Violette: No winter racing would ‘cripple’ NY Thoroughbred industry

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Racing at Aqueduct Racing at Aqueduct

The subject of winter racing at Aqueduct was raised during the recent meeting of the newly configured board of directors of the New York Racing Association, where some sentiment was detected that it was in the sport’s best interest to take a winter break. Our readers agreed, with 69.6% of them saying in a Paulick Report poll that NYRA should cease live racing at Aqueduct for at least part of the winter.

Richard Violette, president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and an ex-officio member of the NYRA board, has a different point of view, and one that takes into consideration the impact this could have on jobs, the breeding industry, and revenue for horsemen and NYRA.

Thanks to the New York THA for granting us permission to republish his recent commentary from the association’s newsletter. – Ray Paulick

There has been much discussion of late on the topic of winter horse racing in New York. There are some who feel the sport would be better off without it. Nothing could be further from the truth. If winter racing is eliminated in New York, it will cripple the Thoroughbred industry in the state.

Opponents of winter racing too often form opinions without examining the ramifications, and the many dominoes that would tumble without it. There are many reasons why winter racing is a vital aspect of New York’s Thoroughbred industry. Chief among them are the thousands of jobs supported by the industry. These jobs are central to racing’s importance to the state. If you interrupt the cycle of year-round racing for any significant length of time, you also disrupt the cycle of full-time employment it creates. If winter racing is shut down for even a month or two, the barn areas at Aqueduct and Belmont Park would empty out, and we could lose 3,000 to 5,000 jobs in the blink of an eye.

The New York breeding industry would also take a huge hit. The New York-bred program is sustained in no small part by the purses earned in restricted races over the winter months. If you reduce the number of racing opportunities for New York-breds, you also reduce the incentive to participate in the New York breeding industry, and curtail the development of what is fast becoming one of the most vibrant breeding programs in the country.

Breeders would not be motivated to bring new broodmares and stallions to the state, and the breeding stock already here could be shipped to states with more advantageous programs, taking thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue with them.

Aqueduct is a money maker for the New York Racing Association. The presence of Resorts World has greatly reduced racing’s physical footprint in the Aqueduct grandstand, in turn greatly reducing NYRA’s overhead. The racing, while it is clearly not our “A Game,” still generates significant handle. Revenue is up, the profit margin has grown – winter racing has a positive impact on NYRA’s bottom line. When the doors finally open to the long-awaited Longshots simulcasting facility at Aqueduct, the balance sheets will look even better.

Winter racing also supports purses throughout the year. The revenue from the handle at Aqueduct outpaces the level of purses distributed in the winter, allowing the NYRA purse fund to grow, and enabling NYRA to offer bigger purses during the Belmont spring and fall meets, and at Saratoga. This attracts better horses and produces high-quality racing. which in turn generates higher handle. To jeopardize this cycle would be simply bad business.

There is no question that our energies and our resources must be used to improve both the racing product and the racing experience. A better product on a day-to-day basis benefits the entire industry. And exploring all options to improve the safety of the horses and riders must always be a priority.

But efforts must be directed at making improvements not only at Saratoga in August, but at Aqueduct in January as well.

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  • Tveazey

    My question is how do the horses feel about racing in frigid weather?

    • Tlions

      Better than how they feel in the 90 degree heat at Saratoga, Florida, California, sothwestern tarcks even Kentucky at different times of the year! Just ask any horseman….

      • concerned horse owner

        Yes actually cold  weather is better for horses than hot weather that is  found in Florida and Southern California.

  • Tveazey

    My question is how do the horses feel about racing in frigid weather?

  • http://twitter.com/HoopsandHorses Hoops and Horses

    There definitely needs to be a balance.  It’s not like the old days where NYRA could shut down for the winter and trainers could take their horses to say Maryland for the winter months.  Some trainers simply can’t afford to make a move for the winter to points south.  How I would handle it would be like this:

    The Saturday after Thanksgiving would be the last day of racing until December 26.  There already is a one-week (sometimes more) Christmas break in the schedule, so this would not be that bad, and you can come back fresh on the inner track the day after Christmas, when many would be chomping at the bit for live action after approximately a month off.

    From December 26-January 1 (or 2 or 3 depending on where New Year’s Day falls), there would be racing every day except for the Sunday in that period, as there would be no racing on Sundays from the week after Labor Day until after the conference championship games as the NFL is clearly the 800-pound gorilla of sports (if New Year’s falls on a Sunday or Friday, there would be racing January 2, if it falls on a Thursday, there is racing January 2 & 3).  There would be 10 races on all such programs with first post at Noon.

    After the Christmas-New Year’s period, there would be racing on Fridays and Saturdays ONLY for the rest of January, plus racing on Martin Luther King, Jr. day (in 2014 Monday, January 20) and the Sunday between the conference championship games and Super Bowl (Sunday, January 26).  Friday programs would be eight races beginning at 1:00 PM, all other programs would be 10 races beginning at Noon.

    In February and March, racing would be on a Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule, with Saturdays being 12 races with first post at 11:30 AM and all other programs being eight races with first post at 1:00 PM.  There would also be a special Presidents Day program (in 2014 on Monday, February 17) with nine races and first post at 1:00 PM, which would make that week the only four-day week in that period.  If Palm and and/or Easter Sunday fall in March, those weeks would be Thursday-Friday-Saturday.

    The normal five-day-a-week schedule would resume in April once turf racing starts and more horses are available (four-day weeks if Palm and/or Easter Sunday fall in April).

    • Crabs

      Two major issues with this.

      A.  It’s complicated as heck.  One of the worst things you can do is constantly change 1st post and racing days over a couple month period.  Nobody would remember when the race day starts and what days of the week NYRA was running!

      B.  Is this really an issue that needs fixing?  Currently Winter racing:
      1. Makes horsemen money during the Aqueduct meet and supplements purses at Belmont and Saratoga
      2.  Makes NYRA Money
      3. Is the 2nd most bet on signal in the winter so horseplayers like it (if not we would bet elsewhere).

      Why is there a need for a convoluted plan to fix anything?

      • Figless

        Exactly, just invest the money to make racing safer and continue to run as they have for the last 40 years. Cancel, as they do now, when it gets too bad. They have implemented all the suggestions from the report, can we give it a chance to see if it works?

         Until last year the inner track was considered one of the safest in the country. One bad year and everyone over reacts.

        • http://twitter.com/HoopsandHorses Hoops and Horses

          Actually, the schedule would be relatively easy to follow:

          There would ALWAYS be racing on Fridays and Saturdays, with Sundays added back to the schedule after the NFL conference championship games.  Saturdays would have an earlier post time simply because of more races on Saturdays (and the 11:30 AM first post for 12-race programs would actually only be until the clocks change) while all other programs (after New Year’s) would be at 1:00 PM (including Saturdays after the clocks change in March).  The every-day-between-Christmas and New Year’s is simply to take advantage of many people taking that week off from work with horses who at that point would have been off during a month-long period where people often have other things going on.  Otherwise, a couple of two-day weeks and all-three-day weeks (plus Presidents Day) is a fair compromise.

          • Figless

            You cant change post time everyday, it is confusing. I have no complaint with reducing racing to 4 days per week, 10 races per day with a 1210 first race post to get a jump on other tracks. Would need to see actual handle numbers to decide.

          • Crabs

            You realize it took you a paragraph to explain it right?  You’re way overthinking it.  Also, ever notice how Gulfstream and Aqueduct coordinate post times so bettors can play both tracks?  Both tracks would likely have races go off at the same time at points everyday if post times and racing days were constantly changed. 

            Do you envision them advertising like this:

            Come to Aqueduct!
            Racing every Friday and Saturday except late November and Early December with additional full week of racing after Christmas along with Mondays on January 18th and February 15th.  Join us for additional Sundays of racing except during the Football Season (weekend before the Super Bowl Exlcuded).  Post times change daily so call us at 1-800-Confusing for daily schedules.

  • http://twitter.com/HoopsandHorses Hoops and Horses

    There definitely needs to be a balance.  It’s not like the old days where NYRA could shut down for the winter and trainers could take their horses to say Maryland for the winter months.  Some trainers simply can’t afford to make a move for the winter to points south.  How I would handle it would be like this:

    The Saturday after Thanksgiving would be the last day of racing until December 26.  There already is a one-week (sometimes more) Christmas break in the schedule, so this would not be that bad, and you can come back fresh on the inner track the day after Christmas, when many would be chomping at the bit for live action after approximately a month off.

    From December 26-January 1 (or 2 or 3 depending on where New Year’s Day falls), there would be racing every day except for the Sunday in that period, as there would be no racing on Sundays from the week after Labor Day until after the conference championship games as the NFL is clearly the 800-pound gorilla of sports (if New Year’s falls on a Sunday or Friday, there would be racing January 2, if it falls on a Thursday, there is racing January 2 & 3).  There would be 10 races on all such programs with first post at Noon.

    After the Christmas-New Year’s period, there would be racing on Fridays and Saturdays ONLY for the rest of January, plus racing on Martin Luther King, Jr. day (in 2014 Monday, January 20) and the Sunday between the conference championship games and Super Bowl (Sunday, January 26).  Friday programs would be eight races beginning at 1:00 PM, all other programs would be 10 races beginning at Noon.

    In February and March, racing would be on a Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule, with Saturdays being 12 races with first post at 11:30 AM and all other programs being eight races with first post at 1:00 PM.  There would also be a special Presidents Day program (in 2014 on Monday, February 17) with nine races and first post at 1:00 PM, which would make that week the only four-day week in that period.  If Palm and and/or Easter Sunday fall in March, those weeks would be Thursday-Friday-Saturday.

    The normal five-day-a-week schedule would resume in April once turf racing starts and more horses are available (four-day weeks if Palm and/or Easter Sunday fall in April).

  • Tlions

    Better than how they feel in the 90 degree heat at Saratoga, Florida, California, sothwestern tarcks even Kentucky at different times of the year! Just ask any horseman….

