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Friday, May 09, 2008

Big A Up, Churchill Down

- Hard to believe when you look at the attendance figures on a daily basis, but the Big A experienced increases across the board. Daily attendance was up 5.7%, daily on-track handle jumped 4.3% while total handle grew 11.2%. [NY Daily News]

Purses were also up at Aqueduct, by 6.2 percent over last year.

“The Aqueduct meet was very strong for NYRA particularly in comparison with the rest of the industry,” NYRA president and CEO Charles Hayward said. “We had strong handle and purses increases while the industry in the first quarter of 2008 had a decline in total handle by 3.1%, and a decline in purses of 1.5%. We very much appreciate the participation of our horsemen and our customers.” [NYRA Press Release]
And while NYRA celebrates its new deal with the Mid-Atlantic tracks, Churchill, ensnared in a stalemate with its horsemen over ADW revenues, announced a whopping 20% purse cut!

- Lawyers for Patrick Biancone have filed suit against the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority to block a hearing regarding his prospective purchase of the Hurricane Hall breeding farm. The KHRA wants to see if the deal violated the terms of its suspension deal reached just before the Breeders' Cup last fall.
The suit notes the training track is at a location “not under the jurisdiction of the authority,” and that the lease and sale transaction by Biancone and Fab Oak was handled by Stoll, Keenon, Ogden -- the same law firm used by the KHRA -- and that Biancone was aware of that.

“Biancone did not believe that these activities could even remotely be considered violations of the settlement agreement, a belief that was further validated by the involvement of counsel for the authority in the purchase transaction,” the suit states. [Bloodhorse]
- Primal Peak will be scratched from that PA-bred stakes at Philly Park tomorrow due to a foot abscess. Nothing serious, but bad timing. It was a very winnable spot with a $75,000 purse.


Anonymous said...

You know its a sad bit of commentary but I have to say it - we just got HRTV for the Chicago market and I'm watching their coverage today and it is so poor in my view that I'd rather watch Matt and his :58 flat on TVG.

Ouch! Maybe it is different on the big days but from their audio to the on-screen graphics plus the talent, they come off like some UHF tv station in a 'top 500' city market.

The only upside is seeing racing from MEC and CDI controlled tracks.

Looking forward to seeing Sama Rooster and Tomcito running tomorrow in their respective graded races.

Anonymous said...

i like hrtv more because of the tracks i dont care who is talking and how they do it i just dont want the high light to be the fifth string winter meet at aqueduct

Alan Mann said...

I haven't had HRTV for two years now, but I recall that I liked their on-track coverage during the Santa Anita meeting. I liked Jeff Siegel, and Kurt Hoover was fine - though I don't know if they're still there. Laffit Pincay was their version of Todd Schrrmmppff.

Anonymous said...


Glad that the Big A showed an increase in both handle and attendance, but when you look at the raw attendance numbers it meant that an extra 150 people sshowed up each day. Not really anything to write home about.

Alan Mann said...

>>Not really anything to write home about.

True, but perhaps it at least represents a bottoming out and that we're not going to zero!