Governor - yes, still! - Paterson said on Tuesday that he doesn’t believe the Saratoga racing meet is threatened.
“There are financial encumbrances that the racing authority is going through, but I wouldn’t project that the Saratoga racing season is in jeopardy at this point."Feel better yet?
"That may have, in itself, been a bit brash. But the basic notion that the racing association is suffering – the racing association was suffering prior to this recession.” [Capitol Confidential]oHere, the governor descends into incoherence. Consider too that he made this statement while signing a bill regarding end-of-life health decision making.
That's the kind of decision making that Assemblyman Gary Pretlow was hinting at on Monday. He too dismissed the chances of a shutdown upstate; but still, I found it rather jarring to hear him discuss quite seriously the "worst-case scenario" of Aqueduct or Belmont closing "for a week or two" instead. Pretlow is doing his part to prevent a closure, rejecting NYC OTB's crazy harebrained scheme to cut statutory payments and borrow money; and instead calling for a drastic reduction in executive salaries and the purchase of a single tote operator to serve all of the state's racetracks and regional OTB's. Seems like a reasonable start.
In any event, the way I see it, no way is there any chance of an interruption of racing at Saratoga. That is not happening, I don't care about the doomsday scenario presented in the Times Union's Saratoga Seen blog the other day. Everyone makes money there....well, not everyone. But, you know, the state gets its fair share of the big handle there, and it doesn't have to worry about NYRA for six plus weeks. Maybe they'll even select an operator for Aqueduct by the time it's over.