Total handle for Belmont Park's 55-day meet increased 4.8%, but on-track numbers continued to be weak. Average daily on-track handle was flat at $1,929,951, while average daily attendance fell 5.9% to 8,025.
Four New York Racing Association employees have been indicted as part of a probe by state investigators into an alleged money laundering operation. New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani cancelled an 11 a.m. news conference at which he was to announce a group led by Magna Entertainment had won the purchase rights to the New York City Off Track Betting Corp.
A first round of indictments involving allegations of criminal activity at betting window operations at New York Racing Association tracks is expected today, sources said Wednesday. Also Thursday, the winning bidder for New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. is expected to be announced.
New York's top Democrat in the state Legislature said New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has told him the city government is inclined to sell its massive off track betting operation to a consortium of racing interests headed by Magna Entertainment.
The New York Racing Association has plans for more stalls space at Saratoga. Meanwhile, Point Given and Monarchos could hook up yet again in the Travers Stakes in late August at the upstate New York racetrack.
The New York Racing Association, after agreeing to concessions with the state's off-track betting corporations, won final legislative approval of its plan to lower takeout on betting at its three tracks in New York. Gov. George Pataki must sign the bill.
Negotiations to permit the New York Racing Association to lower its pari-mutuel takeout, which NYRA believes will increase wagering, are close to a resolution, individuals involved in the talks said.
The sale of New York City Off-Track Betting apparently hinges on legislative changes that would make the entity more attractive to potential buyers. Meanwhile, it appears the state legislature may have more time to examine the issue given the fact they may remain in Albany into the summer.
The owners of professional soccer's New York/New Jersey MetroStars are planning to build a new soccer stadium next to Aqueduct.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Without question, the presence of Bill and Hillary Clinton added a significant buzz to the Belmont.
The New York Racing Association has made improvements in its financial practices in recent years, but state auditors have questioned a number of big-ticket expenses, including money NYRA donated to charity but did not report to federal tax officials and consulting and lobbying expenses.
The New York Racing Association says legislation that would allow it to reduce dates at Aqueduct has met no opposition from other racing groups, but at least one legislator has reservations. The bill was reported out of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, and is expected to be approved by the lower House within weeks.
The state Senate unanimously approved a bill sponsored by Senate Racing Committee chairman William Larkin that would, at the request of the New York Racing Association, change state law to lower the number of mandatory racing days at Aqueduct from 107 to 95.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has gotten a great deal of mileage out of a charitable gift to nationally syndicated radio host Don Imus, host of "Imus in the Morning."
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- An informal survey of Central Kentucky farms on May 21 suggests the worst may be over as far as mare reproductive loss syndrome is concerned.
An agreement has been reached between Finger Lakes Race Track and the Western Regional OTB to open a Finger Lakes Special Betting District in the western New York area. The deal, contingent upon Western Regional OTB obtaining an operating license from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board to re-open Batavia Downs, will aid the expansion of simulcast wagering at Finger Lakes and local OTB parlors. Both sides have been working on a deal since Finger Lakes approached Western with the proposal in March 2000.
The New York Racing Association reports that reserved seating for this year's Belmont Stakes (gr. I) has sold out.
Richard Bomze, president of the New York THA, said Wednesday the organization that represents horsemen at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga met the week of April 9 and decided to support the plan pushed by NYRA chairman Barry Schwartz.
A New York coalition has agreed to open up its wallet to fund a quick study of video lottery terminals in an effort to convince state lawmakers and the governor to permit their operation at racetracks. The legislative session is expected to extend into the summer.
The long process to name a purchaser for New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. reached an expected final step when city government narrowed the field to two final bidders: a consortium headed by the New York Racing Association, and another by Magna Entertainment. Meanwhile, Gov. George Pataki, in a brief interview this week, said he favors the sale of NYCOTB. Pataki, who can kill any deal when it comes to Albany for review, has been largely silent on the issue in recent months.
While pushing to take over the New York City Off Track Betting Corp., Barry Schwartz has been busily pressing top state lawmakers at the Capitol in Albany to back him on what has become his other chief lobbying mission this year: lowering the takeout at New York racetracks.
At the New York Capitol building Tuesday afternoon, legislative sources were already predicting the new partnership of the New York Racing Association, Churchill Downs Inc., and the TV Games Network has a strong edge over the group headed by Magna Entertainment in the bidding for New York City Off-Track Betting Corp.
Patrick W. Lynch, long a turfwriter and a former vice president of the New York Racing Association, died Monday after a lengthy illness, 10 days before his 85th birthday.
The New York Racing Association and the Southern Racing Cooperative have settled a simulcast contract dispute that will return the NYRA signal to the 11-member track cooperative. The cooperative includes Lone Star Park, Sam Houston Race Park, and Retama Park in Texas; Oaklawn Park in Arkansas; Emerald Downs in Washington; Prairie Meadows in Iowa; Tampa Bay Downs in Florida; and the Downs at Albuquerque, Ruidoso Downs, SunRay Park, and Sunland Park in New Mexico.
The New York Racing Association saw decreases in the combined on-track handle, attendance, and total handle for Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga.
A dispute between the New York Racing Association and the Southern Buying Cooperative over 2001 simulcast contracts has halted Aqueduct's signal from being shown in six states.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- In recent weeks, New Jersey racetrack executive Bruce Garland even suggested the Graded Stakes Committee is a puppet of the New York Racing Association and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
A long-running feud between the New York Racing Association and state racing regulators ended Wednesday when a private accounting firm was given final approval to audit NYRA's books.
As new chairman of the New York Racing Association, horse owner and breeder Barry Schwartz has taken swift action to make changes sought by the tracks' racing fans and patrons. In a letter posted on the NYRA Website, Schwartz said the changes are a result of feedback to an online survey conducted by NYRA.
The campaign funds were donated to George Pataki's re-election campaing before they were appointed to the board of trustees, an upstate New York newspaper reports.
Three of the the five people named as trustees of the New York Racing Association by Gov. George Pataki each contributed $25,000 to Pataki's re-election campaign before they were appointed in 1998.
Add New York State's chief fiscal watchdog to the list of government agencies now poring over the books of the embattled New York Racing Association.
Kenny Noe Jr. resigned as CEO and chairman of the New York Racing Association's Board of Trustees at the board's monthly meeting Wednesday, with prominent owner-breeder Barry Schwartz named to replace him.
A special committee will decide which New York City Off-Track Betting suitors can formally bid to purchase the OTB franchise. New York City Mayor Rudolph Guliani is expected to appoint the committee by the end of the week.
The New York Racing Association and TVG have joined forces to pursue the possible acquisition of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation. Under the terms of a preliminary proposal, NYRA would assume the operation and management of NYCOTB's physical wagering outlets while TVG would assume the management and operation of its existing telephone account wagering assets.
ESPN and espn2 will expand their coverage of Saratoga racing from 1 1/2 hours to 2 1/2 hours beginning next year.
Although the biggest players in North American racing are among the bidders for the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation, the New York Racing Association reportedly has the inside track to purchase the company.
Several high-profile racing bills suffered quick deaths as the New York legislature ended its 2000 session.
Most Popular Stories
- Day By Day
- Kentucky Derby and Oaks Daily Updates
- Stars of the Oaks: Blind Luck
- Slow Five-Furlong Move for General a Rod
- Rebel Winner Hoppertunity Works at Churchill
- Ria Antonia, Napravnik Aboard, Breezes
- How Hong Kong's On-Track Pharmacies Work
- Catching Up with Hansel
- Changes at Pedigree Consultants, TrueNicks
- Gary Player to Speak at Owners Conference