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Saturday, July 26, 2008

News, Noses, and Notes

- Reports of a possible purse cut at Del Mar due to the lower handle thus far.

On-track attendance is down 5.8 percent and on-track handle is down 11.8 percent. Meanwhile, total handle is down 5.5 percent.
One published report said 7 percent purse cuts are imminent, but Del Mar officials are not planning to do anything until after this weekend.

"We're only one furlong into a seven-furlong race," said Mike Ernst, chief financial officer at Del Mar. "We're not planning on any cuts right now." [North County Times]
But it certainly doesn't sound like he's dismissing the possibility.

Check out the wild finish in last night's Wickerr Handicap at Del Mar:

[this is where I unsuccessfully attempted to upload the video to here or You Tube from my desktop. Try Cal Racing. In the spirit of the criticism of NYRA for not publicizing the race with Durkin's do-ra-mi call, tracks should at least have a My Space or You Tube page from where they can send out links to great races like this to a mailing list of press, websites, and customers! C'mon, that's not brain surgery and it doesn't take much time or effort to do it!!]

The official margins separating the top five finishers were nose, nose, nose, and nose.

- Developer Louis Capelli, apparently not fully appeased by the unprecedented 75% share of gaming revenues carved out by the NY state legislature for his grand plans to build a new Monticello Raceway and Racino at a newly redesigned Concord Hotel, wants every tax break that Sullivan County offers.
Cappelli is seeking an estimated $40.3 million in sales and mortgage tax relief and millions more in property tax breaks through the Sullivan County Industrial Development Agency.

"This is what we call 'but for' money," said Joseph Apicella, executive vice president of Cappelli Enterprises after Friday's special meeting of the IDA at the Government Center. "But for the economic assistance this project wouldn't be financially viable."
"It (IDA assistance) was always expected as part of the economic feasibility analysis," Apicella said. "We're pretty confident that this community is very, very excited about the project and the scope, and bringing economic benefits to a community that has suffered from economic decline for so many years." []
These guys clearly have Sullivan County over a barrel, and they know it. Apicella makes damn sure to remind the community of its depressed status since the decline of its resorts business many years ago, and the steady stream of disappointments and false starts in prior attempts to bring gambling to the area. I'm sure Capelli will get every last cent of relief that he's asking for.

- Another report about the nationwide decline in casino revenues: but, we're told, there's a glaring exception to the trend.
Perhaps the one true bright spot was the growth in the racino industry, particularly in the new York and Pennsylvania areas. Pennsylvania track casinos were up an astounding 48.9%, as slots took off in the Keystone state.

New York also showed impressive figures, as their slots racinos climbed 15.5%. [Online Casino Sphere]


ljk said...

Perhaps another instance of bettors avoiding the synthetic at Del Mar?

If you're handicapping tommorow's pick-6 carryover, I suggest you consider the turf races may come off. It's pouring here right now and has been for a while. Hail too!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the weather update. I'm looking at one of the early races right now.