They tapped various talking points -- from higher purses and a beefed-up breeding industry to protecting green space and even family values -- but a group of Thoroughbred representatives have brought a singular message to state officials: Get the Aqueduct video lottery terminal casino off the ground.
The Race Track Industry Program at the University of Arizona is teaming up with the New York Racing Association to offer students the opportunity to learn about the business of track management at the inaugural College Day at Saratoga Race Course.
The New York Racing Association announced July 22 that Ellen McClain has been named senior vice president and chief financial officer. In her position, McClain will oversee all NYRA financials, including accounting, budgeting, and forecasting. She will start with the company in mid-August.
Saratoga purses will increase significantly based on the number of horses starting in each race, according to the new 2009 purse incentive program announced July 17 by The New York Racing Association (NYRA) for the six-week meet running from July 29 through Sept. 7.
A New York horsemen's group will continue to get additional purse money to fund its operations, including health benefits for backstretch workers at New York Racing Association tracks, under final passage of legislation July 16 by the state Senate.
Jockeys at Belmont Park this week began testing padded crops designed to be gentler on horses, according to a press rlease issued by the New York Racing Association July 10. The goal is to fully implement the new equipment by the start of the six-week Saratoga meeting on July 29.
The 29th annual open house at Saratoga, scheduled for Sunday, July 26, will include five races -- four steeplechase races and one turf race -- presented by the National Steeplechase Association.
The New York Racing Association and many members of the Jockeys' Guild who ride at its three racetracks, along with the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and The Jockey Club, have jointly pledged more than $100,000 in financial support in 2009 to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation,
Ed Seigenfeld will step down as executive vice president of Triple Crown Productions (TCP) at the end of August. He has led the organization since March 1990, overseeing the Chrysler and Visa sponsorships of the Triple Crown and managing the network television negotiations for the series.
Fasig-Tipton will host a five-kilometer (5K) race and a one-mile "fun run" Aug. 15 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Both events will start in front of the auction firm's Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion. All proceeds will be divided equally among the New York Racing Association's four charities: The Anna House, Backstretch Employee Service Team, New York Racetrack Chaplaincy, and The Backstretch Education Fund.
The New York Racing Association has concluded its enhanced version of the Barn Area Violations Panel investigation of trainer Jeff Mullins' actions in the Aqueduct detention barn April 4.
New York officials this week told bidders vying for the Aqueduct casino development rights to assume the contract will be awarded by Aug. 1, a questionable timetable given the chaos and leadership questions still swirling following a coup in the state Senate June 8.
Saratoga Race Course employees arrived at work Monday morning to find a cow moose wandering on the sidewalk outside track property, New York Racing Association officials said.
Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. has filed a $15-million lawsuit against the New York Racing Association in response to NYRA's claim that Nassau Regional OTB had pirated its signal.
There was only one person who correctly selected the winners of all six graded stakes races for the Pick 6 on Belmont Stakes (gr. I) Day, June 6, resulting in a payout of $969,345.
Lucas Dupps, jockey, outrider, and a long time employee of the New York Racing Association, died June 4 at Mercy Hospital in Hempstead, N.Y.,
- By Dan Liebman
As the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) approaches, discussions often turn to the last Triple Crown winner, Affirmed in 1978, or to Secretariat's 31-length spectacle in 1973. Dan Silver, the new director of communications and media relations for the New York Racing Association, appreciates those historic races, even though he wasn't born when they occurred. Silver is only 29 years old.
The New York Racing Association removed its televised signal of Belmont Park races from the in-home distribution network of Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. June 3, and the OTB corporation June 4 issued a statement saying it takes offense to being accused of piracy.
Riders at racetracks across the United States and Canada will take part in a unified show of support June 6 for recently injured jockey Rene Douglas and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
NetJets, the world's leading private aviation company, will partner with the New York Racing Association for the second consecutive year on an extensive, multi-tiered presence at Saratoga for the 2009 racing season.
The New York Racing Association has introduced turf course updates to NYRA.com in order to provide the most accurate and timely information on each day's grass races.
- By Tom Precious
Six months into the year, a state-ordered review of the New York Racing Association's 2009 budget has still not received approval from a government oversight panel.
The New York Racing Association has announced the appointment of Kevin Gremillion to the newly created position of operations manager at Saratoga Race Course.
A racehorse was euthanized May 20 after crashing into a bronze statue of Secretariat in the Belmont Park paddock.
Starting Thursday, May 28, Long Island Rail Road train service from Penn Station directly into Belmont Park will be restored, pending Metropolitan Transit Authority board approval on May 27. The "Belmont Special" had been eliminated as part of a series of budget cuts and proposed fare hikes by the MTA, parent agency of the LIRR.
