OK, yes, still alive, back from vacation, and the Head Chef has some culinary comments on our trip to Grenada here. Sorry for the lack of posting, pressed for time, but a couple of quick observations here:
Got in my inbox the latest press release from the New York Gaming Association (NYGA), as they continue to advise New Yorkers of how the economy would benefit from casinos at their already existing racetrack racinos.
The analysis, conducted by Appleseed, a New York City firm that specializes in providing economic and social research analysis, also estimates that in its first full year of operation, enhanced gaming would generate an additional $317 million in State revenues, including approximately $300 million in annual payments to New York’s public education which is equivalent to the salaries of more than 4,300 teachers. In addition, the projected private investment by NYGA of $1.8 billion in construction would generate nearly $81 million in New York State income, sales and business taxes and more than $36.4 million in local income, sales and business taxes.And blah blah blah. I think that NYGA has already given the economy a big boost just from all the damn studies and analyses they've commissioned for their own benefit. Of course, what these studies do not tell us is if they factor in the money sucked out of the pockets of those people of modest means who are drawn to casinos against their best interests. I mean, the construction and casino jobs are fine, but the gambling money doesn't just come from nowhere. What are the costs of compulsive gambling; don't see that quantified in any of these analyses.
In a rare nod to the racing industry, this latest press release speaks of "subsidies provided to the racing and breeding industries [increasing] by approximately $26.3 million annually." However, that is presumably based on a presumed increase in slots play, since NYGA has no intention whatsoever of volunteering any percentage of the new table games to go to the tracks. So I think this projection is even more strictly theoretical than the rest of the nonsense.
- Union Rags won the Fountain of Youth in impressive fashion on Sunday, and boy, is everyone excited about that. In the not-so-distant past though, I think we would have heard a lot more of "but who did he beat?" Because truth is, not much. The Toddster-worshippers laughingly made Discreet Dancer the favorite despite his never having gone around two-turns and a pedigree (Discreet Cat out of Gone West mare) that makes his distance ability highly questionable. Used to be that skepticism was the natural pose for horseplayers surveying the three-year old crop....but that was when there were more three-year olds to be excited about. Now, we're starving for any kind of excitement with the talent thin and the races infrequent, so we'll take what we can get. Union Rags is a tough-luck head from being undefeated, and his return on Sunday was thoroughly professional and altogether decent (earning a Beyer of 95). But it wasn't much in the way of a prep for a grueling mile and a quarter race against 19 others. And is there any reason to think that his next (and only) race before the Derby will be any more challenging? Maybe he's that good and he'll just waltz through the remaining half dozen or so races in his career before he retires to stud. Or maybe it's a setup for another healthy Derby win price on another blossoming horse with good workout reports leading up to the race. We'll see.