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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Being Up Front

- NY Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno revealed that he is under investigation for the FBI. "I wanted to be up front and assure that I have nothing to hide and avoid speculation, unfounded rumors, and distortions," he said. [NY Daily News]

Bruno is being so up front that his announcement comes a full eight months after the investigation started, and only after word of it was leaked to the press. The Senator has been the subject of stories in the last week regarding the $500,000 grant to Evident Technologies, which his friend and Empire investor Jared Abbruzzese. And according to Newsday, sources familiar with the probe say that it indeed deals with that relationship. Should the probe lead to Bruno relinquishing his position as Senate Majority Leader, the dynamics of the franchise battle would obviously change.

- Nothing new this morning on the situation in Florida, where seven riders have been banned from the grounds at Tampa Bay Downs. The jockeys interviewed all claimed to be shocked and innocent. But there's apparently something potentially ominous brewing in the investigation by the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau (TRPB). According to the St. Petersburg Times, the organization's mandate is to expose and investigate all activity prejudicial to horse racing and to maintain public confidence in the sport of both thoroughbred and standardbred racing.

Three of the banned riders have won riding championships at the track: Terry (T.D.) Houghton (1998-99 and 1999-2000); Derek Bell (2000-01), and Joseph Judice (2002-03).

If that's not bad enough, there's an outbreak of equine herpesvirus invovling horses at Calder, and in Ocala and Palm Beach.