Purse hikes from the incentive program created to increase field size during the 2009 Saratoga Race Course meet totaled $553,990 through Week Five, a 19.5% advance over original purse values, according to The New York Racing Association.
New York Gov. David A. Paterson on Sept. 1 signed Executive Order No. 27, authorizing the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation (NYCOTB) to file a petition for reorganization under Chapter 9 of the federal bankruptcy code. The governor issued the order after it was determined that NYCOTB requires major restructuring to regain solvency. Paterson has directed the NYCOTB board of directors, led by Chairman Meyer "Sandy" Frucher, to provide the governor's office with a restructuring plan within two months, which likely will include a Chapter 9 filing for NYCOTB.
Attendance and handle turned down fractionally for the first time during the 2009 Saratoga Race Course meet after two inches of rain Aug. 28 and 29 lowered attendance on Shadwell Travers (gr. I) Day and forced seven of the weekend's 11 carded turf races off the turf. Attendance was down 1.6%, on-track handle down 1.6%, and all-sources handle down 2.8% from 2008 totals through week five.
Online wagering companies TVG and Betfair have pledged an additional $400,000 to the New York Racing Association to invite Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta to participate in the Beldame Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park Oct. 3.
New York Racing Association-operated Saratoga has been fully accredited by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance, officials announced Aug. 21.
New York jockeys will start riding full time with equine friendly riding crops beginning Wednesday, Aug. 19, at Saratoga.
The New York Racing Association announced Aug. 14 that Andrei M.G. Saunders has been appointed by NYRA to its board of directors.
Twelve more races qualified under the purse incentive program created to increase field size during week two of the 2009 Saratoga Race Course meet, according to The New York Racing Association. Purse increases from incentives during the meet's second week totaled $74,750, a 16.5% advance over the original purse values.
Bill Johnson, a lifelong racetracker and longtime employee of the New York Racing Association, died Aug. 7 of pancreatitis.
- By Tom Precious
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.
Jeff Mullins, trainer of 2009 Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) winner I Want Revenge, has filed a letter with the New York State Racing and Wagering Board regarding IEAH Stables' alleged failure to meet financial obligations in relation to the training, riding, and care of the colt.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has won a lot of races. And, he has seen a lot of weather forecasts. On July 31, he won the off the turf Lake George Stakes at Saratoga with Be Fair.
On-track and all-sources handle were up significantly over 2008 totals as Saratoga Race Course opened its 141st season July 29.
At the urging of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, the New York Racing Association July 29 -- opening day of the Saratoga meet--authorized restoration of its televised signal to the in-home distribution network of Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corp.
Fasig-Tipton and the New York Racing Association are teaming to award a $100,000 "Juvenile Jackpot" to the first graduate of the 2009 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale that wins a graded stakes during the 2010 Saratoga meeting in New York. Should no juvenile qualify for the prize in 2010, the award will double to $200,000 for Fasig-Tipton yearlings purchased that year that run at Saratoga in 2011.
The New York State Racing and Wagering Board clarified July 28 that horses are banned from being entered in races if they have received hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment within one week of post time. The therapy is permitted otherwise.
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.
The Race Track Industry Program at the University of Arizona is teaming up with the New York Racing Association to offer students the opportunity to learn about the business of track management at the inaugural College Day at Saratoga Race Course.
The New York Racing Association announced July 22 that Ellen McClain has been named senior vice president and chief financial officer. In her position, McClain will oversee all NYRA financials, including accounting, budgeting, and forecasting. She will start with the company in mid-August.
Saratoga purses will increase significantly based on the number of horses starting in each race, according to the new 2009 purse incentive program announced July 17 by The New York Racing Association (NYRA) for the six-week meet running from July 29 through Sept. 7.
A New York horsemen's group will continue to get additional purse money to fund its operations, including health benefits for backstretch workers at New York Racing Association tracks, under final passage of legislation July 16 by the state Senate.
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.
The 29th annual open house at Saratoga, scheduled for Sunday, July 26, will include five races -- four steeplechase races and one turf race -- presented by the National Steeplechase Association.
