A New York state government panel is being created to evaluate groups interested in taking over the franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks, a process that suddenly makes wide open the race to replace the New York Racing Association.
Officials said New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer doesn't plan to reopen the bidding process for the state's Thoroughbred franchise--but he doesn't feel obligated to follow the recommendation of a screening panel, either.
Delta Air Lines will offer customers more than 5,900 additional seats between Louisville and its hubs in Atlanta, Cincinnati, and New York in celebration of the 133rd Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). Customers now can book Delta's added Derby flights on delta.com.
Jockey Jose Santos, who won the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) aboard Funny Cide in 2003, remained hospitalized Feb. 2 with serious injuries incurred in a three-horse spill at Aqueduct Race Course the previous afternoon.
The New York State Racing and Wagering Board has turned off the New York Racing Association's simulcast signal to an estimated two dozen account wagering outlets. Regulators criticized NYRA for delays in submitting contracts to the agency for review, a delay that cost the racing entity about $25,000 in Aqueduct betting revenues Feb. 1, the first day of the signals being cut.
New York state officials said talks are under way to permit construction to proceed on a casino at Aqueduct, and a crack has opened to possibly permit more video lottery terminals in the state. Additionally, there is a plan by the state to provide more public assistance to keep the New York Racing Association afloat through 2007.
Jazil, winner of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), finished second in a 1 1/16-mile allowance/optional claiming contest Jan. 5 at Aqueduct in his first start since winning the Belmont and recovering from a bruised hind cannon bone.
With the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association seeking a higher rate for the Gulfstream Park signal, and the existing rate governed by a contract with the racetrack, the six off-track betting corporations in New York didn't carry the Jan. 3 opening-day program from the South Florida racetrack.
Jockey Eibar Coa became the fourth jockey since 1940 to win 300 races on the New York circuit in one year when he rode Acclaimed Racing Stable's Significant Other, trained by Steven Krebs, to victory in the fourth race at Aqueduct on Friday.
Trainer Scott Lake, who currently leads the nation with 528 wins for the year, and two-time Eclipse Award winner Todd Pletcher, who leads in earnings with a record-setting $27,427,878, are both to begin serving suspensions for medication infractions during the month of December.
New York Yankees partner Steve Swindal said his Excelsior Racing Associates group is already discussing future track management and laying plans to take over racing in New York on Jan. 1, 2008 when, he believes, Excelsior will begin operating Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks.
An appeals court in Albany, N.Y., upheld trainer Todd Pletcher's 45-day suspension and $3,000 fine Dec. 7, dismissing his challenge to the penalties for using an anesthetic on one of his horses too close to a race in 2004.
Empire Racing Associates said it is willing to put more money on the table for the state of New York in order to win the franchise to run racing over the next 20 years at Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks.
Empire Racing Associates, which made a bid for the franchise to operate three New York racetracks, released a plan Nov. 30 to protect the historic charm of Saratoga Race Course and strengthen racing there. The plan will form a major part of the proposal Empire Racing will take to the state legislature in January, officials said.
Fernando Jara, who rode Invasor to victory over Bernardini in the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) Nov. 4, will be represented by Gatewood Bell instead of agent Randy Romero beginning in February of 2007, Romero said Nov. 28.
Sackatoga Stable managing partner Jack Knowlton has accepted an invitation to be the keynote speaker at the Texas Thoroughbred Association's 2007 annual conference and awards banquet. The event is set for Jan. 19-20 at the Doubletree Hotel in Austin.
The state of New York has wired the New York Racing Association $8 million to help ease its immediate fiscal troubles, a funding stream that surprised NYRA officials who earlier in the day had been in court on their first hearing after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Talk about beginner's luck. The very first horse that Ronald Borgese owned is taking him to the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs Nov. 4. The horse's name is Nightmare Affair, but he's been a dream come true for his New York-based owner.
When Sabine Stable's Win McCool keeps her shoes on, she is capable of winning graded stakes. She'll need all four tightly secured Saturday in the $150,000 First Flight Handicap at Aqueduct. The homebred 3-year-old filly faces nine other fillies and mares in the seven-furlong grade II event.
The hits just keep on coming for trainer Todd Pletcher. First, he tops his own single-season earnings mark; then he enters a record 18 horses for the upcoming Breeders' Cup World Championships; on Wednesday, he ties D. Wayne Lukas' single season mark for graded wins. It's only Oct. 25, folks.
The head of a group vying to take over the Thoroughbred franchise from the New York Racing Association is urging Gov. George Pataki to release already-promised state funds to the financially ailing franchise holder.