  • Liber5yb

    what would be wrong with closing for the month of January.  I don’t believe that it would be the economic disaster that Mr Violette says.  Years ago (pre OTB), NYRA would close from the weekend after Thanksgiving and reopen on St. Patrick’s Day. All the full time employees would go south with their outfits. Mutuel clerks would also work t the Florida tracks during that time.  Then there is always unemployment,

    • http://twitter.com/HoopsandHorses Hoops and Horses

      I would be essentially doing that as stated in my other post, but in late November and December rather than January and then except for the week between Christmas and New Year’s race a couple of two-day weeks and three-day weeks (with one exception) until the end of March.

    • NY Owner

      No one can afford to ship their entire stable to Forida for one month.  No mutual clerks can work in Florida for one month.  Florida already has their clerks.  You think they will displace their regular help for a bunch of temps from New York? 

      • Mike

        Cards full of garbage maiden claiming NY Breds day after day, only suckers gamble serious money there!

    • Figless

      Pre OTB was another world, no comparison to today.

  • Liber5yb

    what would be wrong with closing for the month of January.  I don’t believe that it would be the economic disaster that Mr Violette says.  Years ago (pre OTB), NYRA would close from the weekend after Thanksgiving and reopen on St. Patrick’s Day. All the full time employees would go south with their outfits. Mutuel clerks would also work t the Florida tracks during that time.  Then there is always unemployment,

  • Mike C

    Rick,

    You don’t get it! NYRA winter racing is garbage quality and many of US that wager the $2 billion p.a. no longer wish to gamble on it.

    Pure bull as to your inference that NY racing would be in dire straits if NYRA did not race 4-6 weeks during winter. You are not the only one with the facts and figures.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/OX7TME5QBK6UTK5TXWJRSDZIMQ nybredfilly96

      Agreed.  There is little betting on the NYRA ‘races’ (5 horse fields of crummy horses) most is on simulcast.  It’s their own fault since they basically turned the tracks into simulcast centers anyway.  If they cared about the Horsemen they would run the facilities as such.  They couldn’t wait to gobble up the OTB ‘patrons’ who could care less about watching a live NY race..or betting on one for that matter.

      • concerned horse owner

        NYRA’s fields are the BEST IN THE COUNTRY ! Purses are the BEST in the Country! Breeders bonuses are some of the BEST in the Country!  There are no 5000 broken down claimers running at Aqueduct!

        • Bubba

           The bottom is the bottom, regardless of the value the track places on it.  So just because there are not 5k claiming races there, doesn’t mean that there are not 5k claiming horses there.  How about giving the horses 2 months with no racing.  Jan and Feb.  60 easy days would probably help a lot of horses recuperate little nagging injuries.  Do it for the horses.  

          • Stanley inman

            Bubba,
            You sound like a
            Real horsemen
            Putting the horse first
            Winter racing poisons the sport’s chances
            of growing fans.
            NY winter racing apologists appear
            Hooked on bankrupt
            Self-defeating strategies

          • G11gy

            What makes you think those horses wouldn’t just run out of town during that period? 

          • Lets race

             And the healthy horses should go on vacation??? Sorry but someone has got to work so that you can stay on this site and blog.

        • Mike

          Only a fool thinks NYRA winter cards are the best in the country!

          • Lets race

            Really?  What tracks have better racing than Aqueduct?

          • Mike

            Try Gulfstream and Santa Anita in winter. Aqueduct winter racing a joke, short fields featuring ny bred garbage

          • BonnieMcDo

            Will you STOP calling the horses that run at Aqueduct garbage. Many people who own those horses love them. They are not as fast but many are solid race horses. Are students who are not in honors garbage?  Are minor league athletes garbage? 

          • Mike

            You are obviously not familiar with cheap maiden NYBred claimers.
            Most should not be permitted to race, the product of crooked legged mares bred in upstate NY back yards

          • BonnieMcDO

            I have one of those and he does not have crooked legs and had a break and will race this year. He is a nice horse and I enjoy having him and will retire him to a good home one day.There are also many high priced horses that end up in claimers. I just do not like calling any horse garbage or cheap. 

      • Figless

        What part of AQU being second highest signal in handle in winter don’t you understand? There obviously is more than a “little” betting on the NYRA races.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/OX7TME5QBK6UTK5TXWJRSDZIMQ nybredfilly96

          Maybe I should have written ‘interest’ rather than ‘betting’, gamblers will bet on anything, if you build it they will come. Winter racing at Aqu does nothing for the sport and if anything it’s more detrimental than beneficial, especially for the horses and jockeys. I am a former employee of NYRA and experienced how poorly it’s run. However, I am also former owner, my family had many years in the business ‘in the good ole days’ and even back when there was no racing during Jan and Feb.  NYRA was a class act then because of the people who ran it.

          • Stanley inman

            Love your tenacity
            Please to meet you

    • http://twitter.com/HoopsandHorses Hoops and Horses

      MIke:

      My plan (noted above) would balance Violette’s concerns and the reality that some trainers can’t afford to take time off or go elsewhere in the winter with the realities of today: A month off between Thanksgiving and Christmas, racing almost every day the week between Christmas and New Year’s and then a couple of two-day weeks and then (mostly) three-day weeks until April.

      • Lets race

         Month off between Thanksgiving  and Christmas ?  That is not the time for worse weather of NY???

    • Crabscrabs01

      Actually Mike C, you don’t get it.  Aqueduct allows horsemen to make money, the track to make money, Belmont and Saratoga Horsemen to receive higher purses and is the 2nd most wagered on signal in the winter even during the “bad months” so clearly gamblers like wagering on it.
       
      And he must be the only one with facts since you cite none.

    • https://me.yahoo.com/a/yH9Q_DknxNRVETb6K5vWD6wIkFNLxi9Ds5zMtqA-#5f32b Smokey Glacken

      One might be wise to consider that an abundance of New York-breds are hitting the ground for the first time, as we communicate. The New York breeding program has seen a surge in top stallions re-locating to New York, along with some high end breeding outfits choosing to set up bases here. It was anticipated that there would be a surge in the number of horses bred in New York because of the significant increases in purse structure, and because New York has one of the best breeding programs in entire country. And, it has started. New York is about to become a horse-mecca. Things are changing, but not fast enough for some. Be prepared. We’re two years away from seeing some very full fields for races, and it may never be like how it has been, again. A new dawn in New York racing is poised to begin. It may take 2 years to be fully recognized and understood but, things will be forever altered for the better/bettor, too. Stay patient, and recognize what significant change will be unfolding in regards to New York racing. 

      • Stanley inman

        Smokey,
        “top stallions relocating to New York”
        Just because
        a cull from ky.
        Can fill a book in NY
        Doesn’t make him a
        “top stallion”
        and
        If Saratoga
        keeps adding New York bred races
        Watch the handle drop
        Like a lead
        balloon

        • concerned horse owner

           Sound like you are just against racing, against NY Racing , against NY Breeding program….Its here to stay!

      • BonnieMcDo

        My ky bred(now in NY) to Col John is due soon and will be bred back to a ny stallion. I live in NYC,,,I think they could cut down on days at Aqueduct but they might want to see if they should put in the kind of surface Turfway has for the inner track. I have 2 horses at Turfway. You have made some very good points. The NY bred sale at Fasig  in Aug at the Spa was well attended.  More nice sires are coming to Ny–better mares and owners who live in NY who want to race.  Glad you made these points.

      • Larry Ensor

        No disrespect but no “top stallions” will ever leave Kentucky no matter what a state bred program offers. Leading sires lists are nothing more then raw numbers. There is a lot more going “between the lines”. If a 1st-2nd-3rd crop sire of racing age is not in the top 10 it will be looking for a new home somewhere else in the world. The fact of the matter is even in Kentucky there is just not a lot of mares worthy of being bred to stallions that stand for $20+ in this day and age of large books. But hope always spring eternal.
        I am not a big fan of state breeding programs by and large. Even though it is one of the main reasons our farm is located in PA which by the way is a far better program for a breeder and an owner. But given the fact as a commercial and breed to race operation with limited means it would be next to impossible to make a viable living in KY. That being said I am still very careful who and what I bred to. Our mares by and large have far better pedigrees then the majority of mares being bred in PA or NY. But I still don’t breed all of them every year. Only a select few. I have little tolerance for the “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks mentality”. I know first hand where the cast offs end up.
        Personally maybe the time has come where people need to be qualified and licensed along with their mares to breed. If we don’t make the cut so be it.
        I understand there are other ways to look at it. Just the way I see it.

    • Figless

      Mike C, feel free to wager elsewhere, handle indicates you are wrong, AQU is second or third highest handle, daily, in winter.

    • G11gy

      Then don’t wager on it Mike C. Based on the handle figures there are a whole lot of people that do wish to wager on Aqu in the winter.

    • Ray13

      I respectfully disagree

  • Mike C

    Rick,

    You don’t get it! NYRA winter racing is garbage quality and many of US that wager the $2 billion p.a. no longer wish to gamble on it.

    Pure bull as to your inference that NY racing would be in dire straits if NYRA did not race 4-6 weeks during winter. You are not the only one with the facts and figures.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.vandenbrink.52 Ben van den Brink

    I only read financial arguments, and not one word about the safety issues for riders and horses. Not one word about the number from horses competing in this races, which went down considerable. After fiercer medication rules in order to protect the horses and riders.

    • Roisin

      Exactly ! That says a lot to me.

      • concerned horse owner

        Numbers are down because of the economy.The numbers running in NY are expected to rise due to  NYRA purses and NY Breeders program….If the Aqueduct inner track is not safe, then pay for an impartial commission to investigate why high number of horse fatalities! (2l last year)   Is it running on frozen ground?,  high torque of inner track?, are the fatalities from trainers that just dont care about their horses.  Some trainers run every 3 to 4 days. Were these the horses that broke down?  Where is the study!!!!

        • Figless

          The study has been completed, it found no single issue caused the increase, made recommendations most of which have been implemented. NYRA is more concerned with safety than any other jurisdiction, always has been, had one bad winter and everyone goes crazy.

          Does anyone care about the horses running at Parx or Laurel? Does anyone even look at their breakdown rates?

    • Figless

      ” And exploring all options to improve the safety of the horses and riders must always be a priority.”

      You must have missed the above.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.vandenbrink.52 Ben van den Brink

    I only read financial arguments, and not one word about the safety issues for riders and horses. Not one word about the number from horses competing in this races, which went down considerable. After fiercer medication rules in order to protect the horses and riders.

  • Roisin

    Exactly ! That says a lot to me.

  • Jack

    Winter racing in NY would be ok if they dropped to 4 days per week, got rid of coupled entries and came up with a scratch policy that would that would deter connections from trying to cherry-pick races.   Short fields with high takeout make for unbettable racing.   It’s absurd that these small fields carry gigantic purses, while the bettor gets stuck with takeout, upwards of 25%.   That burden cannot be carried in the long run.  Players won’t stick around, even if they want to.  

    NYRA management couldn’t care less about the player.  I’ve written them a dozen times over the past 5 years with suggestions and complaints.  Never once heard back from them, either to say they are considering my suggestions or to apologize for what I consider to be a lousy product.  Bill Nader is the only exception.  He is first class.  He always took time to listen and he recognized the importance of the bettors.  

    • Mike c

      NYRA management and many horsemen have little to no respect for the players. They believe the players can be ignored without consequence which is OUR fault!

      • concerned horse owner

        Players play…who we kidding…The fields will get bigger and better. There was a drop in the amount of horses bred over past few years, but the NYBreeders program and NYRA purses will entice good runners to stay here in NY. Alot of top trainers/ jockeys like to go south but that will change in the future (unless NYRA closes January and Wednesdays,etc). Compare NYRA purses to Gulfstream / Tampa etc.?

    • Len Willschick

      Same for me. I’ve written them more than a few times and I recall receiving one response. Last time I approached it differently. I posted something on their Facebook page. It was removed shortly thereafter.

  • Jack

    Winter racing in NY would be ok if they dropped to 4 days per week, got rid of coupled entries and came up with a scratch policy that would that would deter connections from trying to cherry-pick races.   Short fields with high takeout make for unbettable racing.   It’s absurd that these small fields carry gigantic purses, while the bettor gets stuck with takeout, upwards of 25%.   That burden cannot be carried in the long run.  Players won’t stick around, even if they want to.  

    NYRA management couldn’t care less about the player.  I’ve written them a dozen times over the past 5 years with suggestions and complaints.  Never once heard back from them, either to say they are considering my suggestions or to apologize for what I consider to be a lousy product.  Bill Nader is the only exception.  He is first class.  He always took time to listen and he recognized the importance of the bettors.  

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/OX7TME5QBK6UTK5TXWJRSDZIMQ nybredfilly96

    Agreed.  There is little betting on the NYRA ‘races’ (5 horse fields of crummy horses) most is on simulcast.  It’s their own fault since they basically turned the tracks into simulcast centers anyway.  If they cared about the Horsemen they would run the facilities as such.  They couldn’t wait to gobble up the OTB ‘patrons’ who could care less about watching a live NY race..or betting on one for that matter.

  • Harry

    What definitely needs to go is the “All weather inner track”. If Aqueduct main track can’t handle winter weather then something is very very wrong. Maybe if they ran on a descent racing surface the break-down rate would be less. Also 3 or 4 day weeks running would help increase field size. Philadelphia and Laurel Park have no “all weather track” and they are doing just fine.

  • http://twitter.com/HoopsandHorses Hoops and Horses

    I would be essentially doing that as stated in my other post, but in late November and December rather than January and then except for the week between Christmas and New Year’s race a couple of two-day weeks and three-day weeks (with one exception) until the end of March.

  • Harry

    What definitely needs to go is the “All weather inner track”. If Aqueduct main track can’t handle winter weather then something is very very wrong. Maybe if they ran on a descent racing surface the break-down rate would be less. Also 3 or 4 day weeks running would help increase field size. Philadelphia and Laurel Park have no “all weather track” and they are doing just fine.

  • http://twitter.com/HoopsandHorses Hoops and Horses

    MIke:

    My plan (noted above) would balance Violette’s concerns and the reality that some trainers can’t afford to take time off or go elsewhere in the winter with the realities of today: A month off between Thanksgiving and Christmas, racing almost every day the week between Christmas and New Year’s and then a couple of two-day weeks and then (mostly) three-day weeks until April.

  • Mike c

    NYRA management and many horsemen have little to no respect for the players. They believe the players can be ignored without consequence which is OUR fault!

  • Jd

    Mountaineer closes for Jan and February.  I think what Rick is more concerned about is his own well being.  If they close for winter in New York, many of his owners, and rightly so, would ship elsewhere, such as Parx, Penn or to Florida tracks; meaning Rick won’t get his per diem as well as running in short fields for over-inflated purses.  I have said this 100x, if Penn National and Parx can run in the winter months with very very few cards being cancelled, why can’t New York that operates on a budget 10x that of PA tracks.  It is not because they can’t, its because they don’t want to.  

    • Thevoiceoftruth69

      very few cards cancelled in PA?   Have you researched how many lost cards there have been in PA?  Considering there’s only been 20 inches of snow total from OCt 2011 to today there sure are a lot of cancellations.  There have been periods of time where there were no races for 2 weeks when the ice storms hit.  Winter racing is great if it’s in Florida.  Don’t even get me started on the 15 degree training days start at 6am.  Find me a vet who says that’s good for the horses to train at that low a temperature.

      • Jd

        Yes I have.  Penn Nat has closed only 2x this year.  I believe Parx has closed a few more days for sure.  Whats worse is that Penn’s first post is 6pm!  I saw last week that it was 15 degrees at post time; but their 9 race card went off without a hitch and had no breakdowns.  Pletcher, Asmussen, Levine, Servis, Rice and more top trainers running at Penn and Parx.  Point is that if they feel horses aren’t good enough to send to Florida, they can still run for generous purses, with far less takeout, only a few hrs from new york.

        • Crabs

          Less Takeout?  Parx and Penn have some of the highest takeout in the industry!

          • Jack

            the highest!  Parx takes 30% on trifectas, only to be beaten by Penn at 31%

        • Bubba

           penn realizing the horse shortage in the winter, only runs 3 days a week.  Thurs, Fri, and Sat.  Another option.

    • Crabs

      JD – I’m not sure even you understand what you’re talking about here. Mountaineer closes so Aqueduct should too . . . . but Penn National and Parx run and don’t cancel so Aqueduct should run as well?

  • Jd

    Mountaineer closes for Jan and February.  I think what Rick is more concerned about is his own well being.  If they close for winter in New York, many of his owners, and rightly so, would ship elsewhere, such as Parx, Penn or to Florida tracks; meaning Rick won’t get his per diem as well as running in short fields for over-inflated purses.  I have said this 100x, if Penn National and Parx can run in the winter months with very very few cards being cancelled, why can’t New York that operates on a budget 10x that of PA tracks.  It is not because they can’t, its because they don’t want to.  

  • Lets race

    Why don’t you all stay home from work next January? If weather does not permit racing, don’t race. Don’t race in freezing weather. Dont race on slush, snow , sleet. OK.  The people that are  pro closing track for the month of January are the people that are against any kind of racing! I thought the bad weather was only going to  be on Wednesdays?

    • Mike

      Bet your money on winter Nyra garbage

    • Stanley inman

      Concerned observer,
      Don reed said it best
      Winter racing is no more than a costly jobs program
      For a small group at the expense of everyone else.
      August Belmont and other true horsemen
      turn over in their graves
      To hear your comments about
      Winter racing
      Become a Student of
      Turf history

      • Figless

        Costly jobs program?????

        Please explain how it is “at the expense of everyone else”. How does it cost you money, exactly?

        Winter racing create JOBS. In case you haven’t noticed JOBS are at a premium right now, especially in upstate NY where many of these jobs are located. It would crush NY’s economy, especially upstate, to close in winter.

        The world, and racing, have changed since August Belmont’s days. Yes, he might turn over in his grave, but so would most of his generation, and not just about racing. Mr. Belmont had the resources to enjoy his hobby while losing money year after year, those types are few and far between nowadays.

        • Figless

          PS – Mr. Belmont was a businessman first and foremost, if he reviewed the numbers, I suspect he would agree winter racing should continue for the good of the overall circuit.

          • Stanley inman

            Hey fig,
            I understand your need for a pen name;
            Minion for nyra is an unpopular place to be
            Belmont is no longer turning over in grave
            Sounds like he’s weeping
            with your uninformed assertions
            about him and winter racing.
            Just go back and read about the man;
            Bred mano’war
            Built NYC subway system
            Despised winter racing
            Nobody played a larger role
            in building racing in new York;
            The reason you pick up your check every Friday,
            And you suppose he would OK
            Your views on Aqueduct winter racing, so funny
            Keep the penname

          • Stanley inman

            Fig
            “…Winter racing Should continue for the good of the overall circuit.”
            Historically The circuit was
            Spring and fall racemeets
            Seasonal celebrations- that was the circuit
            Later1890s with the advent of off-track betting parlors
            The circuit expanded to year round.
            winter racing became the “leaky roof” (that’s right, new jersey)
            Minor league circuit, of which AQueduct is number1
            Belmont chose the best dates for his new racetrack
            That’s your circuit fig.
            Unless you go minor league.

          • Don Reed

            The NYC
            OTB parlors: Miniature Detroits in New
            York City.

          • Figless

            First thing you have written with which I agree. What it has to do with our discussion I have no idea. Couldn’t be happier these parasites are gone and praying for the day the rest of the state follows suit.

          • Stanley inman

            Fig,
            What this has to do with the discussion is
            Detroit and nyra are, were
            Oligopolies;
            Oligopolies charge what economists refer to as
            “excess rents” because of their
            Power
            Leaving both Detroit and new York racing
            In Their present condition.
            I was wrong about your connection to Nyra
            I apologize.
            You were wrong about my feelings about new York racing
            I love Belmont, Saratoga, finger lakes
            Just against winter racing in new York, and other
            Locales where the
            Ground is no good
            For winter racing.

          • Don Reed

            Reason why it seems to be
            a disconnected thought (non-sequitur), I believe, is that it was a reply and
            the Paulick Report’s Discombobulatis (Disqus) posting system set it up as an
            original post.

            Not everyone at the NYC
            OTB was a bad apple.  A few were people
            I’d recommend to anyone anywhere, anytime. They were drowned in a sea of Anything
            Goes.

          • Figless

            Living in the past, those days are gone, time for you and Reed to take the big jump forward into the 21st Century.  AQU in winter is minor league with major league handle, which is exactly why it makes money now. You don’t close profitable businesses, and I believe Mr. Belmont would concur armed with todays knowledge and technology.

          • Don Reed

            Agreed stop Impersonations are worth their weight in gold
            stop Comedic value priceless stop.

          • Figless

            Inman, you failed to respond to my questions, instead spouting nonsense as usual. Since you have no facts you attempt to denigrate instead.

            I am no minion for any man. Haven’t cashed a paycheck in thirty years, NYRA or otherwise, nothing to do with NYRA, never have, never will.

            I hoped that someone, anyone, credible had stepped to the plate to run the horribly run Franchise, but no one did, so we are stuck with NYRA as reconstituted. I detested the old NYRA, very poorly run, corrupt. Hate the fact that the State has taken it over now for fear of even worse result while hoping and rooting for the best.

            Your esteemed Mr. Belmont was a driving member of the board that made the worst mistake in NYRA history, refusing to run the OTB system when offered, so don’t be professing his ultimate wisdom. His cronies and their descendent treated NYRA like a private club, with zero business strategy for many years, resulting in the mess you criticize. They failed to compete, stuck in their ancient historic view of NY racing superiority.

            What I am is a long time gambler, NY resident, who loves racing and understands the business and its importance to the state economy, especially that NY needs winter racing to survive.

            You and Reed have your own not so disguised anti NYRA anti NY racing agenda.

            Both bash NY racing every at opportunity tossing out falsehoods as facts to suit that agenda. NYRA could announce they found the cure for cancer and you would find something to criticize in the report.

            That is your right, you will lose in the end, whatever and wherever your interests lie winter racing will continue and NY Racing will continue to be the most popular signal in the nation, unless of course the Albany machine listens to your cries to end winter racing. Even Cuomo seems to have figured out that is a bad idea.

          • Figless

            In my haste I confused Belmont, who died in 1924, with Phipps, substitute the latter above.

          • Don Reed

            Thank you.  I was wondering how someone who was a World War One hero (1917-18) could have lived such a long life that he was still on the scene for the OTB mistake (late 1960s-70s).

      • Crabs

        If Aqueduct makes money and supplements purses at Belmont and Aqueduct . . . HOW IS IT COSTLY???

        • Figless

          Exactly

  • Lets race

    Why don’t you all stay home from work next January? If weather does not permit racing, don’t race. Don’t race in freezing weather. Dont race on slush, snow , sleet. OK.  The people that are  pro closing track for the month of January are the people that are against any kind of racing! I thought the bad weather was only going to  be on Wednesdays?

  • concerned horse owner

    NYRA’s fields are the BEST IN THE COUNTRY ! Purses are the BEST in the Country! Breeders bonuses are some of the BEST in the Country!  There are no 5000 broken down claimers running at Aqueduct!

  • Thevoiceoftruth69

    Rick, I’m sure the grooms wouldn’t mind heading elsewhere, IE to a warmer client, if they canned the awful Big A meet in the winter.  Aqueduct inner-track racing is worse than playing Portland Meadows.  Short fields combined with the Rudy Rodriguez’ of the world in that short field make the races unplayable in my opinion.   Can the inner meet and run a better meet March-November wich Aqueduct running on the outer surface and turf in March and November.  Once again we have someone like Rick Violette staking his case withouth looking at what the horse players want. Remember us, Rick?  We are the ones who were here before slots and will maybe still be here after they are gone when Cuomo rediverts the revenues in a couple of years.

    • Figless

      The players speak with their dollars, and AQU’s signal is the 2nd or 3rd highest daily handle in winter. Rick is very much aware that the gamblers drive the product, and obviously plenty of them enjoy NYRA’s cards. If no one was wagering in winter, they would in fact close, but that is not the case.

       How does AQU being open effect you exactly? If you don’t like the product feel free to wager elsewhere. I don’t get your argument, somehow you are being forced to play NYRA in the winter?

  • concerned horse owner

    Players play…who we kidding…The fields will get bigger and better. There was a drop in the amount of horses bred over past few years, but the NYBreeders program and NYRA purses will entice good runners to stay here in NY. Alot of top trainers/ jockeys like to go south but that will change in the future (unless NYRA closes January and Wednesdays,etc). Compare NYRA purses to Gulfstream / Tampa etc.?

  • Thevoiceoftruth69

    Rick, I’m sure the grooms wouldn’t mind heading elsewhere, IE to a warmer client, if they canned the awful Big A meet in the winter.  Aqueduct inner-track racing is worse than playing Portland Meadows.  Short fields combined with the Rudy Rodriguez’ of the world in that short field make the races unplayable in my opinion.   Can the inner meet and run a better meet March-November wich Aqueduct running on the outer surface and turf in March and November.  Once again we have someone like Rick Violette staking his case withouth looking at what the horse players want. Remember us, Rick?  We are the ones who were here before slots and will maybe still be here after they are gone when Cuomo rediverts the revenues in a couple of years.

  • Thevoiceoftruth69

    very few cards cancelled in PA?   Have you researched how many lost cards there have been in PA?  Considering there’s only been 20 inches of snow total from OCt 2011 to today there sure are a lot of cancellations.  There have been periods of time where there were no races for 2 weeks when the ice storms hit.  Winter racing is great if it’s in Florida.  Don’t even get me started on the 15 degree training days start at 6am.  Find me a vet who says that’s good for the horses to train at that low a temperature.

  • Avc34

    An idea..indoor covered racing.they use racing material for the track surface anyhow..I realize it would be expensive but backed by a good Casino and Horsemen who knows.Innovation is what will renew racing now. ike

  • Avc34

    An idea..indoor covered racing.they use racing material for the track surface anyhow..I realize it would be expensive but backed by a good Casino and Horsemen who knows.Innovation is what will renew racing now. ike

  • Raysghost

    “More more more”–more for me, the trainer, more for the breeders, more for the State.   What about the bettor?  What about the image of racing which continually gets sent in the direction of overkill, of hardcore betting factories?

    Ironic–letting a guy who trains horses to run faster to have decision making power on a large, complex issue.

    • G11gy

      Yeah a real stretch to have a trainer be the head of a horse mans group. 

  • Raysghost

    “More more more”–more for me, the trainer, more for the breeders, more for the State.   What about the bettor?  What about the image of racing which continually gets sent in the direction of overkill, of hardcore betting factories?

    Ironic–letting a guy who trains horses to run faster to have decision making power on a large, complex issue.

  • concerned horse owner

    Yes actually cold  weather is better for horses than hot weather that is  found in Florida and Southern California.

  • Mike

    Bet your money on winter Nyra garbage

  • Jd

    Yes I have.  Penn Nat has closed only 2x this year.  I believe Parx has closed a few more days for sure.  Whats worse is that Penn’s first post is 6pm!  I saw last week that it was 15 degrees at post time; but their 9 race card went off without a hitch and had no breakdowns.  Pletcher, Asmussen, Levine, Servis, Rice and more top trainers running at Penn and Parx.  Point is that if they feel horses aren’t good enough to send to Florida, they can still run for generous purses, with far less takeout, only a few hrs from new york.

  • concerned horse owner

    Numbers are down because of the economy.The numbers running in NY are expected to rise due to  NYRA purses and NY Breeders program….If the Aqueduct inner track is not safe, then pay for an impartial commission to investigate why high number of horse fatalities! (2l last year)   Is it running on frozen ground?,  high torque of inner track?, are the fatalities from trainers that just dont care about their horses.  Some trainers run every 3 to 4 days. Were these the horses that broke down?  Where is the study!!!!

  • lennythefish

    Rick Violette is absolutely correct, he is the voice of reason and experience. I just hope the powers that be listen to him !
    While the revenue ftom the racino at Aqueduct has been a shot in the arm for NY’s purses, the people who run Resorts World Int’l would prefer to do away with horse racing , not only in the winter, but if given the opportunity they would eliminate horseracing at Aqueduct fastet than you can say ” they’re off ! ”

  • lennythefish

    Rick Violette is absolutely correct, he is the voice of reason and experience. I just hope the powers that be listen to him !
    While the revenue ftom the racino at Aqueduct has been a shot in the arm for NY’s purses, the people who run Resorts World Int’l would prefer to do away with horse racing , not only in the winter, but if given the opportunity they would eliminate horseracing at Aqueduct fastet than you can say ” they’re off ! “

  • Makretow

    As a conscientious horse owner, I want my horse to be healthy and able to race during the season. Forgive me, but winter racing is not for my horses. 

    • Figless

      So you race your horses only on dry track, when the temperature is between 50 and 80 degrees? Because running in summer heat is much worse for a horse than on most winter days, when the average temperature in NY is 40.

      • LongTimeEconomist

        Dennis Heimer was a very successful trainer who gave many of his horses the summer off.

        • Figless

          People talk like NYC is Alaska, it is a fairly mild climate with occasional bad weather, which, when it hits, they should close.

          • Don Reed

            When was the last time you were in Alaska?

    • Sue M. Chapman

      You are a lucky man to be financially able to leave NY for the winter with your horses.  It is a tremendous expense to ship out.  The cost of loose hay and straw left behind is mind boggling.  It falls upon the trainer to eat those expenses, from his day pay.  As Allen Jerkens said many years ago after being leading trainer at a Belmont Spring Meet, “I’m the leading trainer and I LOST MONEY.  Without a horse that earns big money, you can’t make it.”   Who can afford to pay for their homes, and pay short term rent in another state? 

