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New Panel to Evaluate Groups Seeking New York Franchise

A New York state government panel is being created to evaluate groups interested in taking over the franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks, a process that suddenly makes wide open the race to replace the New York Racing Association.

New York Franchise: No Re-Bid, But No Decision

New York Franchise: No Re-Bid, But No Decision

Officials said New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer doesn't plan to reopen the bidding process for the state's Thoroughbred franchise--but he doesn't feel obligated to follow the recommendation of a screening panel, either.

Sheikh Mohammed Buys Saratoga Farm

Shekih Mohammed's Darley operation has purchased a 106-acre farm adjacent to Saratoga Racecourse from Robert and Janice McNairs' Stonerside Stable for $17.4 million.

Appeals Court Upholds Pletcher Suspension

Appeals Court Upholds Pletcher Suspension

An appeals court in Albany, N.Y., upheld trainer Todd Pletcher's 45-day suspension and $3,000 fine Dec. 7, dismissing his challenge to the penalties for using an anesthetic on one of his horses too close to a race in 2004.

New York Racing Association Releases '07 Stakes Schedule

The 2007 New York Racing Association stakes schedule highlights the inaugural Breeders' Cup Challenge with Belmont and Saratoga each hosting challenge-day events. The powerhouse race days highlight NYRA's stakes schedule, which features 38 grade I races and nearly $33 million in stakes purses.

On-the-Muscle Empire Racing Unveils Plan for Spa

Empire Racing Associates, which made a bid for the franchise to operate three New York racetracks, released a plan Nov. 30 to protect the historic charm of Saratoga Race Course and strengthen racing there. The plan will form a major part of the proposal Empire Racing will take to the state legislature in January, officials said.

Bruno Believes NYRA Will Get $19M Soon

Bruno Believes NYRA Will Get $19M Soon

The New York legislature's top Republican believes the New York Racing Association will soon get the remaining $19-million state bailout to keep it from seeking bankruptcy protection.

Wagering Declines During Third Quarter

Fueled in part by all-source handle declines at such meetings as Del Mar, Arlington Park and Monmouth Park, overall wagering on United States racing in the third quarter of 2006 dropped by nearly $7 million.

Fight for Franchise Aids New York Political Races

With the future of the racing industry in New York up in the air, the most immediate beneficiaries appear to be state officials running for office this fall, thanks to a steady flow of money from individuals and companies tied in one way or another to the Thoroughbred franchise renewal process.

NYRA, Empire, Excelsior Submit Racing Bids

NYRA, Empire, Excelsior Submit Racing Bids

The first bids for the franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga for 20 years beginning in 2008 were submitted Aug. 29 by the current operator and two groups that included developers and casino and racetrack companies allied with Thoroughbred owners and breeders.

Desormeaux Off Mounts After Car Accident

Jockey Kent Desormeaux took off his Sunday mounts at Saratoga Race Course after he was involved in an automobile accident in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. According to Desormeaux's agent, Mike Sellito, the jockey was the passenger in a vehicle that collided with another car sometime late Saturday evening.

NYRA Asks Horsemen to Join in Aqueduct VLT Push

Issuing what he termed a "call to action to horsemen and all of the racing community," New York Racing Association president and chief executive officer Charles Hayward asked horsemen for their cooperation in lobbying Gov. George Pataki for immediate permission to install and operate 4,500 video lottery terminals that have been delayed at Aqueduct.

Empire Racing Gains New Members

Young & Rubicam Brands and Eric Mower and Associates will form the marketing communications team as part of Empire Racing's bid to operate New York State's Thoroughbred racetracks at Saratoga, Belmont, and Aqueduct.

Trainer Albertrani Has Bull's-Eye on Back

Tom Albertrani is entering the fourth weekend of August with a huge bull's-eye on his back. The trainer will send out Balletto in the Personal Ensign (gr. I) Friday and the following afternoon will saddle Songster and Bernardini in the King's Bishop (gr. I) and Travers Stakes (gr. I), respectively.

Group Wants Spa Protected in New York RFP

Group Wants Spa Protected in New York RFP

Concerned Citizens for Saratoga Racing, a group that includes several prominent horsemen, has called on the state to make continuation of spring and fall training in Saratoga Springs, as well as submission of all expansion plans for Saratoga to local government for approval, required under the request for proposal to operate Saratoga, Aqueduct, and Belmont Park.

NTRA National Pick 4 Offered on 'Road to the Breeders' Cup' Races

The NTRA National Pick 4 wager, offered in conjunction with "Road to the Breeders' Cup World Championships - Powered by Dodge" series installments airing on ESPN and ABC through Oct. 14, will be available Aug. 12, challenging fans to correctly select the winners of four graded stakes--the $1 million Arlington Million and $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park (both gr. I); and the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. I) and $200,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Saratoga Racecourse. All races will air live Aug. 12 on ABC from 4-6 p.m. (ET).

Queen of Saratoga

Queen of Saratoga

By Ray Paulick - In the few steps she took, in that brief appearance in the Saratoga winner's circle, fans and admirers of Marylou Whitney witnessed uncommon courage and the heart of a champion.

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