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.