New York should permit public and private partnerships to bid on the New York Racing Association franchise, allow bettors to wager via computers, introduce frequent-betting rewards programs at tracks, and approve the merger of the state's off-track betting corporations, according to an ambitious legislative package proposed March 9 by Friends of New York Racing.
The executive director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders has issued a statement clarifying that he is not a board member of Empire Racing Associates, which has been formed in an effort to be part of a bid for the New York Racing Association franchise.
New York stewards handed out some of the toughest penalties in years when they slapped jockeys Jose Espinoza and Pablo Fragoso with 30-day bans following a wild confrontation during Sunday's sixth race at Aqueduct.
New York state could reap at least $2.1 billion if it auctions off video lottery terminal franchises at Aqueduct and Belmont racetracks, sells the tracks now run by the New York Racing Association, and privatizes the six regional off-track betting corporations now scattered around the state.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority has approved the use of the Vet-Aired Cornell Collar at the state's pari-mutuel racetracks. The throat-support device developed in 2002 at Cornell University is designed to prevent the breathing obstruction known as palate displacement.
A state panel overseeing the Thoroughbred racing franchise bidding process in New York could ask potential bidders to reply to three different requests for proposal that will vary depending on the future value of the franchise.
Lorraine Power Tharp, a partner and Chair of Whiteman Osterman & Hanna's commercial real estate practice group, was appointed Chairwoman of the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding an Development Fund by Gov. George E. Pataki.
The New York Racing Association voided a claim Jan. 28 at Aqueduct after its Horse Identification Department discovered the claimed mare--Free Dip--was actually the 5-year-old Miss Stella and had raced under the wrong name in all 27 of her starts.
Friends of New York Racing, a consortium of industry groups and individuals that has been studying and making recommendations on the future of racing in the state, is being formally disbanded at the end of February.
As racing industry leaders discussed the value of Thoroughbred racing at New York's three premier tracks, the company that owns the state's fourth Thoroughbred track, Finger Lakes Gaming & Racing, said it could pursue the New York Racing Association franchise.
Friends of New York Racing, formed to advocate a new economic model for the pari-mutuel industry in the state, believes backstretch health and welfare issues should be addressed as part of the selection process for the New York Racing Association franchise.
The New York State Racing and Wagering Board voted Jan. 19 to adopt an emergency rule allowing for the collection of pre-race blood samples from horses entered into races at the state's Thoroughbred and harness tracks to test for excess alkalizing agents (milkshaking).
The New York Racing Association will have to raise pari-mutuel takeout if it is to obtain a $20-million loan from the state of New York, according to language buried in state budget bills introduced the week of Jan. 16.
New York would add three additional casinos featuring video lottery terminals, which would be permitted to locate near the New York Racing Association's future Aqueduct racino, Gov. George Pataki proposed Jan. 17.
With construction set to start on a video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct in late January, racetrack, the New York Racing Association is pushing the state of New York to provide an additional $20-million bailout before spring.
New York Gov. George Pataki is offering $10 million in immediate aid to help keep the ailing New York Racing Association from insolvency, and he pledged to work with legislators on another measure to lend NYRA cash against its future gaming proceeds.
New York's top Republican in the state legislature has called for the creation of a $30-million state fund to help the New York Racing Association overcome its financial crisis while the state speeds up the process to award a new Thoroughbred franchise.
Trainer Todd Pletcher, who recently set a single-season record for earnings, was suspended for 45 days by New York regulators Dec. 15 for a banned substance found in one of his horses that raced a year ago at Saratoga.
New York regulators have altered the state's equine medication rules to bring them more in compliance with other states, but they have refused to join states that permit administration of more race-day drugs.
New York officials need to act quickly to launch a major overhaul of racing laws to help jumpstart the state's $1.4-billion Thoroughbred racing industry, Friends of New York Racing concluded in its year-end report on the status of pari-mutuel horse racing in the state.
A powerful New York legislator says the franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks should be awarded in the next six months in order to ensure the continued viability of racing in the state.
The auction of 19 pieces of equine artwork by the financially ailing New York Racing Association has been canceled after Sotheby's auction house withdrew the sale under threat of legal action by the state government.
A state oversight panel is recommending the New York Racing Association boost takeout, defer dues to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, and get a cash advance from its casino partner in order to cope with NYRA's worsening fiscal picture.
Daily Racing Form has acquired the publishing assets of Sports Eye Inc., a New York-based company that produces Thoroughbred and Standardbred handicapping publications and other sports-related publications.
New York state is threatening legal action against the New York Racing Association and the auction house planning to sell NYRA artwork because it claims it hasn't signed off on the sale of the equine art collection.
The New York Racing Association, which hopes to get the state's attention on its current fiscal plight, did itself no favors by the way it hired a bankruptcy law firm to represent it in the event of insolvency if the reaction of the head of a new oversight panel is any indication.
All-sources handle on the Oct. 29 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park was a record $124,009,593, up 2.5% from the $120,897,141 wagered last year when the event was held at Lone Star Park.
A revenue-sharing deal for video lottery terminals at Aqueduct would give horsemen 7.5% of gross gaming revenue for the first three years, and breeders 1.25% for the first five years, once the devices are operating.
Revenue to localities in the six off-track betting regions in New York is down more than 50% from 2000 to 2004, according to the results of a study commissioned by Friends of New York Racing, the organization that seeks to build a better economic model for the pari-mutuel industry in the Empire state. Two OTB corporations, Capital and New York City, have issued responses to the report, which they believe doesn't tell the whole story.
Artie Schiller, who finished 12th in last year's NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), came back as the 5-1 second choice to upset favorite Leroidesanimaux and take this year's edition by three-quarters of a length.
Eugene and Laura Melynk, who campaign NetJet Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) contender, Host, used Breeders' Cup week to garner continued support for Anna House, a childcare center for working families at Belmont Race Track.
Partnerships in Thoroughbred ownership may offer an easier and less-costly way to enter the business, but partnership managers have some friendly advice: Use your head and have reasonable expectations.