Tim Smith was a racing outsider when he was recruited as the first commissioner of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association in 1998. Now, he's again an outsider--maybe even an outcast--caught up in the acrimony dominating the quest for the franchise to operate the three major Thoroughbred racetracks in New York.
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.
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.
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.
As racing industry leaders discussed the value of Thoroughbred racing at New York's three premier tracks, the company that owns the state's fourth Thoroughbred track, Finger Lakes Gaming & Racing, said it could pursue the New York Racing Association franchise.
Friends of New York Racing, formed to advocate a new economic model for the pari-mutuel industry in the state, believes backstretch health and welfare issues should be addressed as part of the selection process for the New York Racing Association franchise.
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 racing industry's major stakeholders in New York state, more accustomed to battling than cooperation, came together Tuesday, Nov. 15 for an unprecedented gathering to try to reach consensus on ways to improve the state of their financial affairs.
Revenue to localities in the six off-track betting regions in New York is down more than 50% from 2000 to 2004, according to the results of a study commissioned by Friends of New York Racing, the organization that seeks to build a better economic model for the pari-mutuel industry in the Empire state. Two OTB corporations, Capital and New York City, have issued responses to the report, which they believe doesn't tell the whole story.
Due to his appointment to the Committee on the Future of Racing in New York, Jack Knowlton, managing partner of Sackatoga Stable, has resigned from the board of directors of Friends of New York Racing.
Continuing on a theme he struck during the Jockey Club Round Table the previous morning, Tim Smith, the president of the Friends of New York Racing, outlined the research group's preliminary findings and recommendations during a public forum Monday at Fasig-Tipton's Humphrey S. Finney sale pavilion in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
A survey authorized by Friends of New York Racing showed many New Yorkers aren't aware of the New York Racing Association's ongoing legal and financial problems, and that they aren't sure how the NYRA franchise should be structured.
Friends of New York Racing, a nonprofit entity formed to devise a new economic model for New York racing, has proposed a profitable public/private structure for the New York Racing Association and installation of video lottery terminals at Belmont Park.
The company that owns Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack and operates video lottery terminals at two upstate New York harness tracks has joined the board of directors of Friends of New York Racing, the advocacy organization that seeks to create a better business model for horse racing in the state.
Tim Smith, the former commissioner of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association who is now heading Friends of New York Racing, announced some plans for the organization at a press conference in New York Feb. 16.
Henry White was not the breeder of record for any of the eight Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship winners in 2004, but he received the biggest ovation when the winning breeders were honored at an annual awards dinner Saturday at Keeneland.
The future shape of New York's Thoroughbred industry will be the focus of a new group of the nation's leading racing industry insiders, whose chief mission will be to propose a new business model for racing in the state.
The president of Magna Entertainment Corp. said Dec. 10 the company would like to be part of a new organization -- Friends of New York Racing -- which hopes to reconstruct the economic model for racing in the state and perhaps seek the franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga.