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Monday, January 03, 2011

New Year Notes

Happy New Year everyone! We were down at my mom's house in Florida, where the wireless wasn't working and the cable from the modem didn't quite reach out to the pool patio. So, sorry for the lack of posting. It was in the mid-70's down there, and what a relief from the snow still effecting services up here in the city.

No news lately on NYC OTB (other than Greg Rayburn continuing to collect his paycheck), and with each passing day, the world without it seems more the norm than an anomaly. NYRA forges on with the live streaming of its races, and an expansion of the capacity their own OTB facility in the Belmont Cafe.

“We have had very positive customer response since opening the Belmont CafĂ© on December 12,” said NYRA President and CEO Charles Hayward. “With the typically strong racing expected from Santa Anita and Gulfstream this winter, we’re pleased to offer an expansion and a number of improvements to our new simulcast area.”
Those tracks, along with the other attractive winter meets such as Fair Grounds and Oaklawn, are a real potential area of growth for NYRA. As little as NYRA got from NYC OTB on their own races, on simulcast tracks they got even less - 1.96% vs 2.69% according to figures I have from 2009. Remember, NYRA retains about the same percentage of on-track wagers - including through NYRA Rewards - made on simulcast tracks as on their own races. If they only need to retain 35% of NYC OTB's NYRA handle to break even, then they would only have to keep 25% on the simulcasts. If and when they start to stream those top winter meetings, that could be a huge attraction for people like myself who don't get HRTV and want to keep our betting dollars in-state. This handle on out-of-state tracks is not included in the betting figures you see at the bottom of the charts, the ones you've seen used for comparisons. It could be a bit of a hidden bonus for NYRA, and another reason to look forward to the future rather than try to resurrect the broken past. As I imagine we still may hear about early in this new year.

I did a double take when I saw the crowd figure of over 16,000 at the Big A on Saturday, before I remembered that it was the annual calendar giveaway. There had to be some kind of spinning going on, right? Would be interested in hearing from someone who was there.

Yonkers has been closed for a winter break and will reopen later this month.

Crossbow ($2.50) took the second at Aqueduct on Sunday, graduating in his second start and earning a Beyer of 86. Darley homebred is by Bernardini out of the multiple graded stakes winner Forest Heiress, a half-sister herself to the speedy Wildcat Heir, the sire of Breathoffreshheir, who took the Ruthless the race after (in a slightly slower time).

Monzon won the Count Fleet in classy come-from-behind style, earning a 90 Beyer in his two-turn dirt debut and immediately jumped to the top of the LATG Derby list. In fact, he's the only one on it. Son of Thunder Gulch may be headed to Tampa Bay next.


Anonymous said...

Alan, you get yourself something nice for the holidays with all that Blame cash? I'm waiting for your insight into the IEAH/TAG scandal. We knew they were crooks, now let's see how criminal the acts really are.


Teresa said...

Alan, I did a double-take, too, when I saw that attendance - but with free attendance, I can't see how spinning for calendars would have affected it. You walked in through the turnstile, then went and bought calendars for $2 at a separate table. The place did seem pretty crowded - more than I've ever seen it - but I'd be curious to know how attendance was determined.

Anonymous said...

I usually get more than one calendar and drop them off in the car before the festivities begin.

alan said...

They can't physically fit 16,000 people into that space!

Figless said...

Belmont Cafe was also very crowded Saturday, almost every booth in the similcast center right outside the cafe was full. Skeptical of the 16k fig but if Belmont was crowded I am certain they had a nice crowd at Big A.

Just wait until Belmont!

We always suspected that NYCOTB was killing NYRA and now we are beginning to see some proof.

So now that Albany sees that Racing can survive without NYCOTB's "contribution" you can bet they will try to resurrect the dead, which would be a real shame.

jk said...

NYRA should build a state of the art simulcasting facility at Belmont. Adding more chairs to the Cafe is ok for now but they need a new facility.
They certainly have the space and it would make more sense than putting in more slots.

Anonymous said...

Aqueduct Saturday 16,000 ............ yea right..... only thing spinning was the warpness of your brain to even think of such an attendance.

Anonymous said...

There were about 100 or so people chanting save orb in the concourse of the empire state plaza while cuomo was giving his state of the state speech.

Anonymous said...

That should be otb. Stupid auto correct.

Anonymous said...

yeah I thought you were talking about a mork & mindy character or something. Thanks for the clarification. -jp

affirmedny said...

125K per month and the company you were hired to straighten out ended up going out of business. In other words he was a total failure at what he was hired to do. Where do you get this kind of work? Six months or so and I'll be just fine.