Lousy weather on key days, and for that matter, much of the rest of the meeting, and a virus that infected dozens of horses couldn't keep the New York Racing Association from calling the 134th summer at Saratoga a success.
- By Mike Kane
An official of the New York Racing Association refused to confirm or deny reports that the association's chief financial officer, Alexander W. Ingle, was fired this week.
According to a published report, despite growing revenue from increased simulcast handle, the New York Racing Association completed 2001 with an operating loss of $11.3 million, the largest in its history.
Representatives of the New York Racing Association and the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association confirmed they have held discussions about reopening closed Hialeah Park for stabling and a winter race meet, though they differ on the plan's prospects.
Opening day attendance and handle records fell Wednesday as the 134th season of racing at Saratoga got off a positive start for the New York Racing Association.
A record Belmont Park crowd of 103,222 witnessed the biggest upset in Belmont Stakes history as Sarava, at odds of 70-1, upset War Emblem's Triple Crown bid and returned a record $142.50 to win for every $2 wager. Belmont Park handle records, notwithstanding last year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, were crushed in every category.
Good weather and lower takeout were credited with producing double digit increases in average attendance and significant gains in average on-track handle at Aqueduct.
The New York Racing Association will again permit coolers to be brought in to all three of its tracks - Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga - in limited areas.
The New York Racing Association has unveiled a new pricing structure for its tracks in 2002.
Security personnel will be out in force, but other than that, it appears the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships is full-steam-ahead for Oct. 27 at Belmont Park, officials said Wednesday afternoon.
Due to a flood of early, generous contributions, the NTRA, Breeders' Cup Limited, and the New York Racing Association announced Friday it was doubling its goal for the NTRA Charities -- New York Heroes Fund to $2 million. The Heroes Fund, set up by the organizations a week ago, will aid the families of New York firefighters, police officers, emergency services personnel, and other victims who perished in the terrorist attacks on New York Sept. 11.
The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. on Oct. 27 will be dedicated to the families of New York firefighters, police officers, emergency services personnel and other victims in the surrounding communities who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. A special fund of NTRA Charities, with a minimum goal of $1 million, will be established by NTRA and NYRA. to receive contributions.
It was a Travers Day like no other at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday. Saratoga and the Travers were never more popular through their long, storied history.
At a press conference at Saratoga Race Course on Wednesday, New York Racing Association chairman Barry Schwartz announced that the board of trustees of the NYRA agreed to support the introduction of video lottery terminals at Aqueduct and Belmont Park under conditions that would further the racing industry in New York State.
The owners of professional soccer's New York/New Jersey MetroStars are planning to build a new soccer stadium next to Aqueduct.
Record handle figures and higher television ratings were Belmont Park's rewards the day of its premier event. These were payoffs of clear skies, increased national and local publicity, and a showdown between Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos and Preakness (gr. I) winner Point Given.
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.
Terry Meyocks and Bryan G. Krantz have been appointed by the Thoroughbred Racing Associations of North America (TRA) to serve on the management committee of Equibase Company, it was announced today by Equibase chairman Alan Marzelli.
Despite inclement weather during the first 3 1/2 weeks of the meet, the annual Saratoga concluded Monday with record attendance and on-track wagering.
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