Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito gave every credit to Commentator after the 7-year-old gelding won his second Whitney Handicap (gr. I) by 4 ¾ lengths over Student Council and Grasshopper July 26 at Saratoga. Zito was thrilled that the New York-bred, owned by Tracy Farmer, can now be counted alongside multiple Whitney winner Kelso.
Hall of Fame trainer Robert Frankel was still amazed with the way Ginger Punch managed to defend her Go for Wand Handicap (gr. I) July 26 at Saratoga title by muscling her way between horses after being boxed in at the top of the stretch.
Weather not fit for beast or man was the story opening day at Saratoga Race Course July 23. Drenching rain left the main track a sea of slop, necessitated the transfer of five turf races on the 10-race card to the dirt, and kept the attendance on the light side -- 18,127 -- for an opener. The crowd was significantly lower than the 30,052 who came out last year under perfect weather conditions.
The betting menu at New York Racing Association has been beefed up, and will now include rolling daily doubles, and superfectas on every race that meets the requirements.
Rain forced the cancellation of five turf races on the opening day card at Saratoga Race Course. Turf racing has also been canceled for the July 24 card as well.
All-sources handle declined 2.2% during the recently-concluded Belmont Park Spring/Summer meet, the New York Racing Association announced July 23.
Racing at Belmont Park was canceled July 20, which would have been the final day of the spring/summer meet.
The New York Racing Association, Inc. announced July 17 that purses for open company route races on the dirt and turf at Saratoga Race Course will be increased, based on the number of horses in a race.
The New York Racing Association has been granted another temporary extension to continue operating during most of the Saratoga meet while it negotiates a final deal with the state for a 25-year franchise.
The bill is fairly minor in nature, enacting a series of mostly technical amendments to a law approved earlier this year giving NYRA a 25-year extension to run Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga. But NYRA officials have said they could not resolve its bankruptcy proceeding without it.
Nobutaka Tada, managing director of the Japan-based stable that campaigns grade II stakes winner Casino Drive, announced June 24 that stable owner Hidetoshi Yamamoto has donated $30,000 to the Belmont Child Care Association's Anna House.
The New York Senate approved a bill June 23 that would establish a testing program for steroids in racehorses via horsemen's contributions.
The New York Racing Association held a press conference in Albany, N.Y., June 23 to discuss the upcoming 36-day Saratoga meet, which begins July 23 and runs through Sept. 1.
- By Tom Precious
The still-stalled franchise extension for the New York Racing Association, a new steroid testing lab, and a company to run a casino at Aqueduct Racetrack are all still on the negotiating table June 23 when lawmakers in New York return to the Capitol for the final days of the 2008 legislative session.
Lawmakers in New York have given final approval of a deal in which the state takes over the control of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp, a move that could be a prelude to consolidation of all the OTBs across the state.
New York officials announced the evening of June 15 a deal to avert the closure of New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. by having the state take over the entity. The move could be a prelude to a statewide consolidation of all OTB corporations.
- By Tom Precious
Negotiators in New York the afternoon of June 13 were putting the final touches on legislation in which the state would take control of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp., thereby averting a shutdown of the city's betting operations for the weekend.
The New York Racing Association reported that 94,476 were on hand under sunny skies on a sweltering day at Belmont Park June 7 to witness yet another Triple Crown upset, with longshot Da' Tara going wire to wire in the 140th Belmont Stakes (gr. I). The victory ended heavily favored Big Brown's attempt to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
The New York Racing Association and UPS have announced a partnership agreement for the Belmont Park Spring race meeting, including the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I). The deal is being made in association with ABC Regional Sports Sales.
The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association said June 4 it recognizes the contribution made to purses by New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. but won't support a proposal that would reduce the amount NYCOTB pays to purses and the New York Racing Association.
A deal to keep New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. from shuttering could be at hand, according to the head of the state Assembly's racing committee.
- By Esther Marr
On the second day of the Track Superintendent Field Day at Keeneland June 3, the focus was turned toward dirt tracks, as a panel of six superintendents from across the nation talked about various methods used on the surfaces.
With the clock ticking on the closure of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp., officials from the Bloomberg administration are stepping up their calls for industry stakeholders to compromise on a bill or face the loss of more than $100 million in OTB distributions.
The New York Racing Association said June 2 a field of nine is probable for the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), third leg of the Triple Crown.
New York Gov. David Paterson sent mixed signals about reopening the deal giving the New York Racing Association a 25-year franchise extension to operate Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks.
