Bidders vying for the major Thoroughbred franchise in New York blew their own horns -- and did a bit of not-so-subtle bashing of each other -- before an Aug. 1 who's who of racing industry insiders, including members of a state panel considering the bids to operate Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks.
The surprisingly large influx of campaign contributions from breeders and horse owners in Kentucky, California and elsewhere to the New York gubernatorial campaign of Eliot Spitzer did not come from individuals secretly vying to obtain the New York Racing Association franchise, according to one of the top donors.
Groups and individuals trying to influence the future direction of horse racing in New York have opened their wallets to statewide candidates and campaigns of legislators who will have a role in picking a new owner of the franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks.
A who's who of racing industry heavyweights formally notified New York state June 30 of their interest in obtaining the franchise now held by the New York Racing Association to operate Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks.
The New York Racing Association will include a for-profit partner in its bid to hold onto the state franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks, NYRA president Charles Hayward said June 26.
A long-simmering dispute between top Republicans in New York over the composition of the state racing and wagering board has been settled with the nomination by Gov. George Pataki of two new members to the racing industry's regulatory panel.
The long-awaited Request For Proposals for the franchise to operate racing at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga was approved for release June 13 by a state government panel, though it appears increasingly unlikely the winning bidder will be selected this year.
The New York Racing Association has lost a major arbitration case brought by fired pari-mutuel clerks, dozens of whom walked off their jobs a year ago during the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) over a contract dispute.
Jeffrey Tucker, a New York breeder, has been named chairman of the fledgling Empire Racing Associates, a group of horsemen and breeders trying to position itself to be among the holders of a new Thoroughbred racing franchise in New York.
A fledgling group of owners and breeders in New York has launched a new effort to study a variety of issues affecting the safety of Thoroughbred horses, including whether some of the state's racetracks should install alternative racing surfaces.
New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, the frontrunner in the New York governor's race, said he wants the franchise to run Thoroughbred racing in the state to be awarded sooner than later, and indicated the decision doesn't have to wait until the next governor takes over in 2007.
The chairman of the state panel overseeing the bidding process for New York's Thoroughbred racing franchise dismissed growing speculation that the complex task of awarding a new franchise holder won't begin in earnest until next year.
The projected costs of the New York Racing Association's video lottery terminal casino keep soaring, and state officials are voicing renewed concerns about the delay in building the new gambling facility at Aqueduct racetrack.
New York should permit public and private partnerships to bid on the New York Racing Association franchise, allow bettors to wager via computers, introduce frequent-betting rewards programs at tracks, and approve the merger of the state's off-track betting corporations, according to an ambitious legislative package proposed March 9 by Friends of New York Racing.
A New York state panel approved a deal Tuesday to have the state's obligations owed by the New York Racing Association take a back seat to the $170 million MGM Mirage will be lending to NYRA to build its video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct racetrack.
New York state could reap at least $2.1 billion if it auctions off video lottery terminal franchises at Aqueduct and Belmont racetracks, sells the tracks now run by the New York Racing Association, and privatizes the six regional off-track betting corporations now scattered around the state.
A state panel overseeing the Thoroughbred racing franchise bidding process in New York could ask potential bidders to reply to three different requests for proposal that will vary depending on the future value of the franchise.
Friends of New York Racing, a consortium of industry groups and individuals that has been studying and making recommendations on the future of racing in the state, is being formally disbanded at the end of February.
Magna Entertainment would be interested in partnering with Churchill Downs for New York's potentially lucrative Thoroughbred racetrack franchise, but wants nothing to do with the New York Racing Association, Magna Chairman Frank Stronach said Jan. 24.
The New York Racing Association will have to raise pari-mutuel takeout if it is to obtain a $20-million loan from the state of New York, according to language buried in state budget bills introduced the week of Jan. 16.
New York would add three additional casinos featuring video lottery terminals, which would be permitted to locate near the New York Racing Association's future Aqueduct racino, Gov. George Pataki proposed Jan. 17.
With construction set to start on a video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct in late January, racetrack, the New York Racing Association is pushing the state of New York to provide an additional $20-million bailout before spring.
The New York state panel involved in the renewal process for a new Thoroughbred racing franchise to replace the New York Racing Association will hold two public hearings later this month to help it carry out its mandate.
New York Gov. George Pataki is offering $10 million in immediate aid to help keep the ailing New York Racing Association from insolvency, and he pledged to work with legislators on another measure to lend NYRA cash against its future gaming proceeds.
New York's top Republican in the state legislature has called for the creation of a $30-million state fund to help the New York Racing Association overcome its financial crisis while the state speeds up the process to award a new Thoroughbred franchise.
Trainer Todd Pletcher, who recently set a single-season record for earnings, was suspended for 45 days by New York regulators Dec. 15 for a banned substance found in one of his horses that raced a year ago at Saratoga.
New York regulators have altered the state's equine medication rules to bring them more in compliance with other states, but they have refused to join states that permit administration of more race-day drugs.
New York officials need to act quickly to launch a major overhaul of racing laws to help jumpstart the state's $1.4-billion Thoroughbred racing industry, Friends of New York Racing concluded in its year-end report on the status of pari-mutuel horse racing in the state.
The former chairman of the now-defunct New York State Thoroughbred Capital Investment Fund tapped into the agency's budget to foot expenses for a bed and breakfast and Mexican restaurant he owned, while CIF funds were used to pay for such personal items as overnight mailings to watch repair stores, gasoline and entertainment, New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi said in an audit released Dec. 5.
A powerful New York legislator says the franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks should be awarded in the next six months in order to ensure the continued viability of racing in the state.
A powerful New York legislator says the Thoroughbred franchise for Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga racetracks should be awarded in the next six months in order to ensure the continued viability of racing in the state.
The auction of 19 pieces of equine artwork by the financially ailing New York Racing Association has been canceled after Sotheby's auction house withdrew the sale under threat of legal action by the state government.
New York Gov. George Pataki, after a day of intrigue at the state Capitol over the leadership of the state's racing regulatory agency, has relieved Michael Hoblock of his duties as chairman of the state Racing and Wagering Board.