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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Genting Gives NYRA a Woodie

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.

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]
So, there you go, but....wait a minute. WHAT ABOUT THE FOUNTAIN???

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.


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Anonymous said...

Anyone look at the Rebel? This is a compelling prep race. I think the connections of Elite Alex did the right thing by defecting to the Louisiana Derby. It should suit him better. I like Alternation in this spot, though I think he's more likely to get a piece than beat all the California shippers. Maybe something like 6,9/2/all, 6,9/all/2. Probably not much money in it unless I can catch a bomb underneath. -jp

DiscreetPicks said...

Oaklawn - Race 10

#6 The Factor (2/1 ml)

Short morning-line here, but i think there's a pretty decent chance The Factor won't go favored in this race, as many have long been questioning his ability to stretch out, and will almost certainly be trying to beat him here. Myself, i was open to that idea, but in looking at the race on paper, i really can't get past this colt. We all know he's fast and talented, we've known that for a while, and it doesn't look to me as if he'll receive much pressure on the front end today. It should also be noted that, even though The Factor is stretching out here, the two-turn fractions he'll be setting (particularly if he is indeed alone on the lead) will be much softer than what he's accustomed to. With those factors in mind (pardon the pun), it's highly conceivable that he'll have plenty of gas left in the tank for the stretch drive. Also, be aware that Baffert had a lot of success shipping 3yo colts into Oaklawn last year, winning the Southwest with Conveyance (another speedy frontrunner, btw), and of course winning the Rebel with Lookin at Lucky.* Also, Baffert had previously indicated that he was pointing The Factor to the Sunland Park Derby, which is run over a speed-favoring surface, would undoubtedly have had a softer field, and carried a purse of $800,000. The fact he's been re-routed to the Rebel probably indicates a recent boost in Baffert's confidence level regarding The Factor's chances of stretching out successfully. Otherwise, why not stick to softer competition with a much larger purse? And lastly, don't forget The Factor was very much flattered last weekend (as was Sway Away) when Premier Pegasus destroyed the San Felipe field by open lengths. Lots to like here, and should be very playable.

DiscreetPicks said...

The Factor wins by open lengths @ $4.80

Anonymous said...

Yeah nice call. He looked very impressive too. He's a smooth mover. 10 panels is much different, but this horse galloped out nicely. He was about 1/5th slower than Havre de Grace's time, a nice 4yo filly. Beyer will prolly be around 100. I see Alternation wisely ducked this spot. I wonder if we'll see him in the La Derby. My guess is yup. -jp

Figless said...

"Alternation was a late scratch, when he lost his hind end in the gate and sat down. Von Hemel, who also trains the horse, said it appears Alternation just "skinned up" his left front leg. "It looks superficial at this point," said Von Hemel."

So yes he may be in LA Derby but not by design.

Elite Alex scratched by design and is heading to LA.

If The Factor makes the gate in The Derby he will make Uncle Mo's life miserable.

alan said...

103 Beyer for The Factor.

steve in nc said...

Figless, the Timely Writer showed Uncle Mo can rate. I'm going to wait and see what figures both horses put up in their last preps before opining about a likely Derby winner, but I'd be suprised if Uncle Mo falls victim to a speed duel. I'd be surprised if The Factor doesn't.

Figless said...

Yeah, Mo rated, but he did not look comfortable doing so (high action).

Rating unmolested on the front end is a LOT different than doing so behind horses, something he is working on in the morning for certain but nothing compensates for race day experience, dirt in his face, the general franticity of all those horses galloping around him.

He may be a superstar but he will have to be to overcome his lack of racing experience.

The connections know this, and truth is with so many preps it is awfully tough for a top candidate to get the correct schooling nowadays, wherever they run will be a short field.

Pletcher could enter 8 of his barn mates in the Wood if he wanted, I guess.