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Wednesday, February 29, 2012


OK, yes, still alive, back from vacation, and the Head Chef has some culinary comments on our trip to Grenada here. Sorry for the lack of posting, pressed for time, but a couple of quick observations here:

Got in my inbox the latest press release from the New York Gaming Association (NYGA), as they continue to advise New Yorkers of how the economy would benefit from casinos at their already existing racetrack racinos.

The analysis, conducted by Appleseed, a New York City firm that specializes in providing economic and social research analysis, also estimates that in its first full year of operation, enhanced gaming would generate an additional $317 million in State revenues, including approximately $300 million in annual payments to New York’s public education which is equivalent to the salaries of more than 4,300 teachers. In addition, the projected private investment by NYGA of $1.8 billion in construction would generate nearly $81 million in New York State income, sales and business taxes and more than $36.4 million in local income, sales and business taxes.
And blah blah blah. I think that NYGA has already given the economy a big boost just from all the damn studies and analyses they've commissioned for their own benefit. Of course, what these studies do not tell us is if they factor in the money sucked out of the pockets of those people of modest means who are drawn to casinos against their best interests. I mean, the construction and casino jobs are fine, but the gambling money doesn't just come from nowhere. What are the costs of compulsive gambling; don't see that quantified in any of these analyses.

In a rare nod to the racing industry, this latest press release speaks of "subsidies provided to the racing and breeding industries [increasing] by approximately $26.3 million annually." However, that is presumably based on a presumed increase in slots play, since NYGA has no intention whatsoever of volunteering any percentage of the new table games to go to the tracks. So I think this projection is even more strictly theoretical than the rest of the nonsense.

- Union Rags won the Fountain of Youth in impressive fashion on Sunday, and boy, is everyone excited about that. In the not-so-distant past though, I think we would have heard a lot more of "but who did he beat?" Because truth is, not much. The Toddster-worshippers laughingly made Discreet Dancer the favorite despite his never having gone around two-turns and a pedigree (Discreet Cat out of Gone West mare) that makes his distance ability highly questionable. Used to be that skepticism was the natural pose for horseplayers surveying the three-year old crop....but that was when there were more three-year olds to be excited about. Now, we're starving for any kind of excitement with the talent thin and the races infrequent, so we'll take what we can get. Union Rags is a tough-luck head from being undefeated, and his return on Sunday was thoroughly professional and altogether decent (earning a Beyer of 95). But it wasn't much in the way of a prep for a grueling mile and a quarter race against 19 others. And is there any reason to think that his next (and only) race before the Derby will be any more challenging? Maybe he's that good and he'll just waltz through the remaining half dozen or so races in his career before he retires to stud. Or maybe it's a setup for another healthy Derby win price on another blossoming horse with good workout reports leading up to the race. We'll see.


Anonymous said...

Rags got a pretty decent ride.

Anonymous said...

You white liberals sure take alot of vacations.

Must be a 1%er.

steve in nc said...

Welcome back! You were missed. And the anonymous namecaller isn't the only one who is jealous. Hell, I'm even jealous of your travel agent, who must also be a 1%er.

Could you pass along a suggestion to the casino PR folks who send you stuff? Tell them to highlight how a bigger casino presence would help first-time home-buyers, by creating a greater supply of foreclosed homes.

Even on a little 13" monitor, when Union Rags was shown in the walking ring and the post parade, his rippling muscles and great body language jumped out like in 3-D, and the reflection of his coat was burning white spots on the video image.

I confess I was looking to beat him, since that 3 he ran in the BC on Ragozin is a number that 2yos rarely run, and when they do, it is a number that usually knocks them out for a long time. But I couldn't play the Pletcher at odds on. And there was no one else to possibly bet. A nice race to watch.

I wonder what # Union Rags ran on Saturday. He sure looked devastating.

Figless said...

Excellent article at of all places, regarding disproportionated allocation of purse money to unproven 3yos at expense of proven older horses, which in part is to blame for early retirement of 3yos.

The simple solution is to install a point system instead of Graded Earnings for Kentucky Derby qualification, but for some reason the powers that be have their heads in the sand on this issue. You would think CD officials would make this changes since the current system actually hurts their own racetracks.

Good read;

steve in nc said...

Thanks, Figless. Good article.

Fat chance of fixing that, especially this year when, for once, it looks like we have a good 3yo story developing with Rags & Hansen validating their 2yo efforts rather than melting away.

As a fan, I'm hoping they both stay on course and battle through the triple crown, although that would give racing's powers another chance to feel great about the state of their fiefdom while ignoring all the obvious things that need to be changed.

Anonymous said...

Hansen is not a 10 furlong horse. -JP

Anonymous said...

Alan, what's up with John Imbriale. He sounded like someone stuck a cattle prod up his butt when announcing Caleb's Posse's late run in the stakes on Saturday. Has he been given an ultimatum by management to project drama into his usual drab race calls? Please do some good muckracking and get us some answers. -jp

Anonymous said...

Alan - check out FIDLAR on youtube. These kids are pretty fucking rad.


Anonymous said...

Why don't you do your own muckracking JP. Stop acting like the dolt that you are eh. Come on now steve in nc its time for you to chime in with your a-hole remarks. Hey dirtbag wash your big mouth out.

Anonymous said...

Dirty, is it possible for you to not use the word "fucking" in one single fucking sentence? You have the class of a $2,500 claimer, brau. -jp

Anonymous said...

I see the bloodsucker you send to the US Senate said it is OK for Odouchbag to take Maher's blood money because he is a comic. What a piece of sh*t. Oh - I'm a comic.

Anonymous said...

Getting a little CHIPPY around here! My take on the politics is that the dems are nothing to be proud of but we are lucky to have Obama, especially when you consider the greasy pile of dogcrap that is otherwise known as the republican party and their retarded social agenda. Hope this country isn't dumb enough to vote one of those fools in. It may be. -jp