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Friday, August 06, 2010

Friday News and Notes

The document detailing the Lottery's recommendation of Genting shed just a little light on the proposals by the losing bidders, and why they were DQ'd.

Both Proposals included alternative versions of the required agreements that included numerous material deviations from the RFP requirements. SL Green’s Proposal contained more than 175 proposed changes, including a refusal to provide interim financing to NYRA as required to implement Chapter 90 of the Laws of 2010....On August 2, 2010, the sealed financial proposals submitted by Penn National and SL Green were opened; Penn National had offered $325 million and SL Green had offered $300 million.
The Laws of 2010 referred to is the one providing the $25 loan which saved NYRA back in May. Genting will now be responsible for making that loan (assuming it is approved by the legislative leaders, apparently in no rush to do so), as well as $2 million per month, as and if needed, up until the time that the racino opens. Both companies lodged protests, but the Lottery denied both protests and declined the protesters’ suggestion to begin a new competition. The Lottery was like its own little fiefdom in this process.

Genting commits to an effort of "integration of gaming and horseracing."
Genting’s proposal for the Festival Commons is an innovative, environmentally sensitive part of the facility design which will allow direct access from the first floor of the casino to the outdoors, thereby integrating the casino experience with horseracing. Genting’s VIP lounge has been designed to overlook the winner’s circle, which provides further integration between the casino and horseracing.
Well, in reality and based on experience thus far, I think we can forget about much in the way of such integration. It will take more than a view of the winner's circle to get the slot zombies to pay attention; and besides, there will be no racing at night when the crowds will be the largest (unless they institute nighttime, one-mile track harness racing once the Meadowlands closes), not to mention the six months they're racing elsewhere.

- Three winners from three starters for trainer Chad Brown on Wednesday; he now has nine winners from 20 starters after two unsuccessful attempts on Thursday. He'd lost his last five in a row prior, four of those at 5-2 or less. I like to follow hot trainers, but hot streaks eventually get to a point at which I start to go against, for reasons related to both percentages and value.

That obviously would not have worked on Wednesday. Amongst the winners was another first-timer, his 4th such winner of the meet. Silver Medallion, sent off at his 7-2 morning line from the nine post, was solidly four wide throughout most of the first turn. If I had bet him, I'd be thinking he was done, and waited for the inevitable fade, even if not until midstretch. But this one took off 4th going into the second turn and was four wide again turning for home and moving towards the lead. Then he held off favored (also at 7-2, bet down from 8-1 ML for Weaver) Forum, who was also wide both turns, but at least a path inside of the winner. Pretty remarkable effort, even though the Beyer came back as only a 64 on a course rated good.

Silver Medallion is from the first crop of Badge of Silver, standing at Airdrie for $10,000, a fee which might seem risky despite its modest level given the fact that the sire managed only 16 starts over five racing seasons. He does however have a healthy first crop of 102 horses, at least six of whom have won thus far; he's ranked 10th on the rookie sire list (by earnings). Silver Medallion is out of a winless mare by Stalwart (Hoist the Flag), and he's a half-brother to the G1 grassy stakes winner Sweet Talker.

But it's a more familiar name on top of the trainer standings; two first-out 2 yo winners for Pletcher on Thursday gives him ten winners, from 37 starters (also a meet-leading figure). Skylord ($5.20) is by Sky Mesa, out of a Marquetry mare, is a half-brother to the grassy stakes winner Najran; and this is also the distaff family of the good NY turf runner Certifiably Crazy. So watch for this one on the grass. And Maple Forest ($20, and one of three winners on the day for Discreet Picks) is by Forestry, out of a mare by American Chance (Cure the Blues).

- Free music at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors series on Wednesday night; and while I went mostly to see Q Tip perform with the Robert Glasper Experiment, it was the Asphalt Orchestra which stole the show for me. Borrowing from a quote on their website, they are "part parade spectacle, part halftime show and part cutting-edge contemporary music concert." You get the idea?

