NYRA announced that the purse of the Wood Memorial.....or, make that the Resorts World New York Casino Wood Memorial......has been increased to $1 million, presented by Genting. (Of course, in a way, the entire racing season is presented by Genting. NYRA was threatening to close before the deal was finally done last spring, and now, according to Charles Hayward in Saratoga the other night, the association has $20 million in the bank, much of that via loans from the casino company.)
"Through this partnership with NYRA, we have taken a significant step in that direction. This year’s Resorts World New York Casino Wood Memorial is sure to be a spectacular event that will bring out racing enthusiasts and make all of New York proud.”Of course, as discussed in the comments section here, where exactly all those racing enthusiasts are gonna hang out with the grandstand closed remains to be seen. It could be quite a scene.
NYRA's press release listed the prospective starters for the race.
Mentioned as a probable contender for the Resorts World New York Casino Wood Memorial is Queens native Mike Repole’s undefeated Uncle Mo.Oh. Seriously, that's all they got at this point? Well, the larger purse should help NYRA attract a few opponents hoping to pick up some fat pieces of the purse....assuming of course, that Uncle Mo does come north instead of staying for the Florida Derby. If the Toddster doesn't ship his champ up north, I imagine they'll be an overflow field, albeit of dubious quality, for sure.
We also learned some more details about Genting's construction plans, now planned for two stages, with, as we mentioned the other day, the first supposedly due by late summer.
In addition to being able to operate 2,500 machines, the first phase of the project will include the completion of a new main entry, the porte cochere, an international buffet, and a parking garage. Also expected to be completed in phase 1 is the building of a skybridge connecting the subway station to the casino entrance. Other elements to be completed in phase 1 include a seven-outlet food court, a new bar and entertainment space, and a grab-and-go food outlet.So, there you go, but....wait a minute. WHAT ABOUT THE FOUNTAIN???
Phase 2 of the project, which is slated to be completed in spring 2012, will include the other 2,000 slots, two fine dining restaurants, an additional grab-and-go food outlet, a new lounge, and the VIP Crockfords Casino. [Daily Racing Form]
I should also mention....and I was actually deficient in not doing so two posts ago, that Genting is supposed to be making "renovations to the existing racetrack facilities," as affirmed in today's press release. That had been reported a few months ago. Hopefully, that will truly be the case, and if that's a reason why NYRA will work on Saratoga first, that's fine. Though I'm figuring that those renovations won't include, for example, an overhaul of the main track, which I've been told has been sorely needed for quite some time.