Wednesday's Aqueduct card marked the debut of Eric Donovan as the full-time oddsmaker for all three New York Racing Association tracks. Donovan, who frequently substituted in recent years, took over for Don LaPlace, who set the morning line since early 2000.
Peter Karches, co-chairman of the board at the New York Racing Association, pleaded for compassion for the embattled track operator Saturday, three days after state and federal investigators barged into all three racetracks in a mysteriously conducted raid.
The future shape of New York's Thoroughbred industry will be the focus of a new group of the nation's leading racing industry insiders, whose chief mission will be to propose a new business model for racing in the state.
Legislation has been introduced in New York to sweeten the pot for racetracks operating video lottery terminals, and to encourage the New York Racing Association's VLT partner to begin construction of a new casino at Aqueduct.
The New York Racing Association has named Charles Hayward, a former president of Daily Racing Form, as its new president and chief executive officer. Hayward replaces Terry Meyocks, who resigned following several years of legal and financial turmoil at NYRA.
By Barry Irwin -- Racing is at a crossroads on many fronts these days. The New York Racing Association has its back up against the wall. The National Thoroughbred Racing Association is in a leadership transition. The Thoroughbred Championship Tour is trying to get off the ground. Purses face erosion from off-shore betting schemes. But the single greatest problem facing the game--how to restore integrity to the race itself--is not receiving the attention it so desperately requires.
The MidAtlantic Cooperative and the New York Racing Association have struck an agreement that will allow cooperative members and their wagering facilities to import the Aqueduct signal effective Oct. 27.
The prep lineup for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) is continuing to change. The Florida Derby (gr. I) had previously been announced as moving to five weeks before the Derby. Now, the Wood Memorial (gr. I) is being moved from three weeks to four weeks out.
In a letter to a senior vice president of the New York Racing Association, the executive director of the MidAtlantic Cooperative of racetracks voiced his frustration at the organization's inability to come to terms with NYRA and the TVG Network over simulcasting issues.
The New York Racing Association is close to naming a new president, and sources say Charles Hayward, the former chief executive officer of the Daily Racing Form, is in line to take over at a crucial time in the racing entity's history.
Negotiations are underway to resolve the bitter simulcasting dispute between the New York Racing Association and a consortium of Northeast racetracks, as both sides seek to insist the other is being more financially hurt by the controversy.
Barry Schwartz, chairman and chief executive officer of the New York Racing Association, said he would resign effective Dec. 31 and "hand the reigns to someone new who can focus vigorous energy" on setting the future course of the association.
The 18-year-old television deal between the partners in Triple Crown Productions has been dissolved. Just days after New York Racing Association chairman Barry Schwartz said the NYRA would move in another direction, it was announced Oct. 4 the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), third leg of the Triple Crown, would be broadcast via ABC Sports beginning in 2006.
With the New York Racing Association's handle down since its signal was pulled by the MidAtlantic Cooperative in mid- September, NYRA chairman Barry Schwartz said the dispute can be resolved only if the racetracks in the group "come to their senses."
A rift has developed among the partners in Triple Crown Productions, which holds the television rights to the three grade I Visa Triple Crown events: the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course, and the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park.
The MidAtlantic Cooperative, which represents 19 racetracks and their off-track betting facilities and account wagering systems, will pull the plug on simulcasts from Belmont Park effective Sept. 15 having failed to strike a deal with the New York Racing Association.
The New York Racing Association announced Sept. 3 that it has fully funded the account maintained for the benefit of its horsemen, who are represented by the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NYTHA), using the proceeds from recently completed business transactions.
A fast-approaching thunderstorm Saturday evening near Saratoga Springs that caused the Travers (gr. I) starting time to be moved up five minutes cost the New York Racing Association $5 million in total wagering, an official estimated.
The nation's top three horse racing companies have teamed to study the current jockey scale of weights and make recommendations on potential national reforms to the Jockeys' Guild, horsemen's groups, racing associations and racing regulators.
A measure to encourage the operation of video lottery terminals at several big racetracks in New York, including the New York Racing Association's Aqueduct track, collapsed Aug. 12 in Albany amid industry infighting, political intrigue and head-butting among powerful lobbyists.
Magna Entertainment Corp. is still willing to partner with the New York Racing Association, but it is also pursuing its own move into the New York marketplace in case NYRA isn't serious about a merger, MEC president Jim McAlpine said.
National Thoroughbred Racing Association commissioner Tim Smith tendered his resignation as expected July 27, but there was no announcement that Smith had taken a job as president and chief executive officer of the New York Racing Association.
The New York Racing Association's chief executive officer isn't willing to definitively say National Thoroughbred Racing Association commissioner Tim Smith will take over as president, but Barry Schwartz believes the time has come for him to step aside from his full-time NYRA post.
By Ray Paulick -- This is supposed to be the time of year when the racing world starts talking Saratoga and Del Mar, and the search begins for the hot 2-year-olds who look like they could be Triple Crown prospects 10 months from now.
Tim Smith, the first and only full-time commissioner of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, may resign effective Sept. 1 and could be headed to the New York Racing Association to serve as president and chief executive officer.
The New York Racing Association lost nearly $20 million last year, in part due to government fines and other expenses to cope with ongoing legal problems. But the association expects to greatly reduce the deficit in 2004.
More money was wagered in New York on out-of-state races than in-state races in 2003, the first time such a shift has occurred, according to a new report by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.
Not only will Saratoga Gaming and Raceway not close down its video lottery terminal parlor in August to accommodate the New York Racing Association, but there is talk of the NYRA neighbor adding another 700 VLTs, a state official said.
A New York appeals court July 7 said the revenue-sharing agreement for racetrack video lottery gambling is unconstitutional, a decision that raises new questions about a program that has stalled at the state's biggest tracks.
New York Republican officials are growing increasingly frustrated with Democrats who run the Assembly for blocking a measure to overhaul racing regulation and setting up a new state monitor to oversee the operations at the troubled New York Racing Association.
Records in attendance and handle for Belmont Park and the New York Racing Association (NYRA) were set Saturday as Birdstone upset heavily-favored Smarty Jones in the 136th running of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) before a crowd of 120,139. The previous attendance record was 103,222 during the Belmont Stakes two years ago.
The New York state Senate June 3 gave quick approval to a plan to overhaul the regulation of racing in the state, including a provision designed to get video lottery terminals installed this year at Aqueduct.
With a positive forecast and unprecedented interest in Smarty Jones' Visa Triple Crown Challenge bid in Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), officials at the New York Racing Association are bracing for the biggest day in track history.