NYRA board chairman David Skorton said at Thursday's board meeting that the search for a new CEO is "rounding second," so I guess they've only copped a proverbial feel at this as of now.
“We’re looking at people very experienced in Thoroughbred racing, looking at people who have experience more in hospitality and setting up destinations; people with a very strong business background,” Skorton said. [DRF]Oh, man. You guys aren't gonna screw this up, are you?
“We have heard through the blogosphere that people were concerned we already had one or two people lined up and this whole thing was for show, but it really isn’t."The only "concern" I've heard through the blogosphere is that they haven't named anyone yet after all this time, and that they've forced out a woman who knows the ropes and seems to be doing a highly competent job. Now, it seems as if they're going out of their way to show that the names that have been bandied around are not necessarily candidates, and I'm getting the feeling from the talk about looking at people not necessarily from the industry that we're gonna see a Cathleen Black type selection. And we know how well that turned out. I don't think this is really that complicated. There's a limited pool of qualified experienced racetrack executives that would do well; and, unless they're trying to branch out and add some diversity to the white male culture (which seems doubtful considering the departure of Ellen McClain), we could all do without the theatrics. Just do it.
Synthetic surfaces are still part of the discussion; including at Belmont as well. Not, however, to replace any of the the three existing dirt and turf tracks; but as an additional one to have for when races come off the grass.
P.J. Campo, the NYRA director of racing, said that by reducing scratches, a synthetic surface at Belmont “would pay for itself in two to three years.”Well, there's some progressive thinking for you. I've always maintained that the advantages of synthetics go far beyond its original intended purpose of preventing injuries and lowering maintenance costs.
By the way and speaking of synthetic tracks, with respect to this mysterious spate of sudden deaths of horses in California, apparently due to "acute severe respiratory distress," is anyone considering the possible long-term effects of breathing in the dust from the stuff?