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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Odds and Ends

Bigger purses, more stakes for three-year olds this winter and spring, as reported by David Grening in the Form. The Withers, once a backdoor route to the Preakness and eliminated last year, is back as what they want me to call a 'Derby prep,' but really as an early-February prep for the Gotham and the Wood. Not sure really why a race would retain its graded status after taking a hiatus, but it's a Grade 3 and therefore a means to an end for Derby hopefuls.

The Withers will be a stepping-stone to the March 3 Gotham Stakes, which will have its purse increased to $400,000 from $250,000, according to Campo.

Those races lead to the Grade 1 Wood Memorial, which will be run April 7 at 1 1/8 miles over the main track. The Wood will retain its $1 million purse. Genting, the company that operates Aqueduct’s casino, supplemented the purse with $250,000 in 2011 and will do so again in 2012, according to Campo. [DRF]
I'm guessing that the supplement for the Wood is over and above whatever Genting will be turning over to NYRA for its share of the slots and virtual table games revenue.

That money continues to pour in, as anyone who was out at the Big A this past holiday weekend might surmise. I was there on Friday, and the outdoor parking lots that are designated for the casino were entirely full at around 1:30. So I shelled out the two bucks for the track lot, which is as ragged and unkempt as compared to the pristine casino lot as the track side of the building is to Resorts World. Faded parking lines lead to a free-for-all; beware of the potential to get boxed in by a third row. The whole logic for NYRA charging for parking was that Genting would be doing so for their patrons. So far, that hasn't happened, so the only people paying to park there are us.

Paul Moran wrote in his column on that, on Saturday, the seats at the table games were filled to capacity at 11 a.m. and people await vacancies.
Standard video-lottery terminals are being claimed by determined players who enter the building in a steady stream, pass beneath a three-story crystal chandelier and ride wide escalators into a glittering expanse that unlike other such enterprises has thoughtfully integrated electronic gaming and racing.
Eh, I think the jury is still out on the integration thing...maybe when I see just a single TV around the bar tuned in to the simulcast feed, we can discuss that.

The numbers surely reflect the anecdotal evidence of a busy weekend. After the win per machine figure dipped to $516 from the gaudy figures of the opening weeks, it jumped back up to $570 for the week ending Nov 26. Meanwhile however, there was little such bounce at Yonkers, where the numbers continue to sag. After sinking further to $259 for the week ending 11/19 (see this post again for background), the holiday week produced only a slight bounce to $261. That as opposed to $303 for the same week last year. Seems to be little doubt that Resorts World has hurt business at Yonkers....I'd say, back of the napkin calculation, to the tune of close to 20%. A crack in the veneer of what to this point has been a recession-and-justaboutanything-proof business. What happens if and when full fledged casinos open in the Catskills, or closer to home?

- Nice win by To Honor And Serve in the Cigar Mile, and quite a nice late summer and fall campaign over all after quite a disappointing spring. But an Eclipse for best three-year old for winning the PA Derby, and beating this mediocre field after running 7th in the Classic? I don't think so....still Caleb's Posse for me.

Pedestrian numbers in the Demoiselle and Remsen, with the winners earning Beyers of 71 and 80 respectively. Both winners did endure eventful trips however, with Remsen winner O'Prado Again caught wide both turns, and Disposablepleasure stumbling badly at the start and causing trouble for others during the race (and surviving a claim of foul). O'Prado Again, winning in his first try on a fast dirt track, is by El Prado out of a winless Pulpit mare who's a half-sister to the dams of stakes winners First Samurai and Audacious Chloe. Disposablepleasure is the first US graded stakes winner for Giacomo, standing now for a humbling $5,000 at Adena Springs; she's out of a winless With Approval mare who's a half-sister to the multiple graded-stakes placed Riley Tucker.


Anonymous said...

Got to love NY.

William F. Boyland Jr., a Brooklyn Democrat, was charged with soliciting more than $250,000 in bribes.

Figless said...

Gotta love politicians everywhere.

NY is no different than anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

Another great Democrat-

Former Philadelphia schools superintendent Arlene Ackerman, who was given a nearly $1-million buyout earlier this year, has applied for unemployment.

School District spokesman Fernando Gallard today confirmed that Ackerman wants to collect state unemployment benefits.

“The former superintendent did apply for unemployment,” Gallard told KYW Newsradio today.

This comes after taxpayers funded a $905,000 buyout when she was shown the door in August

jk said...

Free parking gets you into a brand new facility or pay $2 for access to a rust bucket facility with pigeon droppings.

Plenty of talk about purse increases but lets squeeze 2 bucks out of the customer to park.

How about free parking, a takeout decrease and a coat of paint with all of this new found wealth.

Anonymous said...

I 2nd that jk!

Gulfstream and tampa open this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Alan what was wrong with Aqueduct Inner today. The times were very slow and it was difficult for front runners to hold on even with slow turtle fractions. From a speedway to running on beach sand. Wus up wit dat anything you can come up with Alan.

steve in nc said...

I'm not Alan and didn't see races or charts but I'll take a shot.

The horses run pretty much due north down the backstretch, and today had to face western winds on the turn between 17 and 26 MPH according to NOAA. In my experience, winds can contribute to biases in the winter at AQ.

Then again, the weather info comes from an agency of Big Government and I'm sure lots of Democrats work there who also believe that human activity is a big cause of global warming, so the other anons on this sit should totally disregard it.

Anonymous said...

It should be extremely amusing watching Gulfstream time their new 1 1/16 races given they don't start or end at any timing poles.

No problem, though, as Gulfstream has a long storied history of not caring about the proper timing of their races.

steve in nc said...

You are right anon 6:39. Beyer will be stuck relying on the official times as usual. At least he notices some of the time when the offial times have to be wrong.

It will be an added edge for sheets users, since they measure the run-up distances and base their #s on the total time for the actual distance from gate to wire. Anyone with certain video equipment can also time a race that way but not everyone measures the true distance.

Anonymous said...


Nice lame ass try to knock Beyer...except he's the one who has publicized Gulfstream's timing problems in the past...not Ragozin.

You have no credibility.

steve in nc said...

When GP finally admitted it's timer problem, they ended up turning to Toby Callet to show them how to get the correct times from the race videos. Callet, a well-known clocker, was Ragozin's Florida observer, supplying accurate race times & other info to the Sheets:

Here is Beyer's own column crediting Callet.,8021623

I did give Beyer credit for noticing the error (although I believe there are likely other errors he hasn't noticed or publicized).

My post, unlike yours, wasn't a personal attack on him or anyone else. All I did was point out the advantage of sheets (or any other product) that uses accurate gate-to-wire times rather than official timer-poll-to-wire times, that also sometimes have errors. Beyer's column points out that same advantage that Callet and Sheets users had back then, and may have again if this next meet's official times are screwy.

If you think any of these points are wrong or "lameass," go ahead and skewer them. But please stop with the personal attacks. This blog isn't about attacking each other's character and has been mostly free of crap that like that for awhile.

Anonymous said...

hey steve in nc I recall you taking me to task about my spelling. Well, take a look at your own. "offial" and this is not the first time you screwed up. We all make mistakes eh.... don't we

anon 12:11 is correct YOU are a lame ass.

Figless said...

One logical explanation for the parking fees could be to keep the Casino gamblers from hogging up all the spots near the track entrance?

And NYRA is not charging admission anymore so the two bucks is not really an increase, especially when you consider more than one person usually arrives in a vehicle.

There are much bigger fish to fry than this little fee.