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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Wednesday Morning Notes - Oct 8

- Really surprised to see that the Meadowlands is running six days a week at their thoroughbred meeting; in the afternoon on Mondays through Wednesdays. Rather ironic when you consider that the flats play a clear second fiddle to the trotters there; yet they had to cut back their harness schedule to four days at one point last year. No thoroughbreds at Yonkers of course.

However, short fields, sparse crowds (less than 2,000), and a seemingly desperate rush to get it over with (eight races run in two hours and 44 minutes), don't make it seem like a particularly appealing way to spend a Tuesday afternoon.

- So much for my brilliant freaking theory that the financial crisis is dragging the racino business here down with it. The handle at Yonkers last week was up - way up - from the week before - $10,023,879 from $8,704,474. That's an increase of some 15%, about what the Dow's been down the last few days. Maybe they're gambling with the Fed's money there. Or perhaps there was a company trip by AIG. I suppose we all need a way to relieve the stress.

Well, perhaps I should limit my prognostication efforts to matters in which I already have a documented record of failure. In the first at Belmont, Akin (9-2) goes first off the claim for trainer Chad Brown. This barn continues to be sharp; though he has just one win from nine runners at Belmont thus far, he has five seconds and a third, as well as three recent winners in New Jersey. That's where he claimed this gelded son of Whywhywhy, and the turnback to one turn at this track should certainly help, at least based on his last such effort, in which he earned a career high Beyer of 80. He's freshened up just a bit, and Brown is hitting at 28% in the 31-60 day layoff category.


George said...

Alan, From what I have heard gambling (lotteries etc.) and pubs do better during hard economic times. I'm not sure I would want to go through all the time to check the validity but I suppose the racino suggests it may indeed be true.

Anonymous said...

Alan, the reason they went to 6 days a week (which I agree is an awful idea) had something to do with their subsidy from the Atlantic City casinos. It expired last year without an extension. So that triggered a clause in the law that NJ would have to expand from 120 racing days to something like 140 or 145, so this is where the extra days came from. Eventually, there was another purse subsidy from the casinos but the added racing days were already in. I think that's the basic situation.

Anonymous said...

Yonkers, NY is the staycation capital of the world!