- By Tom Precious
New York Gov. David Paterson is sending mixed signals on whether he wanted to re-open talks with the New York Racing Association over its deal for a new franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga racetracks.
The New York Racing Association and The Jockey Club will host the "Rags to Riches Belmont Bash" at the Clubhouse at Meadowbrook Pointe in Westbury, N.Y., June 5.
The New York Racing Association is prepared for the crowd that will on-hand to watch Big Brown attempt to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. It will be the first Triple Crown attempt since 2004 when Smarty Jones fell short.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Southern Racing Cooperative has a new multi-year deal with the New York Racing Association on signal rates, a cooperative official said.
New York Racing Association simulcasts will return to 16 East Coast tracks, thanks to an agreement signed May 8 between the NYRA and the Mid-Atlantic Cooperative.
The New York Racing Association and the Mid-Atlantic Cooperative have struck a signal-fee deal that will return the NYRA signal--currently from Belmont Park--to 16 East Coast racetracks and their affiliated off-track wagering outlets effective May 9.
State officials are working on a plan to help keep the New York City Off Track Betting Corp. from shutting by shaving up to 20% of revenue-sharing the OTB now makes to various entities, including the New York Racing Association, out-of-state tracks, and breeding programs.
- By Tom LaMarra
Another group of racetracks won't be importing the signal from Belmont Park beginning April 30 because they collectively have failed to strike a deal on signal rates with the New York Racing Association.
The Mid-Atlantic Cooperative, which represents 16 racetracks and their affiliated off-track wagering outlets, has failed to reach an agreement with the New York Racing Association on signal rates, which puts simulcast of races from Belmont Park in jeopardy.
The New York Racing Association has hired Paul J. Campo as vice president and director of racing; Elizabeth Bracken as vice president and director of simulcast sales and content acquisition; and Tom Thill as vice president and chief information officer.
Preliminary negotiations have begun at the state Capitol in Albany to address New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's threat to shut down the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. in June.
The "Rags to Riches Belmont Bash," hosted by the New York Racing Association and The Jockey Club, will be held June 5 at the Clubhouse at Meadowbrook Pointe in Westbury, N.Y. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and the Belmont Child Care Association. Tickets are $250.
Due to heavy overnight rains continuing into April 4, the New York Racing Association has canceled live racing at Aqueduct in an effort to preserve the racing surface for the Wood Memorial program on April 5.
The New York Racing Association violated state law for its no-bid contract with a politically connected law firm, a New York state investigation has found.
The New York Racing Association reported total net operating losses of $34.28 million in 2007. That figure is nearly double from 2006, when total net losses reached $17.83 million.
Premier Turf Club has added Keeneland content to its list of track offerings, building on a business model that has allowed the North Dakota-based advance deposit wagering entity to realize four-fold growth in handle in the last few months.
With the March 12 announcement of the resignation of New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer effective March 17, officials at the New York Racing Association said they don't anticipate his resignation would affect recent legislation that grants NYRA a new franchise. It could, however, impact other aspects of the franchise moving forward.
The New York Racing Association, which has had to delay its emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, was given another extension by the state to continue racing at its tracks.
Officials cautioned that a delay in the New York Racing Association emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection is not a sign of a larger problem for the deal giving NYRA a new 25-year franchise extension.
HorseRacing TV began showing races from Aqueduct Feb. 21 after being granted the non-exclusive rights to provide the New York Racing Association circuit to its viewers as the result of an agreement reached in late December.
Legislation giving the New York Racing Association a 25-year extension of its exclusive Thoroughbred franchise was signed Feb. 19, Gov. Eliot Spitzer said. Meanwhile, the mayor of New York City reiterated that New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. can't continue under its current arrangement with the state.
- By Tom Precious
The New York Racing Association, written off as dead a year ago by its competitors, has won the rights to a 25-year exclusive franchise to continue operating Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks.
- By Tom Precious
The New York Racing Association will run racing for the next 25 years under legislation approved February 13 that provides hundreds of millions of dollars in direct aid and loan forgiveness to NYRA and new oversight abilities by the state.
The New York Racing Association, in control of Thoroughbred racing in the state since 1955, will continue to run racing under a deal that came together Feb. 12 at the state Capitol in Albany, government and industry sources say.
The New York Racing Association has posted a notice on its Web site informing racing fans and its NYRA Rewards members of the possible shutdown of racing at Aqueduct as of Wednesday, Feb. 13.
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