      Rick is 100% correct. 

  • Makretow

    As a conscientious horse owner, I want my horse to be healthy and able to race during the season. Forgive me, but winter racing is not for my horses. 

  • Crabscrabs01

    Actually Mike C, you don’t get it.  Aqueduct allows horsemen to make money, the track to make money, Belmont and Saratoga Horsemen to receive higher purses and is the 2nd most wagered on signal in the winter even during the “bad months” so clearly gamblers like wagering on it.
     
    And he must be the only one with facts since you cite none.

  • Crabs

    Two major issues with this.

    A.  It’s complicated as heck.  One of the worst things you can do is constantly change 1st post and racing days over a couple month period.  Nobody would remember when the race day starts and what days of the week NYRA was running!

    B.  Is this really an issue that needs fixing?  Currently Winter racing:
    1. Makes horsemen money during the Aqueduct meet and supplements purses at Belmont and Saratoga
    2.  Makes NYRA Money
    3. Is the 2nd most bet on signal in the winter so horseplayers like it (if not we would bet elsewhere).

    Why is there a need for a convoluted plan to fix anything?

  • http://dprdpr@live.com Don Reed

    “Years ago (pre OTB), NYRA would close from the weekend after Thanksgiving and reopen on St. Patrick’s Day.”
     
    I’m with this fellow.  Rich, you’re defending an unproductive, unprofitable jobs program that has ruined [verb past tense, proven fact] the appeal of horse racing to the general public by running racing twelve months a year.

    • G11gy

      So if NYRA closed in the winter the general public would suddenly have renewed interest in horseracing? 

      • Don Reed

        No.  NYRA would stop bleeding RED ink.

        (Red ink made them bend – over – to the casinos.  There’s a cause-and-effect here which six people noticed in the last ten years.)

        Personally, I think the days are long gone when any gimmick would bring the fans back.  But this would be a sane thing to do.

        • G11gy

          NYRA isnt losing money in the winter but if you prefer to make up things I guess that enhances your internet street cred. They “bent over for the casinos” because they didnt really have much choice in the matter, not because of winter racing. “Fans” who dont bet dont matter much anyway. There are many beautiful sunny days in June where Belmont has 3k people. Are you suggesting that if Aqu were to not run those days would attract more fans? People are betting on the product regardless of what you or Mike C or anyone else thinks. 

          • Mike C

            G11,

            You have no clue on what’s going on with NY winter garbage racing. Forever,NY boasted the highest or co highest handle all year round. In the last 5 years, recession aside,NY winter handle is now 3 rd highest, marginally higher than Tampa( a mini track on west coast of Fl with cheap fields)

            The players Group for which I speak wages $660 million p.a. And less and less of our members are playing NY winter or reducing their handle there.
            Get your facts straight before opening your uninformed mouth!

          • G11gy

            So what? NCAA basketball isnt nearly as good as it was when the best players stayed for more than 1 year but they still play the tournament. If the NY product isnt up to the standards of your supposed players group simply dont play there. Regardless a whole lot of people ARE still playing NYRA in the winter.

          • Mike C

            G11,

            If the players can unite and shut down garbage winter racing at Aqueduct, the pools at both Gulfstream and Santa Anita will swell giving the players a serious chance at a lifetime score. NY garbage winter racing features short fields with too many odds on horses sapping the players money with little chance of winning any serious money. Join the team, boycott garbage NY winter racing, help the players!

          • Figless

            NYRA will be around a lot longer than your alleged players group if you continue to chase that once in a lifetime score in that GP gimmick pool with the highest takeout in the nation.

          • Don Reed

            “but if you prefer to make up things…”

             

            You mean, like created a fictional existence:
            “G11gy”?

             

            Instead of signing your real name to posts?

  • Len Willschick

    Same for me. I’ve written them more than a few times and I recall receiving one response. Last time I approached it differently. I posted something on their Facebook page. It was removed shortly thereafter.

  • Don Reed

    “Years ago (pre OTB), NYRA would close from the weekend after Thanksgiving and reopen on St. Patrick’s Day.”
     
    I’m with this fellow.  Rich, you’re defending an unproductive, unprofitable jobs program that has ruined [verb past tense, proven fact] the appeal of horse racing to the general public by running racing twelve months a year.

  • https://me.yahoo.com/a/yH9Q_DknxNRVETb6K5vWD6wIkFNLxi9Ds5zMtqA-#5f32b Smokey Glacken

    One might be wise to consider that an abundance of New York-breds are hitting the ground for the first time, as we communicate. The New York breeding program has seen a surge in top stallions re-locating to New York, along with some high end breeding outfits choosing to set up bases here. It was anticipated that there would be a surge in the number of horses bred in New York because of the significant increases in purse structure, and because New York has one of the best breeding programs in entire country. And, it has started. New York is about to become a horse-mecca. Things are changing, but not fast enough for some. Be prepared. We’re two years away from seeing some very full fields for races, and it may never be like how it has been, again. A new dawn in New York racing is poised to begin. It may take 2 years to be fully recognized and understood but, things will be forever altered for the better/bettor, too. Stay patient, and recognize what significant change will be unfolding in regards to New York racing. 

  • Crabs

    JD – I’m not sure even you understand what you’re talking about here. Mountaineer closes so Aqueduct should too . . . . but Penn National and Parx run and don’t cancel so Aqueduct should run as well?

  • Crabs

    Less Takeout?  Parx and Penn have some of the highest takeout in the industry!

  • Stanley inman

    Concerned observer,
    Don reed said it best
    Winter racing is no more than a costly jobs program
    For a small group at the expense of everyone else.
    August Belmont and other true horsemen
    turn over in their graves
    To hear your comments about
    Winter racing
    Become a Student of
    Turf history

  • NY Owner

    No one can afford to ship their entire stable to Forida for one month.  No mutual clerks can work in Florida for one month.  Florida already has their clerks.  You think they will displace their regular help for a bunch of temps from New York? 

  • Stanley inman

    Smokey,
    “top stallions relocating to New York”
    Just because
    a cull from ky.
    Can fill a book in NY
    Doesn’t make him a
    “top stallion”
    and
    If Saratoga
    keeps adding New York bred races
    Watch the handle drop
    Like a lead
    balloon

  • Jack

    the highest!  Parx takes 30% on trifectas, only to be beaten by Penn at 31%

  • Figless

    What part of AQU being second highest signal in handle in winter don’t you understand? There obviously is more than a “little” betting on the NYRA races.

  • Figless

    Mike C, feel free to wager elsewhere, handle indicates you are wrong, AQU is second or third highest handle, daily, in winter.

  • Figless

    ” And exploring all options to improve the safety of the horses and riders must always be a priority.”

    You must have missed the above.

  • Figless

    The study has been completed, it found no single issue caused the increase, made recommendations most of which have been implemented. NYRA is more concerned with safety than any other jurisdiction, always has been, had one bad winter and everyone goes crazy.

    Does anyone care about the horses running at Parx or Laurel? Does anyone even look at their breakdown rates?

  • Figless

    Pre OTB was another world, no comparison to today.

  • Figless

    Exactly, just invest the money to make racing safer and continue to run as they have for the last 40 years. Cancel, as they do now, when it gets too bad. They have implemented all the suggestions from the report, can we give it a chance to see if it works?

     Until last year the inner track was considered one of the safest in the country. One bad year and everyone over reacts.

  • Figless

    So you race your horses only on dry track, when the temperature is between 50 and 80 degrees? Because running in summer heat is much worse for a horse than on most winter days, when the average temperature in NY is 40.

  • Figless

    Thank you Mr. V for spelling out to this audience why I have been arguing for months, that winter racing is essential for NYRA and NY economy.

  • Figless

    Thank you Mr. V for spelling out to this audience why I have been arguing for months, that winter racing is essential for NYRA and NY economy.

  • Tjs

    Put in synthetic on the inner track. Continue winter racing. Not only will nobody leave, a lot of trainers that are currently at Palm Meadows and Gulfstream will stay the course in NY. A whole lot of horses ship to Florida to continue training…. A very sound option

  • Tjs

    Put in synthetic on the inner track. Continue winter racing. Not only will nobody leave, a lot of trainers that are currently at Palm Meadows and Gulfstream will stay the course in NY. A whole lot of horses ship to Florida to continue training…. A very sound option

  • Figless

    The players speak with their dollars, and AQU’s signal is the 2nd or 3rd highest daily handle in winter. Rick is very much aware that the gamblers drive the product, and obviously plenty of them enjoy NYRA’s cards. If no one was wagering in winter, they would in fact close, but that is not the case.

     How does AQU being open effect you exactly? If you don’t like the product feel free to wager elsewhere. I don’t get your argument, somehow you are being forced to play NYRA in the winter?

  • Jack

    another thing that makes NYRA weak (from a betting standpoint) is the unintended consequences of their high purse structure.   Horses claimed for 35k make their next start for 20k, yet can still net the owner a nice profit.  As a handicapper, you scratch your head and wonder why the horse is in for 20k.  They might romp home or they could be sore.  These situations used to pop up a few times per month.  Nowadays at NYRA, these big droppers show up on every card.  Using trainer patterns, you can get some insight, but for the most part, you can’t bet these horses at 3/5, but they win frequently enough that you’re better off sitting on your hands. 

  • Ebracin1945

    Simply compare the field sizes ( parx ,laurel , Santa Anita ) there really is very little difference . Parx has 5,000 claimers can run on clembutrol 2days from a race there steroid rules are the same as ours ,laurel consiestanly runs 6&7horse fields Santa Anita (temp mid 80s) runs 8 races a day there field sizes are identical to Aqueduct and they run 8,000 claimers . Thoroughbred races horses would much prefer Aqueduct weather and winter conditions to Saratoga 95 degree temp.& 90 % humidity and sloppy sealed racetracks ,even though aqueduct winter racing supplements Saratoga 800,000 a day in purses .the facts are there is a horse &owner shortage .Mr Violette is absolutely is dead on when he states without winter racing would be a disaster for owners ,breeders,trainers ,not to merkin all the people that be unemployed . Leave ny winter racing alone . And continue to make whatever changes we need to make it safer for ou horses jockeys , exercise boys ,grooms,hot walkers . Improve conditions for our fans and betters and work together to improve the GREATEST GAME PLAYED OUTDOORS !!!!!!!!!!!

