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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Some Comments on Comments

Anonymous said...

"NYRA didn't spend one red cent on promoting the race this year"

not true...they did a mailing promoting "The Big Race at the Big A" with and enclosed NYRA Cash Card worth $2 to $10000.
Jeez, can you believe I'm not on their mailing list????
Steven said...

Can you clarify the Chic Anderson comment. Are you saying that Alydar never "got a head in front" ?
That's right. This man's opinion is that Alydar never had a head in front. Or a nose for that matter.
Anonymous said...

It is hard for me to argue with a Ranger and horse racing fan. Both are my favorites too.

Who do you want in charge of NY Racing and why?

As for Gulfstream, I went there for 15 straight winters for a few days of vacation when I lived back in NY. What I saw for most of the days I went were empty stands with the occasional elderly patron sleeping in a seat. That is the current model of many big box racetracks, even Belmont Park. The old days the seats were filled, not anymore. Gulfstream went on to build an enertainment facilty that will be in use for 12 months and a racetrack facility that is in use for 4 months.
I was there for a few days each of the last five years before it was demolished, and what I saw was a georgeous, vibrant racetrack with a big, beautiful backyard which, unlike certain other tracks (scroll down for video), emptied out when a race was on because the place was just abuzz with horse racing everywhere....or at least the places I hung out. I don't think I'm alone in saying that it was a horseplayer's paradise, a sunny break from the winter doldrums, handicapping and wagering on top class races while relaxing in the sun or shade beneath majestic palms trees. The seats may not have been filled, but the times have changed, and I don't disagree with your point about having a 12 month entertainment center. But I don't see why that has to be mutually exclusive with prioritizing the racing. As you mention, Belmont is a big box for sure, and I'm hopeful we'll see a facility that uses the extra space in a constructive manner while not only preserving, but enhancing the racetrack atmosphere.

Whatsmore, Magna showed some serious incompetence. While the wisdom of many of the changes could be considered subjective arguments, in other cases, they just screwed up, plain and simple. For example, the track circumference is too big, which has threatened to damage the credibility of their triple crown prep series (a threat which is on hold for now, thanks to Barbaro); and the turf course is too high, obscuring the view of the horse's legs when they're on the far turn on the dirt. Putting it in terms we can both appreciate, it's like building a brand new Madison Square Garden, but not accounting for occupied seats when considering the sightlines for hockey games; as I'm sure you know, from many seats at the Garden, players and pucks disappear into the corners, and, from some places, even into the nets.

I'm resigned to the need for slots here, and, closing my eyes and disregarding my dislike for them, am eagerly anticipating the revitalization of the tracks. Who do I want in charge of NY racing? An operator that will use the revenue derived from the slots in an endeavor to make the sport the grand spectacle it once was, and should be again in New York. And I have to say that I think we will see such an effort regardless of who (or what) ends up running the tracks (and I hope I'm not being naive in that respect). My objections to one particular bidder has a lot to do with integrity issues; but I'm also peeved about their disregard for the concerns of New York horseplayers about issues important to us, such as lowering takeout rates, and preventing a company that has proven itself to be as incompetent as Magna has from having a role in running the franchise. Even if that role is only 6% (and one can argue that given their recent close cooperation, a Magna-Churchill bloc now represents a 12% in Empire Racing).

In any case, I know that we both have the best interests of the sport here at heart, and that we can both join and say: Let's Go Rangers!!!


Anonymous said...

I've seen the entire Affirmed-Alydar Belmont broadcast from CBS at the Museum of Television and Radio (now the Paley Center). Steve Cauthen admitted to Frank Wright and Jack Whitaker Affirmed was headed briefly by Alydar.

Alan Mann said...

Dave - Thanks. I hadn't heard that before.