The New York Racing Association and many members of the Jockeys' Guild who ride at its three racetracks, along with the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and The Jockey Club, have jointly pledged more than $100,000 in financial support in 2009 to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation,
Ed Seigenfeld will step down as executive vice president of Triple Crown Productions (TCP) at the end of August. He has led the organization since March 1990, overseeing the Chrysler and Visa sponsorships of the Triple Crown and managing the network television negotiations for the series.
Fasig-Tipton will host a five-kilometer (5K) race and a one-mile "fun run" Aug. 15 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Both events will start in front of the auction firm's Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion. All proceeds will be divided equally among the New York Racing Association's four charities: The Anna House, Backstretch Employee Service Team, New York Racetrack Chaplaincy, and The Backstretch Education Fund.
The New York Racing Association has concluded its enhanced version of the Barn Area Violations Panel investigation of trainer Jeff Mullins' actions in the Aqueduct detention barn April 4.
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.
Saratoga Race Course employees arrived at work Monday morning to find a cow moose wandering on the sidewalk outside track property, New York Racing Association officials said.
Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. has filed a $15-million lawsuit against the New York Racing Association in response to NYRA's claim that Nassau Regional OTB had pirated its signal.
There was only one person who correctly selected the winners of all six graded stakes races for the Pick 6 on Belmont Stakes (gr. I) Day, June 6, resulting in a payout of $969,345.
Lucas Dupps, jockey, outrider, and a long time employee of the New York Racing Association, died June 4 at Mercy Hospital in Hempstead, N.Y.,
- By Dan Liebman
As the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) approaches, discussions often turn to the last Triple Crown winner, Affirmed in 1978, or to Secretariat's 31-length spectacle in 1973. Dan Silver, the new director of communications and media relations for the New York Racing Association, appreciates those historic races, even though he wasn't born when they occurred. Silver is only 29 years old.
The New York Racing Association removed its televised signal of Belmont Park races from the in-home distribution network of Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. June 3, and the OTB corporation June 4 issued a statement saying it takes offense to being accused of piracy.
Riders at racetracks across the United States and Canada will take part in a unified show of support June 6 for recently injured jockey Rene Douglas and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
NetJets, the world's leading private aviation company, will partner with the New York Racing Association for the second consecutive year on an extensive, multi-tiered presence at Saratoga for the 2009 racing season.
The New York Racing Association has introduced turf course updates to NYRA.com in order to provide the most accurate and timely information on each day's grass races.
- By Tom Precious
Six months into the year, a state-ordered review of the New York Racing Association's 2009 budget has still not received approval from a government oversight panel.
The New York Racing Association has announced the appointment of Kevin Gremillion to the newly created position of operations manager at Saratoga Race Course.
A racehorse was euthanized May 20 after crashing into a bronze statue of Secretariat in the Belmont Park paddock.
Starting Thursday, May 28, Long Island Rail Road train service from Penn Station directly into Belmont Park will be restored, pending Metropolitan Transit Authority board approval on May 27. The "Belmont Special" had been eliminated as part of a series of budget cuts and proposed fare hikes by the MTA, parent agency of the LIRR.
- By Tom Precious
A New York government panel studying whether to alter the current structure of the state's off-track betting system has asked the OTBs to hold off on signing any long-term deals, a move that suggests the panel could have sweeping changes in mind.
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.
Jan Rushton, the New York Racing Association's paddock analyst and popular television host, has resigned her position in order to tend to her family in South Carolina.
Dan Silver has been named director of communications and media relations, the New York Racing Association announced April 30.
For the sixth time in the last seven seasons, the New York Thoroughbred Breeders champions for 2008 included two or more grade I winners for the year.
Patrick Mahony has been promoted to the senior vice president of mutuels, the New York Racing Association announced April 9.
The New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. is proposing a task force for the purpose of broadening programs that assist Thoroughbred owners forced with selling their horses while developing a policy that punishes any owner, breeder or trainer that either directly or indirectly contributes to an outcome where a horse is knowingly sent to slaughter.
Jack Dreyfus Jr., who owned Hobeau Farm in Florida and whose horses twice defeated Secretariat, died Friday at a New York City medical center.
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.
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