    • Bubba

       you give a good argument.  Parx, Laurel and Santa Anita all need to take the winter off also.

  • Jack

    another thing that makes NYRA weak (from a betting standpoint) is the unintended consequences of their high purse structure.   Horses claimed for 35k make their next start for 20k, yet can still net the owner a nice profit.  As a handicapper, you scratch your head and wonder why the horse is in for 20k.  They might romp home or they could be sore.  These situations used to pop up a few times per month.  Nowadays at NYRA, these big droppers show up on every card.  Using trainer patterns, you can get some insight, but for the most part, you can’t bet these horses at 3/5, but they win frequently enough that you’re better off sitting on your hands. 

  • Ebracin1945

    Simply compare the field sizes ( parx ,laurel , Santa Anita ) there really is very little difference . Parx has 5,000 claimers can run on clembutrol 2days from a race there steroid rules are the same as ours ,laurel consiestanly runs 6&7horse fields Santa Anita (temp mid 80s) runs 8 races a day there field sizes are identical to Aqueduct and they run 8,000 claimers . Thoroughbred races horses would much prefer Aqueduct weather and winter conditions to Saratoga 95 degree temp.& 90 % humidity and sloppy sealed racetracks ,even though aqueduct winter racing supplements Saratoga 800,000 a day in purses .the facts are there is a horse &owner shortage .Mr Violette is absolutely is dead on when he states without winter racing would be a disaster for owners ,breeders,trainers ,not to merkin all the people that be unemployed . Leave ny winter racing alone . And continue to make whatever changes we need to make it safer for ou horses jockeys , exercise boys ,grooms,hot walkers . Improve conditions for our fans and betters and work together to improve the GREATEST GAME PLAYED OUTDOORS !!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mike

    Cards full of garbage maiden claiming NY Breds day after day, only suckers gamble serious money there!

  • Bubba

     The bottom is the bottom, regardless of the value the track places on it.  So just because there are not 5k claiming races there, doesn’t mean that there are not 5k claiming horses there.  How about giving the horses 2 months with no racing.  Jan and Feb.  60 easy days would probably help a lot of horses recuperate little nagging injuries.  Do it for the horses.  

  • Bubba

     you give a good argument.  Parx, Laurel and Santa Anita all need to take the winter off also.

  • Figless

    Costly jobs program?????

    Please explain how it is “at the expense of everyone else”. How does it cost you money, exactly?

    Winter racing create JOBS. In case you haven’t noticed JOBS are at a premium right now, especially in upstate NY where many of these jobs are located. It would crush NY’s economy, especially upstate, to close in winter.

    The world, and racing, have changed since August Belmont’s days. Yes, he might turn over in his grave, but so would most of his generation, and not just about racing. Mr. Belmont had the resources to enjoy his hobby while losing money year after year, those types are few and far between nowadays.

  • Mike

    Only a fool thinks NYRA winter cards are the best in the country!

  • Bubba

     penn realizing the horse shortage in the winter, only runs 3 days a week.  Thurs, Fri, and Sat.  Another option.

  • LongTimeEconomist

    Dennis Heimer was a very successful trainer who gave many of his horses the summer off.

  • Stanley inman

    Bubba,
    You sound like a
    Real horsemen
    Putting the horse first
    Winter racing poisons the sport’s chances
    of growing fans.
    NY winter racing apologists appear
    Hooked on bankrupt
    Self-defeating strategies

  • Jd

    I am simply saying its not uncommon for a track to close for a few months; but lets understand this, WV racing isn’t even the same spotlight as NY racing.  If there is no incentive to stay, and clearly there isn’t, why should run 5-6 horse fields??  Even with HUGE purses, tons of empty stalls remain at NYRA tracks through the winter.  So, if installing a polytrack is out of the question, and owners send their horses out in droves during the winter meet, why should Aqueduct stay open?  The horse population is not going to get any bigger whether they run 4 days a week or even 3!  Lets just say it the way is., for all the reasons listed in all the comments here, Aqueduct winter racing is a disgrace and it won’t ever get better.  Plain and simple.  Bettors, stop wasting $ on 5-6 horse fields at the big A.

  • Jd

    I am simply saying its not uncommon for a track to close for a few months; but lets understand this, WV racing isn’t even the same spotlight as NY racing.  If there is no incentive to stay, and clearly there isn’t, why should run 5-6 horse fields??  Even with HUGE purses, tons of empty stalls remain at NYRA tracks through the winter.  So, if installing a polytrack is out of the question, and owners send their horses out in droves during the winter meet, why should Aqueduct stay open?  The horse population is not going to get any bigger whether they run 4 days a week or even 3!  Lets just say it the way is., for all the reasons listed in all the comments here, Aqueduct winter racing is a disgrace and it won’t ever get better.  Plain and simple.  Bettors, stop wasting $ on 5-6 horse fields at the big A.

  • BonnieMcDo

    My ky bred(now in NY) to Col John is due soon and will be bred back to a ny stallion. I live in NYC,,,I think they could cut down on days at Aqueduct but they might want to see if they should put in the kind of surface Turfway has for the inner track. I have 2 horses at Turfway. You have made some very good points. The NY bred sale at Fasig  in Aug at the Spa was well attended.  More nice sires are coming to Ny–better mares and owners who live in NY who want to race.  Glad you made these points.

  • Thompsonfinancial

    there are many, many horse people…grooms, riders, hotwalkers, trainers, concession folk that have families and need and love their ability to have a home and keep their children in the same school systems. Having been a trainer for a decade I know first hand how hard shipping is. Look what happened to Jersey racing when garden state closed and the meadowlands cut back racing dates…..a once vibrant racing community is all but gone. To eliminate winter racing in new York would be a huge mistake and painful to the people that make the sport go! Do we need to worry about safety for rider and equine? of course…would a synthetic surface make sense for winter racing ? maybe so….but in my opinion that the only change nyra should be thinking about.

    • Don Reed

      “Grooms, riders, hotwalkers, trainers, concession
      folk that have families and need and love their ability to have a home and keep
      their children in the same school systems…”

       

      When the sport runs year-round, it disintegrates.  Fans don’t want 12-months of continual racing
      (four months of which is bottom-of-the-barrel claiming deathathons).  Those fans are GONE.

       

      Without the casinos, winter racing folds.  With the casinos, you have four-horse winter
      fields propping up red ink balance sheets. 
      Since the casinos are supposed to be funding education, here’s your
      argument: running winter racing supports education because the casinos indirectly
      keep the children of the track families in one school year round.

      • Figless

        So why does EVERY circuit run year round? Name me one circuit that completely shuts down at some point during the year.

        Close Hollywood, Turfway, Laurel, Hawthorne, La Downs, Philly, and Calder and then we can talk.

        “Fans don’t want 12-months of continual racing”.

        I completely disagree, there are gamblers and there are fans. Gamblers want action, if you close they will bet the other tracks, you are just giving away money by closing.

        Fans, those that actually go to the track casually in summer, will continue to go, at their chosen level of participation. Those at Saratoga don’t go to Big A, and vice versa. Each meet has its own “fans”. If you poll them their participation is not any different, whether there is or is not winter racing. False argument.

        • Don Reed

          If Figless were running a house of ill-repute, we’d have action year-round. 

          • Figless

            They close during winter??

          • Don Reed

            Yes.  That’s why you have all that extra $ in March.

  • Thompsonfinancial

    there are many, many horse people…grooms, riders, hotwalkers, trainers, concession folk that have families and need and love their ability to have a home and keep their children in the same school systems. Having been a trainer for a decade I know first hand how hard shipping is. Look what happened to Jersey racing when garden state closed and the meadowlands cut back racing dates…..a once vibrant racing community is all but gone. To eliminate winter racing in new York would be a huge mistake and painful to the people that make the sport go! Do we need to worry about safety for rider and equine? of course…would a synthetic surface make sense for winter racing ? maybe so….but in my opinion that the only change nyra should be thinking about.

  • David Young

    Richard Violette only cares about status quo not growing NY Racing.

    You’ll never hear Mr.Violette say we should use some of the Slot money to grow NY Racing.

    Things like paying equibase so they can give NY horsePlayers FREE Past Performances (this will create more horseplayers and increase handle).

    Things like lowering the takeout (this will create more horseplayers and increase handle).

    A pick-5 with the lowest takeout in racing.(increasing handle obviously)

    Gulfstream Park takes in about 80k -120k a day in the 10cent pick-6.

    NY Racing take in about 4k-5k a day with it’s pick-6 wager.

    How about all that great publicity Gulfstream is getting.Richard Violette just doesn’t get It.

    • Lowechris18

       NY handle on pick six is incorrect. One day carryovers are usually in the 15-25k range.

      • Don Reed

        The comparison is still valid, even after the adjustment.  In fact, it’s damning.  Obviously, RV can’t control NYRA’s insane refusal to at least try the dime pick-six option, but his arguing that AQ winter racing is beneficial to his sport is just more fake hay.

        • Crabs

          The Gulfstream P6 has an effective takeout rate of 52%.  It’s hard to argue that lower takeout helps tracks (by increasing churn) and then argue for a P6 with that high of a takeout also helping tracks.  Even if the Rainbow P6 is a popular bet, I imagine it is damaging to other pools since the money is tied up for 2 1/2 hours, only 20% is paid out daily, and on the rare occasion the entire pool is paid out, everyone’s takeout rate is 100% with the exception of one person.

    • Figless

      The GP pick six is a gimmick, impossible to hit. Good luck to them, I prefer the wager as presently structured. Lowering to a dime would mean no carryovers which means less, not more, handle.