- By Tom Precious
A New York government panel studying whether to alter the current structure of the state's off-track betting system has asked the OTBs to hold off on signing any long-term deals, a move that suggests the panel could have sweeping changes in mind.
MGM Mirage is back in the hunt to develop New York City's only legal casino with word emerging May 14 that it has joined forces with two other entities trying to win the bid for a sprawling new gambling facility at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Jan Rushton, the New York Racing Association's paddock analyst and popular television host, has resigned her position in order to tend to her family in South Carolina.
Dan Silver has been named director of communications and media relations, the New York Racing Association announced April 30.
For the sixth time in the last seven seasons, the New York Thoroughbred Breeders champions for 2008 included two or more grade I winners for the year.
Patrick Mahony has been promoted to the senior vice president of mutuels, the New York Racing Association announced April 9.
The New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. is proposing a task force for the purpose of broadening programs that assist Thoroughbred owners forced with selling their horses while developing a policy that punishes any owner, breeder or trainer that either directly or indirectly contributes to an outcome where a horse is knowingly sent to slaughter.
Jack Dreyfus Jr., who owned Hobeau Farm in Florida and whose horses twice defeated Secretariat, died Friday at a New York City medical center.
The state of New York should abandon efforts to find new bidders to develop a video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct and instead tap the New York Racing Association to run the long-delayed facility, a leading state lawmaker believes.
Father Francis Ciani, a Roman Catholic priest who was one of the biggest fans of New York racing, died March 7 at Our Lady of Mercy Life Center in Guilderland, N.Y.
- By Tom Precious
As state officials in New York scrambled to re-group following the collapse of the Delaware North plan to build a casino at Aqueduct racetrack, at least one of the former bidding groups said it would be interested in making a new bid on the long-stalled project.
Fasig-Tipton Company and the New York Racing Association (NYRA) are teaming up to develop the inaugural Fasig-Tipton Festival of Racing at Saratoga Race Course The festival will be held the second weekend of the Saratoga racing season, Aug. 8 and 9, and will precede the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling auction Aug. 10 and 11.
The company selected to operate video lottery terminals at Aqueduct said there are a host of unresolved issues, including restructuring its financing deal, before it can close on a final agreement with the state of New York to begin construction on the long-delayed facility.
All-sources handle for all New York Racing Association tracks declined 2.1% in 2008, but purses grew 3.1%, it was reported Jan. 22.
The New York Racing Association's top fiscal executive has left, but the corporation is declining to provide any explanation or to say whether the departure was voluntary.
- By Ryan Conley
Mexico's Caliente Group, which for years has battled sometimes intense scrutiny of its South American bookmaking operation, has completed the comprehensive due-diligence process of the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau.
In a short statement issued Jan. 1, New York Racing Association chief Charlie Hayward said an agreement had not been reached to send the organization's racing signal to TVG.
The New York Racing Association is projecting a surplus next year, its first since 2000, despite an estimated drop in handle at its three racetracks brought on by the economic downturn. But regulators Dec. 22 were unconvinced about some of the optimistic forecasts, and deferred approving NYRA's 2009 budget.
The rejuvenated New York Racing Association has big plans for its new 25-year franchise, but president and chief executive officer Charles Hayward said Dec. 9 the organization has to plan wisely should revenue sources dry up.
The New York Racing Association will raise the purses on 13 grade I races offered at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga in 2009. The hikes are part of the 2009 NYRA stakes schedule, which was approved by NYRA's Board of Directors at a meeting Dec. 3. It now awaits approval from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.
The 37-day 2008 Belmont fall meeting, which ended on Oct. 26, produced mixed business results. All-sources handle on NYRA races was $356.3 million, compared with the 2007 figure of $346.5 million, for an increase of 2.8%. Because the 2008 meet included four more days than the 2007 meet, there was actually an 8.3% decline in the equivalent daily average all-sources handle figure.
The New York Racing Association has put into place the InCompass Solutions' Jockey Health Information System and its own Jockey Medical Advocate Program.
The New York Racing Association announced Oct. 31 that Kimberly Justus has assumed the newly-created post of director of guest services. In her new role, Justus is responsible for all customer service functions at NYRA.
New York state officials finally gave Delaware North approval to build and operate a video lottery casino at Aqueduct. The racetrack will house New York City's only legal casino, which could generate tens of millions for purses and breeders' awards.
State regulators in New York have begun the process of creating advisory boards to wrestle with issues in the communities surrounding the New York Racing Association's racetracks.