Michael Hoblock

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Sotheby's Suspends Sale of NY Equine Art

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 Racetrack Denied Operating License

State regulators have denied a 2004 racing application for troubled Vernon Downs, a Standardbred racetrack in central New York. The Feb. 27 ruling by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board prohibits racing at the facility and keeps shuttered a recently completed video lottery terminal casino.

New York to Test for EPO Antibodies Beginning Nov. 1

New York regulators Oct. 21 gave final approval to a new rule authorizing the testing of post-race samples for performance-enhancing erythropoetin antibodies. The New York Racing and Wagering Board said the testing would begin Nov. 1, which would make New York the first state to require the test.

NYRA Seeks to Lower Pari-Mutuel Takeout

Quickly taking advantage of a new pari-mutuel deregulation move by the state, the New York Racing Association has proposed reducing its takeout on certain bets at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga.

OTB Corp. Gets OK to Operate New York Track

Permission has been granted for the first time ever in New York for an off-track betting corporation to run a racetrack. After years of battling industry opposition and eventually paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to make the critics go away, Western Regional Off Track Betting Corp. was given approval by state regulators Feb. 27 to reopen Batavia Downs.

Court Upholds Warrantless Searches at Tracks, Except in Dorms

A federal appeals court has upheld the ability of regulators in New York to conduct unannounced searches of racetracks without warrants to investigate illegal equine drug use and other activities that may affect the integrity of racing in the state. But the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said the investigators from the state Racing and Wagering Board went too far in 1997 when they also searched dormitories used by grooms at Yonkers Raceway

Plan for OTB-Owned Racetrack Still Alive

Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. paid $2.5 million for shuttered Batavia Downs, but thus far has been unable to win legislative approval to open and operate the upstate New York Standardbred track.

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