      NYRA does not control takeout, I am all for ALBANY cutting takeout if they cut their share, which they get for doing nothing. NYRA needs every penny for operating expenses.

      There essentially are free past performance every day on the NYRA site, at least on a limited basis. Click on an entry, they have all that horses races with charts available for free.

    • G11gy

      Richard Violette isn’t in charge of NYRA. He has no ability to lower takeout, use slot money for any purpose other than what is legislated, paying equibase or creating a pick 5. NY racing takes in 4-5k a day with the pick 6?? What?

    • Mike C

      Violette a clown,should stick to training.Does not have enough business acumen to have a voice in the process

  • David Young

    Richard Violette only cares about status quo not growing NY Racing.

    You’ll never hear Mr.Violette say we should use some of the Slot money to grow NY Racing.

    Things like paying equibase so they can give NY horsePlayers FREE Past Performances (this will create more horseplayers and increase handle).

    Things like lowering the takeout (this will create more horseplayers and increase handle).

    A pick-5 with the lowest takeout in racing.(increasing handle obviously)

    Gulfstream Park takes in about 80k -120k a day in the 10cent pick-6.

    NY Racing take in about 4k-5k a day with it’s pick-6 wager.

    How about all that great publicity Gulfstream is getting.Richard Violette just doesn’t get It.

  • Lowechris18

     NY handle on pick six is incorrect. One day carryovers are usually in the 15-25k range.

  • Crabs

    If Aqueduct makes money and supplements purses at Belmont and Aqueduct . . . HOW IS IT COSTLY???

  • http://twitter.com/HoopsandHorses Hoops and Horses

    Actually, the schedule would be relatively easy to follow:

    There would ALWAYS be racing on Fridays and Saturdays, with Sundays added back to the schedule after the NFL conference championship games.  Saturdays would have an earlier post time simply because of more races on Saturdays (and the 11:30 AM first post for 12-race programs would actually only be until the clocks change) while all other programs (after New Year’s) would be at 1:00 PM (including Saturdays after the clocks change in March).  The every-day-between-Christmas and New Year’s is simply to take advantage of many people taking that week off from work with horses who at that point would have been off during a month-long period where people often have other things going on.  Otherwise, a couple of two-day weeks and all-three-day weeks (plus Presidents Day) is a fair compromise.

  • Don Reed

    The comparison is still valid, even after the adjustment.  In fact, it’s damning.  Obviously, RV can’t control NYRA’s insane refusal to at least try the dime pick-six option, but his arguing that AQ winter racing is beneficial to his sport is just more fake hay.

  • Don Reed

    “Grooms, riders, hotwalkers, trainers, concession
    folk that have families and need and love their ability to have a home and keep
    their children in the same school systems…”

     

    When the sport runs year-round, it disintegrates.  Fans don’t want 12-months of continual racing
    (four months of which is bottom-of-the-barrel claiming deathathons).  Those fans are GONE.

     

    Without the casinos, winter racing folds.  With the casinos, you have four-horse winter
    fields propping up red ink balance sheets. 
    Since the casinos are supposed to be funding education, here’s your
    argument: running winter racing supports education because the casinos indirectly
    keep the children of the track families in one school year round.

  • Don Reed

    If you fund jobs by running businesses that lose money, you end up living in Detroit.

    • Figless

      This difference is businesses that lose money, as a rule, pay no taxes and contribute little other than the jobs. They are a drain on society.

      NYRA not only creates jobs but contributes to the economy by providing revenue due to being taxed on its GROSS handle. If you add bad those taxes NYRA makes a LOT of money, even before the VLT money was added to the pot.

      It employs many thousands of workers, both at the track and at upstate farms, while preserving green space. Closing in winter seriously threatens the livelihood of those workers and the viability of those farms.

      There are subsidies given to many businesses in NY, most of whom create way fewer jobs than racing.

      There is no argument here, racing is beneficial to the state, even the corrupt Albany grifters realize this. Even freaking Cuomo, who has a deeply imbedded hatred for NYRA and racing, looked at the numbers and realized he was wrong in his initial comments.

      And make no mistake about it, closing in winter jeopardizes the whole pot.

      • Don Reed

        “There are subsidies given to many businesses in NY, most of whom create way fewer jobs than racing.”

        This is an extension of the thought (suitable onjly in a straight jacket) that since “all trainers are corrupt, Rich Dutrow should be in the Hall of Fame.”

  • Don Reed

    If you fund jobs by running businesses that lose money, you end up living in Detroit.

  • Figless

    You cant change post time everyday, it is confusing. I have no complaint with reducing racing to 4 days per week, 10 races per day with a 1210 first race post to get a jump on other tracks. Would need to see actual handle numbers to decide.

  • Figless

    The GP pick six is a gimmick, impossible to hit. Good luck to them, I prefer the wager as presently structured. Lowering to a dime would mean no carryovers which means less, not more, handle.

    NYRA does not control takeout, I am all for ALBANY cutting takeout if they cut their share, which they get for doing nothing. NYRA needs every penny for operating expenses.

    There essentially are free past performance every day on the NYRA site, at least on a limited basis. Click on an entry, they have all that horses races with charts available for free.

  • Figless

    People talk like NYC is Alaska, it is a fairly mild climate with occasional bad weather, which, when it hits, they should close.

  • Figless

    So why does EVERY circuit run year round? Name me one circuit that completely shuts down at some point during the year.

    Close Hollywood, Turfway, Laurel, Hawthorne, La Downs, Philly, and Calder and then we can talk.

    “Fans don’t want 12-months of continual racing”.

    I completely disagree, there are gamblers and there are fans. Gamblers want action, if you close they will bet the other tracks, you are just giving away money by closing.

    Fans, those that actually go to the track casually in summer, will continue to go, at their chosen level of participation. Those at Saratoga don’t go to Big A, and vice versa. Each meet has its own “fans”. If you poll them their participation is not any different, whether there is or is not winter racing. False argument.

  • Figless

    This difference is businesses that lose money, as a rule, pay no taxes and contribute little other than the jobs. They are a drain on society.

    NYRA not only creates jobs but contributes to the economy by providing revenue due to being taxed on its GROSS handle. If you add bad those taxes NYRA makes a LOT of money, even before the VLT money was added to the pot.

    It employs many thousands of workers, both at the track and at upstate farms, while preserving green space. Closing in winter seriously threatens the livelihood of those workers and the viability of those farms.

    There are subsidies given to many businesses in NY, most of whom create way fewer jobs than racing.

    There is no argument here, racing is beneficial to the state, even the corrupt Albany grifters realize this. Even freaking Cuomo, who has a deeply imbedded hatred for NYRA and racing, looked at the numbers and realized he was wrong in his initial comments.

    And make no mistake about it, closing in winter jeopardizes the whole pot.

  • Figless

    Exactly

  • Figless

    PS – Mr. Belmont was a businessman first and foremost, if he reviewed the numbers, I suspect he would agree winter racing should continue for the good of the overall circuit.

  • Stanley inman

    Hey fig,
    I understand your need for a pen name;
    Minion for nyra is an unpopular place to be
    Belmont is no longer turning over in grave
    Sounds like he’s weeping
    with your uninformed assertions
    about him and winter racing.
    Just go back and read about the man;
    Bred mano’war
    Built NYC subway system
    Despised winter racing
    Nobody played a larger role
    in building racing in new York;
    The reason you pick up your check every Friday,
    And you suppose he would OK
    Your views on Aqueduct winter racing, so funny
    Keep the penname

  • Crabs

    You realize it took you a paragraph to explain it right?  You’re way overthinking it.  Also, ever notice how Gulfstream and Aqueduct coordinate post times so bettors can play both tracks?  Both tracks would likely have races go off at the same time at points everyday if post times and racing days were constantly changed. 

    Do you envision them advertising like this:

    Come to Aqueduct!
    Racing every Friday and Saturday except late November and Early December with additional full week of racing after Christmas along with Mondays on January 18th and February 15th.  Join us for additional Sundays of racing except during the Football Season (weekend before the Super Bowl Exlcuded).  Post times change daily so call us at 1-800-Confusing for daily schedules.

  • Crabs

    The Gulfstream P6 has an effective takeout rate of 52%.  It’s hard to argue that lower takeout helps tracks (by increasing churn) and then argue for a P6 with that high of a takeout also helping tracks.  Even if the Rainbow P6 is a popular bet, I imagine it is damaging to other pools since the money is tied up for 2 1/2 hours, only 20% is paid out daily, and on the rare occasion the entire pool is paid out, everyone’s takeout rate is 100% with the exception of one person.

  • Oscetra

    Kentucky Bred! Kentucky Proud!

  • Oscetra

    Kentucky Bred! Kentucky Proud!

  • G11gy

    Then don’t wager on it Mike C. Based on the handle figures there are a whole lot of people that do wish to wager on Aqu in the winter.

  • G11gy

    What makes you think those horses wouldn’t just run out of town during that period? 

  • G11gy

    Richard Violette isn’t in charge of NYRA. He has no ability to lower takeout, use slot money for any purpose other than what is legislated, paying equibase or creating a pick 5. NY racing takes in 4-5k a day with the pick 6?? What?

  • G11gy

    So if NYRA closed in the winter the general public would suddenly have renewed interest in horseracing? 

  • Stanley inman

    Fig
    “…Winter racing Should continue for the good of the overall circuit.”
    Historically The circuit was
    Spring and fall racemeets
    Seasonal celebrations- that was the circuit
    Later1890s with the advent of off-track betting parlors
    The circuit expanded to year round.
    winter racing became the “leaky roof” (that’s right, new jersey)
    Minor league circuit, of which AQueduct is number1
    Belmont chose the best dates for his new racetrack
    That’s your circuit fig.
    Unless you go minor league.

