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.
New York Gov. David Paterson selected Delaware North to run a new, sprawling video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct, sources at the state capital said Oct. 10. But the Senate balked at his choice.
The nation's financial crisis has stepped up efforts to prod state government in New York to select an operator for the long-stalled video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct, and launched a renewed effort to bring VLTs to Belmont Park.
Jess Jackson and his wife, Barbara Banke, are donating $100,000 from "Jackson Curlin for Kids" to Anna House, the on-track daycare center for children of backstretch workers at Belmont Park.
The New York Racing Association announced Sept. 24 the current composition of its 2008 board of directors. Ten of 11 governmental appointments to the board have been made and all 14 NYRA elected seats have been filled.
- By Tom Precious
The New York Racing Association, created more than 50 years ago to bolster the Thoroughbred industry, took on a new life Sept. 12 with the formal approval by the state of a new 25-year franchise to exclusively operate Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks.
- By Tom Precious
The New York Racing Association is expected to emerge from Chapter bankruptcy and make official its 25-year franchise extension Sept. 12.
Two former state horseracing officials accused of lying about how much jockeys weighed have filed a $100-million lawsuit against ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer and state officials a year after charges against them were dismissed.
Attendance and handle declined during the 2008 meeting at Saratoga, although the track staged a significant rebound during the second half of the 36-day summer stand.
Some leading New York trainers said a ban on toe grabs will help level the playing field, but they're not all convinced the shoes are responsible for catastrophic breakdowns.
- By Claire Novak
Former jockey Parker Buckley, an exercise rider for trainer Steve Asmussen, died Aug. 19 at Albany Medical Center in Albany, N.Y., following an Aug. 18 accident on the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Race Course.
- By Tom Precious
An effort is underway by racetracks and OTBs in New York state to derail a looming hike in the pari-mutuel takeout before it takes effect next month.
Following the recommendation of The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Safety Committee, toe grabs with a height greater than two millimeters (.07874 inches) on front horseshoes will be banned from all horses racing at Saratoga, Belmont Park, and Aqueduct effecctive Oct. 29, opening day of the Aqueduct fall meet.
- By Tom Precious
The new top regulator of racing in New York state offered a tough assessment of an industry he says is in decline in many ways because of its own doing.
A new top racing industry regulator is poised to be confirmed by New York lawmakers Aug. 8 when the state Senate returns for a one-day session.
Racing medications and the future of the New York Racing Association were among the topics discussed Aug. 5 at the eighth Institute on Racing and Gaming Law in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Three Chimneys Farm has become the two-year title sponsor of the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga, the New York Racing Association announced Aug. 4.
Weather not fit for beast or man was the story opening day at Saratoga Race Course July 23. Drenching rain left the main track a sea of slop, necessitated the transfer of five turf races on the 10-race card to the dirt, and kept the attendance on the light side -- 18,127 -- for an opener. The crowd was significantly lower than the 30,052 who came out last year under perfect weather conditions.
The betting menu at New York Racing Association has been beefed up, and will now include rolling daily doubles, and superfectas on every race that meets the requirements.
The New York Racing Association has been granted another temporary extension to continue operating during most of the Saratoga meet while it negotiates a final deal with the state for a 25-year franchise.
The bill is fairly minor in nature, enacting a series of mostly technical amendments to a law approved earlier this year giving NYRA a 25-year extension to run Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga. But NYRA officials have said they could not resolve its bankruptcy proceeding without it.
The New York Senate approved a bill June 23 that would establish a testing program for steroids in racehorses via horsemen's contributions.
Charlie Hayward, the president and chief executive officer of the New York Racing Association, spoke about NYRA's ongoing franchise issues during a June 23 press conference in Albany, N.Y., previewing the upcoming Saratoga Race Course meet.
The New York Racing Association held a press conference in Albany, N.Y., June 23 to discuss the upcoming 36-day Saratoga meet, which begins July 23 and runs through Sept. 1.
- By Tom Precious
The still-stalled franchise extension for the New York Racing Association, a new steroid testing lab, and a company to run a casino at Aqueduct Racetrack are all still on the negotiating table June 23 when lawmakers in New York return to the Capitol for the final days of the 2008 legislative session.
Lawmakers in New York have given final approval of a deal in which the state takes over the control of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp, a move that could be a prelude to consolidation of all the OTBs across the state.
New York officials announced the evening of June 15 a deal to avert the closure of New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. by having the state take over the entity. The move could be a prelude to a statewide consolidation of all OTB corporations.
The state of New York will take over the operations of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp., Gov. David Paterson announced June 13, as part of a broader plan that could end up consolidating all of the state's OTBs.
- By Tom Precious
Negotiators in New York the afternoon of June 13 were putting the final touches on legislation in which the state would take control of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp., thereby averting a shutdown of the city's betting operations for the weekend.
New York Gov. David Paterson said all options â€" including a takeover by the state or the New York Racing Association -are on the table if a deal is not struck by this weekend (June 14-15) to keep open the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp.
Trainer Rick Dutrow's initial displeasure over Kent Desormeaux's ride aboard Triple Crown hopeful Big Brown in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr.I) had abated quite a bit the morning of June 11, after he met with the Hall of Fame jockey. Dutrow said Desormeaux, who eased Big Brown at the top of the stretch in the Belmont, would have the mount when the colt races again.
The New York Racing Association reported that 94,476 were on hand under sunny skies on a sweltering day at Belmont Park June 7 to witness yet another Triple Crown upset, with longshot Da' Tara going wire to wire in the 140th Belmont Stakes (gr. I). The victory ended heavily favored Big Brown's attempt to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
Kent Desormeaux will not wear the Hooters patch on his pants when he rides Big Brown postward in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I). The New York Racing Association refused to approve the endorsement deal June 6, citing a "conflict of interest" between Belmont Park sponsors, which include UPS and NetJets.
NetJets and the New York Racing Association announced a marketing partnership for the 2008 Saratoga meet during a press conference in the Belmont Park press box June 6.
NetJets, the world's leading private aviation company, has reached an agreement with the New York Racing Association for an extensive, multi-tiered presence at Saratoga Race Course for the 2008 racing season, which runs from July 23 to Sept. 1. The deal includes under-the-rail signage, race sponsorship, and hospitality, and was reached in conjunction with ABC Regional Sports Sales.
The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association said June 4 it recognizes the contribution made to purses by New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. but won't support a proposal that would reduce the amount NYCOTB pays to purses and the New York Racing Association.
A deal to keep New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. from shuttering could be at hand, according to the head of the state Assembly's racing committee.
Trainer Pat Kelly was about to take Evening Attire out of stakes competition, to try the 10-year-old gelding in a few allowance races or to pick spots in turf routes as a main-track-only entry. But the seasoned runner turned in such a solid performance in his last start that NYRA stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes was able to convince Kelly to tackle the $200,000 Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park.
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