Negotiations for an Aqueduct casino operator have stepped up again, with a new flurry of talks between Gov. David Paterson and legislative leaders occurring in advance of a return by the state legislature the week of Nov. 16 to deal with New York's soaring deficit.
All five remaining bidders for the Aqueduct gaming project said they have met a Nov. 6 deadline to guarantee a quick $200-million payment to the state of New York if they are chosen to develop the video lottery terminal casino at the Queens racetrack.
Judson Streicher's Le Grand Cru turned away Past the Point after a determined stretch duel to earn a victory in the $150,000 Bold Ruler Handicap (gr. III) Oct. 31 at Aqueduct, his second straight graded stakes score.
Apprentice jockey Amanda Casey will remain at North Shore University Hospital for a week to recover from a bruised liver suffered when she was kicked by her horse in the paddock at Aqueduct Racetrack on Oct. 30.
Gov. David Paterson and New York legislative leaders met behind closed doors Oct. 29 in Manhattan to try to resolve the selection of an operator for the long-stalled Aqueduct video lottery terminal casino project.
Penn National Gaming Inc., believed to be facing an uphill battle in the bidding wars to develop a video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct, has offered the cash-starved New York state government $250 million in a non-contingency, upfront payment for the exclusive contract and believes it's still in the hunt for the project.
Negotiators in New York have tentatively narrowed down the bidding list to three entities to run the long-delayed video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct, and a final decision could come as early as the week of Sept. 28.
Officials in New York recognize they will not be getting the upfront payment money for the Aqueduct casino franchise they had been expecting before the economy turned sour, according to the head of the Senate's racing committee.
Hard Rock International has added a potent new force - an entity run by billionaire Robert L. Johnson - to its team to try to win the exclusive rights to develop the long-stalled casino at Aqueduct racetrack.
They tapped various talking points -- from higher purses and a beefed-up breeding industry to protecting green space and even family values -- but a group of Thoroughbred representatives have brought a singular message to state officials: Get the Aqueduct video lottery terminal casino off the ground.
Jockeys at Belmont Park this week began testing padded crops designed to be gentler on horses, according to a press rlease issued by the New York Racing Association July 10. The goal is to fully implement the new equipment by the start of the six-week Saratoga meeting on July 29.
New York officials this week told bidders vying for the Aqueduct casino development rights to assume the contract will be awarded by Aug. 1, a questionable timetable given the chaos and leadership questions still swirling following a coup in the state Senate June 8.
MGM Mirage is back in the hunt to develop New York City's only legal casino with word emerging May 14 that it has joined forces with two other entities trying to win the bid for a sprawling new gambling facility at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trying one more time, the state of New York accepted seven new bids - from major casino operators to real estate and racing interests -- to develop a casino at Aqueduct racetrack, an authority first approved for the facility back in 2001.
New York's lottery director caused a bit of a stir this week when he suggested to state lawmakers that racetracks are a drag on the profitability of their racino operations - leading to less money going to the state's education budget.
West Point Thoroughbreds and partners' Mr. Fantasy, who was once under considering for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), made his case for a run in next month's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) by scoring a 1 3/4-length victory in the $150,000 Withers (gr. III) April 25 at Aqueduct.
This Ones for Phil, Mr. Fantasy and Just a Coincidence - all on the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) trail earlier this season - top a field of seven 3-year-olds in the $150,000 Withers (gr. III) April 25 at Aqueduct. The $1 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I) is now the primary goal for each of them.
Mercedes Stables' Seattle Smooth, who took down eventual 3-year-old champion filly Proud Spell in the Fitz Dixon Cotillion Stakes (gr. II) last out, will return from a seven-month layoff and make her seasonal debut in the $150,000 Bed o' Roses Handicap (gr. II) at Aqueduct April 18.
On April 6, two days after Gato Go Win was scratched from the Bay Shore Stakes (gr.III) at Aqueduct because the horse's trainer, Jeff Mullins, was observed administrating an orally-injected substance to his horse in the detention barn, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board said the "matter is still in the hands" of the Aqueduct stewards.
Kodiak Kowboy scored the first grade I victory of his career and became a millionaire in dramatic fashion, rallying late to edge the front-running Fabulous Strike by a head in the $300,000 Carter Handicap April 4 at Aqueduct in New York. It was the eighth win in 17 career races for Kodiak Kowboy, who was Canada's champion 2-year-old male in 2007.
Despite missing the break, then being caught in traffic at the top of the lane, I Want Revenge split horses in mid-stretch and went on to win the $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I) in remarkable fashion April 4 at Aqueduct.
The beneficiary of a perfect stalking trip under Javier Castellano, Capt. Candyman Can edged clear approaching the sixteenth pole and went on to win the $200,000 Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III) by three lengths April 4 at Aqueduct.
Having a horse on the Kentucky Derby trail is something that most horsemen can only dream about. But for trainer Ian Wilkes and owners Joseph Rauch and David Zell, having fun is more important than dreams of Derby glory.
A field of eight accomplished sprinters, led by multiple graded stakes winner Tale of Ekati, Kodiak Kowboy, and Fabulous Strike, will line up in the starting gate in the $300,000 Carter Handicap (gr. I) April 4 at Aqueduct.
The state of New York should abandon efforts to find new bidders to develop a video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct and instead tap the New York Racing Association to run the long-delayed facility, a leading state lawmaker believes.
The top three finishers from the Gotham Stakes (gr. III), headed by runaway winner I Want Revenge, are among the probable starters for the 85th running of the $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I) for 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles at Aqueduct on April 4.
One Smokin' Lady, who in her last start romped to a 5 1/2-length allowance victory at Philadelphia Park, will make the jump into graded stakes company in the $100,000 Cicada (gr. III), a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies March 14 at Aqueduct.
As state officials in New York scrambled to re-group following the collapse of the Delaware North plan to build a casino at Aqueduct racetrack, at least one of the former bidding groups said it would be interested in making a new bid on the long-stalled project.
The long-stalled Aqueduct casino project will now be facing yet another delay, as the company that won the rights to develop the facility is telling the state it cannot meet a deadline to make its $370 million franchise fee payment.
Shipping in from California and making his first start on natural dirt, I Want Revenge put away Mr. Fantasy at the top of the stretch and scored by 8 1/2 convincing lengths in the $250,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) March 7 at Aqueduct.
Seeing that Wild Holly had lost her last three by a combined total of 54 1/2 lengths and that her jockey was a winless 10-pound apprentice, bettors sent the 8-year-old mare off as a 64-1 longshot in the fifth race at Aqueduct March 6.
Shadwell Stable's Lucky Island, who reeled off four consecutive victories in the first half of 2008 before faltering, looks to start his season on a winning note when taking on eight sprinters in the $100,000 Toboggan Handicap (gr. III) March 7 on Aqueduct's inner track.
On paper, the $250,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) has turned out to be one of the most intriguing and highly-anticipated prep races of the season, as a number of promising 3-year-olds will attempt to answer questions about their ability to go on to the $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I), and possibly the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
The company selected to operate video lottery terminals at Aqueduct said there are a host of unresolved issues, including restructuring its financing deal, before it can close on a final agreement with the state of New York to begin construction on the long-delayed facility.