speed figures, a function of final time, are much less important. A lot of people hate this and they are entitled to their opinions.

I'll give him credit for having a strong opinion, but is the BC Preview show the right forum to have oral diarrhea about your preference for dirt, you know, the kind God created for Zito? A couple of comments seem reasonable; the entire show was overkill.

The synthetic haters need to keep a few things in mind: (a) not all synthetics are the same. They vary from track to track as much as dirt surfaces do. Keeneland and Santa Anita do not play the same anymore than the main track at Belmont and Gulfstream are the same. Blanket statements about synthetics are feeble-minded and tiresome.

I can understand people are in a tizzy (and not Cee's) about the BC on a synthetic surface two years in a row which puts a lot of brilliant and fast animals on the sidelines. I get that. Instead of making gross generalizations about surfaces and whining on MSG65 on one of the two big racing weeks of the year, it would be nice to pretend it doesn't make your skin crawl, smile, and make some ROI negative selections for the general public to enjoy when a casual fan or two may actually be looking for some guidance.

Sunny Jim said...

McCarron, points well taken. That's why I said it was ironic that for all the carping about the surface, last year produced the chalkiest Breeders card in years. Granted, some contenders stayed home, as you say, but the dirt at Belmont, Churchill, the old Santa Anita, Lone Star saw form go out the window in race after race, if you just go by betting odds.

At Arlington that one year, the hacker thieves were the only ones that picked 6. Your guess was as good as Eggsie Goldberg's.

I am anxious to see what happens this year - will form hold up again or will shit be pulled out of the clouds? It's what makes the day(s) so interesting.

Anonymous said...

Sunny, thanks for the stats.

I find the Sprint stat completely counter intuitive.

Is it just urban legend that the Sprint is the MOST DIFFICULT race to predict, pure crap shoot?

Almost every handicapper makes this assertion but based on your stats that appears completely false.

El Angelo said...

The Sprint is usually boom or bust on prices. We've had five favorites or close to being favorites this decade (Kona Gold, Orientate, Speightstown and Midnight Lute 2x). And then there are the four price horses: Squirtle Squirt, Cajun Beat, Silver Train and Thor's Echo. What's notable about those four bombs is the first two came in races with a favorite who wasn't a 6 furlong specialist (Left Bank and Aldebaran) while the latter two were against wildly overbet 3yos (Lost in the Fog and Henny Hughes).

Problematically, however, the new races have reduced the field size and appeal of the Sprint dramatically.

Sunny Jim said...

If anybody's interested, Mazur's Breeders Cup stats can be viewed at Progressive Handicapping, Inc. and the password is the numbers 2-4-6-8. If Alan will get in trouble for that he can delete this post, but I don't think so since I got this info free through the Meadowlands e-newsletter.

The appendices are especially interesting as they give the number of times that the first, second and third betting choices have hit the board in the history of each B.C. race.

Cheers.