They performed original pieces by Yoko Ono, and by David Byrne.....who were both there to admire their own work!

It's a great time, and the Asphalt Orchestra will be doing free performances in and around Lincoln Center all weekend, this evening at 7, and Saturday and Sunday at 6. Definitely check them out if you're hanging around the city.

And the topic of Zenyatta's upcoming racing plans is the subject of the day for the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance; check out the home site for links to the various posts. I discussed the subject in this post earlier in the week.


Anonymous said...

Genting is being hailed as the savior for Aqueduct, NYRA and New York Thoroughbred racing. Genting is a company from Malaysia with a mysterious past and strong connections to Stanley Ho. New Jersey spent a year investigating MGM's relationship with Ho's daughter Pansy and decided that connection is not acceptable.

Be wary of the Trojan Horse.

jk said...

Who needs direct access to the outdoors when it is 20 degrees outside in February? Integration is needed on the inside; TV monitors and betting terminals integrated in the same space with slot machines.

At Yonkers you have to go to a separate room on a different floor from the slots to bet the ponies. I hope a different approach is taken at the Big A.

El Angelo said...

They could put topless dancers in the infield for all I care. I still wouldn't bet the races at Aqueduct.

Anonymous said...

You and John Sadler.

SaratogaSpa said...

JK-the people who play slots are a different breed than those that play the ponies. They could put the racetrack in the front yard of a slots player and he would still get in his car and drive past the track to go to the racino.

Anonymous said...

Concerned Horsewoman.

I hope, President of the New York Hotel & Motel Trades Council, Peter Ward is aware of Gentings policy, that their Malaysian muslim work ethics, are that no woman shall attain high management roles, except in token positions, whereby exterior policies are appeased.

I'd be interested in their board, if any females & if so do they have any power.

Figless said...

Genting has been the repeated target of Muslim extremists, so they really can't be all that bad, can they?

However, their Big A Racino could also become a target.

The union should be worried abuot keeping the jobs of their employees, thats all, at this point. How management works is simply not their problem.

As for the slots/racing crossover, anyone with any knowledge of gambling is aware its not going to happen, if anything the horse players are much more likely to drop a few bucks in the machines btween races than vice versa.

This has never been the point, and I am not sure why anyone bothers to harp on it anymore.

This is a marraige of convenience, the goverment crooks have decided they need the revenue, but their constituents do not want the casinos in their backyard. The track operators are also desperate for revenue from any source, even the competition.

So the tracks allow the machines in exchange for a percentage of the take, and the crooks get their increased revenue stream.

But when you make a deal with the devil the devil will come calling as is happening in PA right now, where table games have now been approved in the racinos with zero money going to purses.

The track operators claim poker players may be attracted to the races, and perhaps they will bet a few bucks, but a lot more horseplayers will be siphoned off to the tables rather than wagering on the bottom level races being offered live, and believe you me purses will come a crashing down.

Anonymous said...

Zenyatta keeps doing the same old thing....boring....I don't care how many races in a row she has won on plastic against the same mediocre, West Coast competition.

If ya haven't done it in NY, you ain't really big time, it's as simple as that. C'mon, Moss, following Z's expected triumph on Sunday at Del Mar, step up and announce that you are shipping Z to Saratoga.

A race against Rachel Alexandra at the Spa would become an instant legend, good for years of tall tales, it's The Race fans most want to see this year, and at The Spa on a real dirt track. /S/greenmtnpunter

Bob F said...

