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Friday, January 25, 2008

Franchise Notes - Jan 25

- Nick Kling notes in the Troy Record that Senator Bruno seems to have hardened his stance on NYRA.

One month ago I spoke to Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno about the NYRA Board of Trustees. Bruno has been advocating a significant change in the make-up of the group. I asked Senator Bruno if a reconstituted NYRA board would have to consist of a majority of state appointees. His answer to me, at that time, was clear. "Absolutely not," Bruno said.

However, Daily Racing Form reported in its Jan. 21 on-line edition that Bruno is now striving for exactly that. [Troy Record]
Matt Hegarty, the Form's crack political-and-other-off-track-stuff correspondent, repeated that assertion in his latest column on the matter, in which he also reported that support within NYRA for slots at Belmont may be waning. Some officials may feel that the poor economic outlook and widening state budget deficit will cause lawmakers to further slash the industry's cut of the VLT pie. Hegarty also opines that the Feb 13 deadline may have a lot more meaning than the last one did.
Given all the turmoil, it is becoming more likely that NYRA will not participate in another short-term extension. Without a long-term legislative deal, NYRA officials could threaten to shut down racing on Feb. 13 and seek a resolution through the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. NYRA filed for bankruptcy late in 2006 and has repeatedly claimed in court that the association owns the three racetracks, a position that is disputed by many state officials. [DRF]
A shutdown would become even more likely, indeed, inevitable, should the Republicans on the Oversight Board flex their newfound muscle and seek to dilute the language which, in NYRA's view, fully protects their land claim. I still lean to the opinion that they won't do that, as the fingers would still point to Bruno as the Man Who Stopped Racing. On the other hand, NYRA may finally be ready to take this to the brink and demand a resolution or else. If they fully believe in their legal stance, why wouldn't they at this point? NYRA's influence on the negotiations figures to greatly diminish once the issue becomes entwined with the general budget negotiations (which may already have occurred given Spitzer's inclusion of Belmont VLT's in his proposal). And after all, the state has backed down every time that the land claim has threatened to go to court. However, I'm not even going to try to guess at this time if they'll do the same next month.


Anonymous said...

Is this just a Bruno thing, some personal greed issue, or would any Republican be busting never-ending chops, too?

Alan Mann said...

Who knows what entanglements old Joe had going on with Empire and/or Abbruzzese and/or Magna earlier on. But at this point (and perhaps I'm being naive), I think that it's mostly a matter that if Spitzer says do do do, the Repubs will say da da da.

Anonymous said...

To use Alan's sentence structure, how about this: Who knows what entanglements Spitzer had going on with NYRA and or/Duncker and/or Getnick earlier on. But at this point, I think that it's mostly a matter that if Bruno says do do do, the Governor will say da da da.

Anonymous said...

Kieran Fallon banned 18 months!

Curlin's minority owners still in the pokey.

Biancone hisses.........He actually purchased part of Hurricane Hall with Fab Oak Stable. Is he moving training grounds because he does not want to work his horses where he was caught?

Biancone said the uphill Polytrack course was the determining factor in purchasing the property.

“To be able to gallop horses everyday up hill is a huge advantage, as you don't need to gallop as long as on a flat track to arrive at the same level of fitness,” Biancone said. “As an example, if you gallop one mile up hill, to obtain the same work on a flat track you would have to gallop at least a mile and a half. This will help with the soundness by less concussion on the legs and extend the length of racing career.”

Biancone’s training license was suspended beginning November 1, 2007, under the terms of an agreement with the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority. KHRA investigators found a vial of Alpha-Cobratoxin in a refrigerator in Biancone’s barn at Keeneland Race Course. The snake venom can be used as a painkiller or nerve blocking agent in horses.