Concerned Citizens for Saratoga Racing, a group that includes several prominent horsemen, has called on the state to make continuation of spring and fall training in Saratoga Springs, as well as submission of all expansion plans for Saratoga to local government for approval, required under the request for proposal to operate Saratoga, Aqueduct, and Belmont Park.
The year's Jockey Club Round Table conference had a decidedly New York theme, with the New York Racing Association espousing its progress and commitment to Thoroughbred racing and breeding in the state, and a representative of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of Racing in New York saying the panel is carrying out its mandate.
Finger Lakes Gaming & Racing will add almost 200 video lottery terminals as part of a $4-million expansion, but a top official with owner Delaware North indicated major racing-related projects, such as installation of a turf course and perhaps a synthetic surface, are closely linked to the VLT revenue model in New York.
Chace City dueled for the early lead then pulled away in the stretch to win the Saratoga Special Stakes (gr. II) by a length at the Spa Aug. 17. King of the Roxy, who gave chase early, finished second in the $200,000 race for juveniles.
The New York comptroller has called on the Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of Racing in New York to supplement its request for proposals for Thoroughbred racing franchise-holders to require respondents to specifically address initiatives intended to ensure the integrity of racing and wagering recommended in 2005 by court-appointed federal monitor Getnick & Getnick.
Afrashad, unbeaten but untested against stakes company, faces a stern test Saturday at Saratoga in the six-furlong Alfred G. Vanderbilt Breeders' Cup (gr. II). Five battle-tested foes await in the $200,000 race, but jockey Richard Migliore is confident in Godolphin Racing's 4-year-old colt.
With English Channel heading out of Saratoga for a trip to Chicago for the Arlington Million (gr. IT), eight older turf horses have been entered for Saturday's Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT). The 12-furlong Sword Dancer goes as the ninth race and is one of two graded stakes on the Saratoga program.
Relative newcomer Ahmed Zayat went to $1.6 million for an Empire Maker filly Wednesday night to top the 86th annual Fasig-Tipton selected yearling sale in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The historic sale, now with a two-day run, had yet another solid performance with the average virtually mirroring last year's figure and the gross increasing significantly.
Tim Smith was a racing outsider when he was recruited as the first commissioner of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association in 1998. Now, he's again an outsider--maybe even an outcast--caught up in the acrimony dominating the quest for the franchise to operate the three major Thoroughbred racetracks in New York.
The yearling selling season got off to a strong start last month in Kentucky. Now the action moves to Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where Fasig-Tipton will conduct its boutique sale Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
Magna Entertainment Corp. chairman Frank Stronach indicated his company hopes to be involved in New York racing on some level, and that it also is working with Churchill Downs Inc. on projects that will benefit the two companies and the industry at large.
Bidders vying for the major Thoroughbred franchise in New York blew their own horns -- and did a bit of not-so-subtle bashing of each other -- before an Aug. 1 who's who of racing industry insiders, including members of a state panel considering the bids to operate Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks.
The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation will hold a cocktail party Aug. 4 to honor New York Senate majority leader Joseph Bruno for his contributions to New York racing and the anti-slaughter movement. The party, which will be held in the Saratoga Reading Room, will be from 5-7 p.m.
J. Patrick Barrett, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of Horse Racing in New York, will discuss the role and work of the committee over the past year when he delivers the keynote address Aug. 20 at The Jockey Club Round Table Conference in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
After being a Thoroughbred trainer for 10 years, Todd Pletcher should be used to the racing spotlight. This is especially true at Saratoga Race Course, where he has been the leading trainer for the past four years and also holds the single-season win record.
The surprisingly large influx of campaign contributions from breeders and horse owners in Kentucky, California and elsewhere to the New York gubernatorial campaign of Eliot Spitzer did not come from individuals secretly vying to obtain the New York Racing Association franchise, according to one of the top donors.
Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey doesn't rush his horses into stakes races. So when Pine Island ran in the Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) after just two starts--granted two wins--is was clear he thought a lot of the daughter of Arch.
Groups and individuals trying to influence the future direction of horse racing in New York have opened their wallets to statewide candidates and campaigns of legislators who will have a role in picking a new owner of the franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks.
A who's who of racing industry heavyweights formally notified New York state June 30 of their interest in obtaining the franchise now held by the New York Racing Association to operate Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks.
Paul Nicol Jr. enjoyed Tuesday's wet weather at Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack when he passed the 3,000 mark in career wins. The 45-year-old from Annapolis, Md., joins Leslie Hulet and Kevin Whitley as the only Finger Lakes jockeys to reach the milestone.
The long-awaited Request For Proposals for the franchise to operate racing at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga was approved for release June 13 by a state government panel, though it appears increasingly unlikely the winning bidder will be selected this year.
Juddmonte Farms' Cacique, who just missed by a half-length in his last start in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT), held off a hard-charging Relaxed Gesture to earn a head-bobbing victory in the $400,000 Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) Saturday at Belmont Park.
Darley Stables' Songster hummed a winning tune while pulling away to register a two-length win in the $250,000 Woody Stephens Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) on the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) undercard Saturday.
With a thrilling late run through the final furlong, heavy favorite Gorella ran down pacesetter Pommes Frites to win the $300,000 Just A Game Handicap (gr. IIT) over Belmont Park's yielding turf course.
Three weeks after telling the world about the condition of Barbaro directly after the horse's breakdown at the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), noted veterinarian Dr. Larry Bramlage was relaxing on the Belmont apron, enjoying the morning workouts the day before the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Without classic winners Barbaro and Bernardini in Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the race appears to be wide open. Like in any race, one horse has to be the longest shot on the board. That honor will likely fall to Double Galore.
Jockey John Velazquez said he feels blessed to be back in the saddle so soon after suffering serious injuries during a race at Keeneland in April. He also is looking forward forward to piloting Bluegrass Cat, who was made the 3-1 morning-line favorite, in Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
The New York Racing Association has lost a major arbitration case brought by fired pari-mutuel clerks, dozens of whom walked off their jobs a year ago during the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) over a contract dispute.