I knew the snow was going to be significant when NYRA announced on Tuesday afternoon that Wednesday's races were canceled. The crack meteorological staff there has been right on with their weather calls of late. They scoffed at the forecast for snow last Friday, and the card went on without a hitch as the storm fizzled out. But this time, it's no joke, though hardly the magnitude of the recent blizzard. It is supposed to stop this morning though, and NYRA has kept open the possibility of simulcasting at Aqueduct and Belmont Cafe. A decision is supposed to be made this morning....and if it was up to Mayor Bloomberg, they both will be open.
Thinking way back to the real early days of NYC OTB, there was no out-of-state simulcasting there, just NYRA, Roosevelt and Yonkers, and Monticello; at least as I recall. Feel free to jump in if I'm misremembering anything. But when Aqueduct canceled due to weather in those days, OTB was permitted to take Gulfstream....or Hialeah....and we considered that to be a real treat, especially on big race weekend days. Big stakes races from those tracks were actually on national television on a regular basis as you might recall, so one would often get to see the races; if not live on ABC's Wide World of Sports or CBS's Sports Spectacular, then on a replay show which replaced the one from the Big A.
[UPDATE: Simulcasting is on at both Aqueduct and Belmont. That's a potential bonanza for NYRA....full on-track retention rates, with no expenses incurred for actually running races! Would be even nicer for them (and bettors) if they had the simulcast track signals available for live streaming on NYRA Rewards....don't know what the holdup is there. Nice way for people who stayed home from work to spend the day, and especially with the races from Gulfstream unavailable on TVG, getting those signals going should be a priority.)
- Pull the Pocket (who writes expansively on this and other subjects on his excellent blog), writes:
Hey Left [nobody's ever called me that before],I'm still not part of that universe, so I guess I missed that. Nonetheless, I would respectfully disagree. I don't see much of a difference between a New Year's Day on a Friday, and one on a Saturday. It's the holiday season, a lot of people aren't working or schooling that week anyway, and I would say that the days are more or less equivalent in terms of peoples' availability and willingness to spend the day at, or betting on, the races. Of course, there were (supposedly) some 16,000 people at the Big A on New Year's Day Saturday. So maybe I'm wrong.
That day reported by SA on their website was a Saturday to Friday comparison (it was immediately caught on chat boards by people, because this is not proper, and was "tweeted" in that universe).