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Saturday, January 07, 2012


- There was some incredulity expressed on Twitter over the fact that Raconteur ($2.40) was 1-5 in the third race at the Big A on Friday. 1:5 on Raconteur? Who bets horses like that? asked @andyserling. Seriously, I ask that about just about any horse who goes off at that price. Make that any horse. I know 20% ain't a bad return for a minute or two, but the whole concept of betting a lot to make a little is just foreign to me when it comes to horse racing, a venture in which scores of opportunities to do the opposite present themselves every day. (At least as far as betting on horses to win, as opposed to lose, but that's a different story for another time.)

And especially with a horse like Raconteur, who hadn't come particularly close to winning in five career starts at odds ranging from 6-5 to 7-2. Based on the form and speed figures, maybe 1-5 was really an accurate reflection of the horse's chances to win this particular race. But in cases like this, in a theoretical perfectly logical world, maybe the race simply becomes unplayable as far as win bets, and the players withdraw any money bet and there's no pool!

Those who did, for whatever unfathomable reason, wager on Raconteur to win, had to sweat it out more than they would like. Looked like he might draw away once he took command turning for home, but he head to hold off a resurgent Five Sixteen. Our friend the verbose chart caller described his victory in the most tepid terms you're likely to see in a results chart: held on well enough to reach the finish line first. prompting @DRFGrening to tweet: Don't let anybody see you cashing ticket on this horse. Personally, I'd sooner be seen in the casino.

Speaking of which, after a particularly slow Xmas week, the first full one with the full compliment of 5,000 VLT's, the win per machine figure at Resorts World rebounded to $353. That's still below the $380 figure that NYRA is using for their 2012 budget (a figure which would presumably be needed to attain and maintain in order to keep the current purse structure). However, looking at past years' results at Yonkers, it seems as if business there generally takes off from this time of year and peaks in February and March. Whatsmore, this is still I believe a 'soft opening,' at least in terms of marketing and advertising, of which I haven't seen any.

You probably by now have read of Governor Cuomo's proposal to build...or, have Genting build an enormous convention center at the Aqueduct site; where one presumes would also be in line for a full-fledged casino should that come to fruition.

The proposed $4 billion, nearly 4 million-square-foot convention center in Queens between New York City's major airports would replace the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. The Javits Center was considered too small almost from the outset and poorly suited for the kind of bold, glitzy convention center that would be appropriate for Manhattan as a world destination.. [Wall St Journal]
Well, I dunno, maybe I'm just dumb and naive. But I've been saying all along that Ozone Park hardly seems the place for any sort of 'destination resort' type of place. The Javits Center is "poorly suited," but this is a good location? Seriously, I can't imagine why anyone in their right mind would want to plan a convention there, improved subway service from Manhattan notwithstanding. I mean, don't convention-goers want to have proximity to a wide range of restaurant and entertainment options? I don't think that Bar 360 and whatever cheesy music they eventually schedule at Resorts World quite qualifies.

And listen to this guy:
Heywood Sanders, professor of public administration at the University of Texas and an expert on convention center economics, said he doubted that the Queens plan would succeed.

“The convention business is a disaster everywhere,” Professor Sanders said. “Simply building more space gets you nothing more than a big empty building. And to put it in a place where there aren’t any hotels, restaurants or amenities next door is to doom it to serving only a local or metropolitan market.” [NY Times]
Just one man's opinion, however expert he may be on the topic, to be sure. (And in typical blogger fashion, I left out the retorting quote from an advocate.) But sure makes sense to me.

- Sorry once again for the sparse posting....been working on a project outside of my already full-time job. Will be back the meantime, best of luck at the races this weekend, and have a great day.


Anonymous said...

Trafic impact study relative to racino development barely showed enough capacity to get gamblers in and out on the existing roadways. How are people supposed to get to and from the world's largest convention center, by magic carpet? Just doesn't add up.

Anonymous said...

How much have the taxpayers spent on the Javits Center?

Will this ever end???

Figless said...

This is one of the stupidest ideas I have ever heard.

Lets see, where should we hold our next convention? New Orleans, Las Vegas, San Diego, Honolulu, or Ozone Park? Mmmmmmm, lets poll the exhibitors what they prefer.

Besides, are not there more important issues? For this to be the biggest news in the State of the State address is unfathonable.

I was pretty high on Cuomo's potential as governor but this is discouraging. This is vision?

SaratogaSpa said...

Just a precursor to closing the barn door on live racing at the Big A and moving it to Belmont

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Genting wouldn't need any of the port authority land to build the convention compound if there was no racetrack and backside, so that this land were available to develop?

Figless said...

When legalized gambling is approved what would prevent Genting from removing the VLT machines ("lottery") and replacing with traditional Slot machines that would not be subject to revenue sharing with NYRA?

jk said...

Genting suggests moving all racing to Belmont so they can focus on casino gambling......

Anonymous said...

Figless, you would do well to give some of your comments a little thought before hitting the publish button.

Anonymous said...

Cuomo is pushing really hard to get Genting what they need usin NY jobs as justification. Is there a pre-existing relationship from when Andrew was A.G and Genting was in the catskills or with the Indians? All this back slapping and undivided support has happened so fast. Time to slow down and have a look at the players and motivations and consequences of immediate action.

Figless said...

anon 458 please feel free to publish your disagreements with my comments, I am happy to defend my position or concede your brilliance should I concur with your constructive criticism.

stop being such a wallflower, lets us here your brilliant opinions so we all may benefit from your wisdom