I live in the middle of racino heaven. There are 7 of them within a 2 hour drive of my house. Both of what I consider to be my home tracks are racinos. I haven't done any studies or anything, but I can tell you that my observation is that what seems to be the majority opinion here is correct. Some, but not many, horseplayers will drop a few bucks on the slots after the day's races are done. But no slots players cross over and play the horses. It just doesn't happen. Period.
The integration thing is pointless.
I might be the ultimate cynic, but I think that integration talk is just lip service meant to appease racing interests anyway. I've heard it before. My experience is that these facilities are usually designed in a way that makes the presence of racing as inconspicuous as possible. There is zero doubt in my mind that most of these operators would do away with racing if permitted to do so. I don't buy the claims that so many tracks have been operating in the red for the last 20 or 30 years, because nobody is going to continue to operate at a loss year after year. But I also don't believe that racing is tremendously profitable for track owners. They want people on the casino side because that's where the big bucks are. Let's be real. The last thing they want is for someone to put their slots bankroll into the parimutuel pools.

Figless said...

Correct, I believe, but am not sure, that the racinos take on a VLT play is higher than that on a horse wager.

Racing is a loss leader at most of these small venues, but at the Grade 1 level tracks racing will continue to get a fair shake, at least until the politicians can get away with justifying the elimination of racing altogethar.

This will eventually occur in states with minimal breeding industries, such as Wyoming (gone), NJ (on the verge) and Delaware and eventually Massachusettes. Out west, NM and AZ's racing will eventually disappear.

Anonymous said...

Blame likes to run right? He never even saw the whip. After the race he was relaxed too. Quality Road probably better off in the dirt mile, but an amusing race call listening to Durkin suck off Quality Road all the way around. All you guys who bailed on Rachel bailing on Quality Road too?

Zenyatta an absolute monster. Spotting the leaders 100ft. from the half mile and cruising by in a gallop. Zero pace too.

Today I like #7 La Cloche @ 4-1 in the Saratoga 7th. She didn't draw into a stakes yesterday (where she was 6-1 ML off a huge maiden win). She's 4-1 here, and might not be bet down too much because of the 4 horse Silk Route. That one rates a legit shot, but I think this one is a few lengths the best.

Also, I heard Joe Carl is a lock at Del Mar. But you know how that goes.

Anonymous said...

I know you guys didn't bet it, but my pockets are filled with cash.


Anonymous said...

Major Ny Taxpayers

Unusual recent Saratoga Chamber of Commerce lottery racing statement and todays Saratoga County Supervisor ---

these previously, unheard of Ny parties, have never trailed within any previous Aqueduct standup issues in fact any racing issues.

So one tends to not sway, with Ny racing locals who have now been enticed by a muslim invitation with high personall financial NY department quickfix short-term (to them) rewards

--- buy Ny gaming at any cost.

Is unusual, as Muslm's laws clearly are totally anti-gaming / even via 3rd party.

NYRA is seen as understandably a willing recipient as they require a quick fix but as a political board maybe unknowinig in disregard to a big picture of muslim long term positional pivots.
30 years to them being one normal generational rewarding step.

To Dem's & especially Mr Shelon Silver,, is this responsible??

Take away the quick fixes ; Ny racing knows nothing 110%,, about long term muslim business agendas'ways.

NY money is meaningfull attractive with all the pols - we have seen with Delaware North who also had no financially follow through just big get me in, blaba pol entry.

But u have to wonder why they were suddenly invited & encourged out of no-where.

"Sheldon Sliver" is the smartest of all & he must delve !!!!

And yes major NY interests will rule beyond fickle pols.

Anonymous said...

Zenyatta did have to close into a tepid pace and 18 for 18 is a remarkable achievement that speaks for itself, but holy gosh that was a pitiful field of grade one mares. The horse she defeated was 3-22 lifetime and had exactly one 90+ beyer to her credit. Ah well, let's hope they all stay sound and meet up in the classic. Very disappointing performance by Quality Road who never should have allowed a good-not-great horse in Blame to get past him late. -jp

Anonymous said...

JP -

Quality Road is a good not great horse too. Blame was the only logical bet in the race. And in regards to Zenyatta, she made one of the best Breeders Cup fields look like pitiful animals. She's the best horse ever. End of story. Hopefully I got you out for the week.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dirty.

I didn't play this weekend. And it's a good thing too. -jp