There's a short article on the Midhudsonnews.com website which shows one of the big obstacles to any solution to NYRA's cash needs which requires the approval of the state legislature.
Governor David Paterson has proposed spending $17 million to preserve New York Racing Association thoroughbred horse racing seasons at Saratoga and Belmont and that has the ire of Assemblyman Frank Skartados (D-Milton).I don't blame the Assemblyman for being upset about the park closures....it sucks, and it affects people all over the state (including at John Boyd Thacher State Park, a personal favorite near Albany). But he's sadly and, given the present circumstances, frighteningly off base, for reasons which I don't have to spell out for many readers. Nobody is "spending $17 million for a few weeks of horse racing." They're trying to, with money to be loaned against a guaranteed revenue stream (and if NYRA never gets a racino and the state therefore never gets the money back it's their own damn fault), sustain an enterprise which employs thousands and which returns many times more in revenue to the state. And to prevent the irreparable damage which will result from a wholesale exodus should racing be suspended for any significant length of time. Somebody needs to educate guys like this, as you can be sure he has many colleagues who are thinking along similarly misinformed lines.
The governor’s latest plan comes at the same time as he shut down 41 state parks and 14 historic sites across New York, including in the Hudson Valley, to save money during the budget crisis.
Paterson’s priorities are “seriously misplaced,” said the freshman lawmaker. “The fact that he’s willing to spend $17 million for a few weeks of horse racing in two communities while working families are denied access to some of New York’s most treasured attractions is absolutely outrageous.” [Mid-Hudson News Network]
No news at all on Wednesday, and no news is assuredly not good news in this case. In fact, the silence feels rather ominous.
Already you may have read the story in the Saratogian about Gary Contessa shipping part of his stable down to Monmouth.
“I am committed to Monmouth because no one is committed to me.....Todd Pletcher is already taking his best horses to Monmouth. John Velasquez is going to Monmouth. There’s no instability in New Jersey right now."Ha, no instability in New Jersey? The tracks there had been cowering in fear at the thought of slots at Aqueduct given their inability to overcome the political persuasion of the Atlantic City casinos. This year, with no slots in sight and Pennsylvania just to its west, they cut racing dates from 141 to 50. Yet now, it's stable, compared to New York. Hell, Magna seems stable compared to New York.
And have you seen the entries for opening day at Monmouth? Thirteen races for total purses of $812,000; 148 horses entered. As mentioned above, Johnny V is spending the day there, as is Garrett Gomez.
- In the 5th at Belmont on Thursday, Desert Falcon (12-1) races in a one-turn mile for the first time going back 11 races to March 26 , on which date he won for the third straight time at that same route at Gulfstream Park. Since then, he's been up, down, and recently back up in class, and in performance as well, with a record of 4-0-2 in his last seven races. Cut back from two turns with two sprints in his latest, he affirmed his good form with a five wide rally for a close 4th in a Philly Park allowance, a half length behind Map of the World, a winner in his subsequent effort. Stretch out should serve him extremely well, as should his recent tactical speed in a race with a short field, though with a possibility of a contested pace. Bad Action (9-5) won the G3 Pegasus last November at the Meadowlands, and man, was he on a roll around here last fall. He was then taken out of his game though with a try in the Sunshine Millions on grass, and then a trip to Barbados. Now returns off a brief layoff and tries one turn. Senior's Pride (2-1) is sharp and has the best figs; but this one has also been running in two-turn routes.