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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Sunday Morning Notes

Made it to Aqueduct for a few races on Halloween. Absolutely nothing there has changed, not that I should be surprised given NYRA's financial situation and the endless deadlock over the slots parlor there. I've read some of the "Aqueduct ain't so bad" posts that popped up this week, and, as I've been a longtime advocate of the place as you may know, I heartily concur. But seriously, it's time for a change. A place can be a lovable dump for only so long, eventually it just becomes a dump. If the other couple of thousand of regulars would agree, I'd happily kick in 50 bucks to replace the carpeting in the Lexington Room, or the seating in the Manhattan Terrace.

As the racino saga wears on, I can't help but start to come around to the point of view that a group of readers has long been espousing here - that there will never be slots at the Big A, that a racino, and likely a full-fledged Indian casino, will rise at Belmont instead, and the Aqueduct property will soon become a mall and/or more parking for JFK.

- Got distracted by the tote board in the 6th, as I'm sometimes wont to do, and stupidly in this case. Brother Nick, 6-1 morning line and a rare starter for trainer Leon Blusiewicz, was getting pounded at a steady 5-2, and was getting bet on the nose with his show betting lagging far behind percentage-wise. Whatsmore, as post time approached, each time he would start to drift up, he'd get whacked right back down. What can I say, I'm just a sucker for stuff like that, and a sucker I was in this case, especially since I very much liked the eventual winner Groomedforvictory ($10.20). Cashed an exacta as a saver when I should have crushed that race, as Brother Nick did what he really figured to do - shot to the lead and faded, to second to last. I know, I should stop doing crap like that, but I just feel so damn clever when it works out, I can't help myself. Third place finisher Samhoon was haltered by David Jacobsen for the optional 50K claiming tag.

Trainer Dan Pietz did something that Kiaran McLaughlin hasn't been able to do lately on the NYRA circuit - he scored with a first-time starter for Shadwell, when Moojab ($17.80) ran away from the field in the 7th. The last such winner McLaughlin has had here was Taqarub nearly a year ago. Moojab's sire Smarty Jones may be a disappointment at stud thus far, but he is hitting at 19% with his debut runners according to the Form.

- Reader Steve D recommends the Horse Racing Nation site as a Breeders' Cup source, and it's definitely worth checking out. Here's the page for the Mile; even has video for some of the European races, and a lot of worthwhile nuggets if you click the links and delve in further.


Anonymous said...

Some recent buzz that Delaware North is still the prime contender. Perhaps this company is just meant to be an impediment to getting the Aqueduct deal done, while the real focus is on the BIG deal, Indians or not, at Belmont Park? What got me believing this was last weeks Saratogian article on DelNorth where it said that it had provided the state with all the leases, contracts, etc. for the deal yet it would take 2 or 3 additional months to negotiate the terms of the MOU? Hard to belive for a team that was the NYRA favorite, and had already in their words have everything in place to get going sooner rather than later. This timing would take us well past the federal hearing on the Shinnecock Indian recognition in mid-December,and well into the trial phase on the SL Green vs, DelNorth litigation from the last bidding go round. Both these things, as well as the Joe Bruno case, may have implications on the state of NY's ultimate Aqueduct/Belmont casino determinations.

So, choose DelNorth as your cooperating "placeholder" while all these above-mentioned things come to a head, and in return give DelNorth at a minimum, the food an beverage concessions at the new Belmont Park casino, presuming Aqueduct is ultimately forgotten, as it looks more and more likely as delays persist.

Pros and cons to either Aqueduct or Belmont, but what does the state then tell Queens, the residents, the elected officials, the trades that have been anticipating this project for years? Maybe Governor David Paterson, Speaker Sheldon Silver and Majority Leader Sampson just don't really care.

Anonymous said...

Moojab may be a very nice colt, you may someday be able to brag about being at the Big A for his debut.

Headline in Sunday's Daily News is simply sad for multiple reasons:

"RA, top horse, to pass on Breeders' CROWN due to synthetic track".

Teresa said...

Thanks for the link, and I can't say that I disagree. I stayed downstairs and in the press box for most of Saturday, without venturing to the Man o'War or Manhattan Terrace for reconaissance, and I didn't see anything that had changed since last April.

Still...being able to get there on the subway makes up for a lot of dumpiness.

jk said...

Penn National Gaming Announces a Community Relations Advisory Agreement with Russell Simmons and Labor Framework Agreement with New York Hotel & Motel Trades Council, AFL-CIO

Press Release
Source: Penn National Gaming, Inc.
On 10:30 am EST, Monday November 2, 2009

NEW YORK & WYOMISSING, Penn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PENN: Nasdaq) announced today that it has reached a community relations agreement with Russell Simmons’ Rush Communications of NYC and a labor framework agreement with the New York Hotel & Motel Trades Council, AFL-CIO in relation to a video lottery terminal gaming facility at New York’s Aqueduct Race Track. The agreements reflect Penn National’s commitment to Aqueduct’s local Queens community, New York City and New York State, horsemen and employees, and extend Penn National’s record of community, charitable and civic support and diversity initiatives in each of the markets in which it operates.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like all the players are trying to gain some advantage. Does PNat have a design and construction team in place or are they intending to pirate these services from one of the losing bidders?