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Velazquez 'Blessed' to be Back in the Saddle

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).

Empire Racing Group Names Tucker Chairman

Jeffrey Tucker, a New York breeder, has been named chairman of the fledgling Empire Racing Associates, a group of horsemen and breeders trying to position itself to be among the holders of a new Thoroughbred racing franchise in New York.

New York Pilot Program Targets Growth of Horse Industry

A pilot program in New York is said to have the potential to increase the profitability and number of horse-related businesses in Saratoga County, where the horse industry's impact is valued at more than $317 million.

Group Studies Synthetic Racing Surfaces for New York

A fledgling group of owners and breeders in New York has launched a new effort to study a variety of issues affecting the safety of Thoroughbred horses, including whether some of the state's racetracks should install alternative racing surfaces.

Spitzer: Award Franchise 'As Rapidly As Possible'

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, the frontrunner in the New York governor's race, said he wants the franchise to run Thoroughbred racing in the state to be awarded sooner than later, and indicated the decision doesn't have to wait until the next governor takes over in 2007.

Going Over the Financials With Jane Bryant Quinn

Newsweek magazine's long-running financial columnist Jane Bryant Quinn has been a fan of Thoroughbred racing for some time. The author of the new book "Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People," Quinn shared her thoughts on handicapping, the Kentucky Derby, and Secretariat's 31-length Belmont Stakes victory recently with Evan Hammonds of The Blood-Horse.

Former NYRA Co-Chair Karches Dead

Former NYRA Co-Chair Karches Dead

Peter F. Karches, former co-chairman of the New York Racing Association (NYRA), died while hospitalized in Boston, Mass. April 13 from chronic lymphocytic leukemia, the most common form of adult leukemia.

Clinton: Horse Industry Has 'Significant' Impact in New York

Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York said individuals may not realize the economic importance of the horse industry to Empire state, and that even she was "a little surprised" when she saw the results of the most recent American Horse Council national economic impact study.

'Friends' Releases Legislative Proposal for Racing

'Friends' Releases Legislative Proposal for Racing

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.

Empire Racing Board Membership Clarified

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.

NY Tracks, VLTs Worth $2.1 Billion, Study Says

NY Tracks, VLTs Worth $2.1 Billion, Study Says

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.

Cornell Collar Approved in Kentucky

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.

FNYR Report: Address Health and Welfare Issues

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.

New York Enacts Pre-Race 'Milkshaking' Tests

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).

NYRA Bailout Tied to Hike in Takeout Rate

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.

NYRA Hopes to Receive Additional $20 Million Soon

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.

Pataki Offers Last-Ditch Plan to Assist NYRA

Pataki Offers Last-Ditch Plan to Assist NYRA

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 Upholds 45-Day Suspension for Pletcher

New York Upholds 45-Day Suspension for Pletcher

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.

Report: New York Must Overhaul Racing Laws

Report: New York Must Overhaul Racing Laws

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.

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