  • Sue M. Chapman

    You are a lucky man to be financially able to leave NY for the winter with your horses.  It is a tremendous expense to ship out.  The cost of loose hay and straw left behind is mind boggling.  It falls upon the trainer to eat those expenses, from his day pay.  As Allen Jerkens said many years ago after being leading trainer at a Belmont Spring Meet, “I’m the leading trainer and I LOST MONEY.  Without a horse that earns big money, you can’t make it.”   Who can afford to pay for their homes, and pay short term rent in another state? 

    Rick is 100% correct. 

  • Lets race

     Month off between Thanksgiving  and Christmas ?  That is not the time for worse weather of NY???

  • Lets race

    Really?  What tracks have better racing than Aqueduct?

  • concerned horse owner

     Sound like you are just against racing, against NY Racing , against NY Breeding program….Its here to stay!

  • Mike

    Try Gulfstream and Santa Anita in winter. Aqueduct winter racing a joke, short fields featuring ny bred garbage

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/OX7TME5QBK6UTK5TXWJRSDZIMQ nybredfilly96

    Maybe I should have written ‘interest’ rather than ‘betting’, gamblers will bet on anything, if you build it they will come. Winter racing at Aqu does nothing for the sport and if anything it’s more detrimental than beneficial, especially for the horses and jockeys. I am a former employee of NYRA and experienced how poorly it’s run. However, I am also former owner, my family had many years in the business ‘in the good ole days’ and even back when there was no racing during Jan and Feb.  NYRA was a class act then because of the people who ran it.

  • Mike C

    Violette a clown,should stick to training.Does not have enough business acumen to have a voice in the process

  • Garrigan

    So, how many jobs were lost in West Virginia when Mountaineer closed for 2 months? For the 2nd year?
    Amazing – they all came back and are none the worse for wear; actually in better shape because the horses are healthier. And the purses are holding up.

  • Garrigan

    So, how many jobs were lost in West Virginia when Mountaineer closed for 2 months? For the 2nd year?
    Amazing – they all came back and are none the worse for wear; actually in better shape because the horses are healthier. And the purses are holding up.

  • BonnieMcDo

    Will you STOP calling the horses that run at Aqueduct garbage. Many people who own those horses love them. They are not as fast but many are solid race horses. Are students who are not in honors garbage?  Are minor league athletes garbage? 

  • Don Reed

    If Figless were running a house of ill-repute, we’d have action year-round. 

  • Don Reed

    Aw, c’mon, Fig.  This is too easy.  Work harder at this.

  • Don Reed

    “There are subsidies given to many businesses in NY, most of whom create way fewer jobs than racing.”

    This is an extension of the thought (suitable onjly in a straight jacket) that since “all trainers are corrupt, Rich Dutrow should be in the Hall of Fame.”

  • Don Reed

    Aw, c’mon, Fig.  This is too easy.  Work harder at this.

  • Don Reed

    Agreed stop Impersonations are worth their weight in gold
    stop Comedic value priceless stop.

  • Don Reed

    No.  NYRA would stop bleeding RED ink.

    (Red ink made them bend – over – to the casinos.  There’s a cause-and-effect here which six people noticed in the last ten years.)

    Personally, I think the days are long gone when any gimmick would bring the fans back.  But this would be a sane thing to do.

  • Don Reed

    The NYC
    OTB parlors: Miniature Detroits in New
    York City.

  • Mike

    You are obviously not familiar with cheap maiden NYBred claimers.
    Most should not be permitted to race, the product of crooked legged mares bred in upstate NY back yards

  • BonnieMcDO

    I have one of those and he does not have crooked legs and had a break and will race this year. He is a nice horse and I enjoy having him and will retire him to a good home one day.There are also many high priced horses that end up in claimers. I just do not like calling any horse garbage or cheap. 

  • G11gy

    NYRA isnt losing money in the winter but if you prefer to make up things I guess that enhances your internet street cred. They “bent over for the casinos” because they didnt really have much choice in the matter, not because of winter racing. “Fans” who dont bet dont matter much anyway. There are many beautiful sunny days in June where Belmont has 3k people. Are you suggesting that if Aqu were to not run those days would attract more fans? People are betting on the product regardless of what you or Mike C or anyone else thinks. 

  • G11gy

    Yeah a real stretch to have a trainer be the head of a horse mans group. 

  • Figless

    They close during winter??

  • Figless

    First thing you have written with which I agree. What it has to do with our discussion I have no idea. Couldn’t be happier these parasites are gone and praying for the day the rest of the state follows suit.

  • Figless

    Living in the past, those days are gone, time for you and Reed to take the big jump forward into the 21st Century.  AQU in winter is minor league with major league handle, which is exactly why it makes money now. You don’t close profitable businesses, and I believe Mr. Belmont would concur armed with todays knowledge and technology.

  • Figless

    Inman, you failed to respond to my questions, instead spouting nonsense as usual. Since you have no facts you attempt to denigrate instead.

    I am no minion for any man. Haven’t cashed a paycheck in thirty years, NYRA or otherwise, nothing to do with NYRA, never have, never will.

    I hoped that someone, anyone, credible had stepped to the plate to run the horribly run Franchise, but no one did, so we are stuck with NYRA as reconstituted. I detested the old NYRA, very poorly run, corrupt. Hate the fact that the State has taken it over now for fear of even worse result while hoping and rooting for the best.

    Your esteemed Mr. Belmont was a driving member of the board that made the worst mistake in NYRA history, refusing to run the OTB system when offered, so don’t be professing his ultimate wisdom. His cronies and their descendent treated NYRA like a private club, with zero business strategy for many years, resulting in the mess you criticize. They failed to compete, stuck in their ancient historic view of NY racing superiority.

    What I am is a long time gambler, NY resident, who loves racing and understands the business and its importance to the state economy, especially that NY needs winter racing to survive.

    You and Reed have your own not so disguised anti NYRA anti NY racing agenda.

    Both bash NY racing every at opportunity tossing out falsehoods as facts to suit that agenda. NYRA could announce they found the cure for cancer and you would find something to criticize in the report.

    That is your right, you will lose in the end, whatever and wherever your interests lie winter racing will continue and NY Racing will continue to be the most popular signal in the nation, unless of course the Albany machine listens to your cries to end winter racing. Even Cuomo seems to have figured out that is a bad idea.

  • Figless

    In my haste I confused Belmont, who died in 1924, with Phipps, substitute the latter above.

  • Stanley inman

    Fig,
    What this has to do with the discussion is
    Detroit and nyra are, were
    Oligopolies;
    Oligopolies charge what economists refer to as
    “excess rents” because of their
    Power
    Leaving both Detroit and new York racing
    In Their present condition.
    I was wrong about your connection to Nyra
    I apologize.
    You were wrong about my feelings about new York racing
    I love Belmont, Saratoga, finger lakes
    Just against winter racing in new York, and other
    Locales where the
    Ground is no good
    For winter racing.

  • Mike C

    G11,

    You have no clue on what’s going on with NY winter garbage racing. Forever,NY boasted the highest or co highest handle all year round. In the last 5 years, recession aside,NY winter handle is now 3 rd highest, marginally higher than Tampa( a mini track on west coast of Fl with cheap fields)

    The players Group for which I speak wages $660 million p.a. And less and less of our members are playing NY winter or reducing their handle there.
    Get your facts straight before opening your uninformed mouth!

  • Kim Howell (Anita Xanax)

    With all the replies here, whines, rants and reasons, no one offers any
    solutions. One wise track veteran posted just such a solution for AQU winter on The Derby List. I hope Walt Gekko forgives me for repeatedly putting this out, but it truly is brilliant.
    Walt Gekko posted in Derby List

    Walt Gekko 3:51pm Feb 13 Good article at The Paulick Report on winter racing in New York: http://www.paulickreport.com/news/ray-s-paddock/violette-no-winter-racing-would-cripple-ny-thoroughbred-industry/

    There definitely needs to be a balance. It’s not like the old days where NYRA could shut down for the winter and trainers could take their horses to say Maryland for the winter months. Some trainers simply can’t afford to make a move for the winter to points south. How I would handle it would be like this:

    The Saturday after Thanksgiving would be the last day of racing until December 26. There already is a one-week (sometimes more) Christmas break in the schedule, so this would not be that bad, and you can come back fresh on the inner track the day after Christmas, when many would be chomping at the bit for live action after approximately a month off.

    From December 26-January 1 (or 2 or 3 depending on where New Year’s Day falls), there would be racing every day except for the Sunday in that period, as there would be no racing on Sundays from the week after Labor Day until after the conference championship games as the NFL is clearly the 800-pound gorilla of sports (if New Year’s falls on a Sunday or Friday, there would be racing January 2, if it falls on a Thursday, there is racing January 2 & 3). There would be 10 races on all such programs with first post at Noon.

    After the Christmas-New Year’s period, there would be racing on Fridays and Saturdays ONLY for the rest of January, plus racing on Martin Luther King, Jr. day (in 2014 Monday, January 20) and the Sunday between the conference championship games and Super Bowl (Sunday, January 26). Friday programs would be eight races beginning at 1:00 PM, all other programs would be 10 races beginning at Noon.

    In February and March, racing would be on a Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule, with Saturdays being 12 races with first post at 11:30 AM and all other programs being eight races with first post at 1:00 PM. There would also be a special Presidents Day program (in 2014 on Monday, February 17) with nine races and first post at 1:00 PM, which would make that week the only four-day week in that period. If Palm and and/or Easter Sunday fall in March, those weeks would be Thursday-Friday-Saturday.

    The normal five-day-a-week schedule would resume in April once turf racing starts and more horses are available (four-day weeks if Palm and/or Easter Sunday fall in April).

  • Kim Howell (Anita Xanax)

    With all the replies here, whines, rants and reasons, no one offers any
    solutions. One wise track veteran posted just such a solution for AQU winter on The Derby List. I hope Walt Gekko forgives me for repeatedly putting this out, but it truly is brilliant.
    Walt Gekko posted in Derby List

    Walt Gekko 3:51pm Feb 13 Good article at The Paulick Report on winter racing in New York: http://www.paulickreport.com/n

    There definitely needs to be a balance. It’s not like the old days where NYRA could shut down for the winter and trainers could take their horses to say Maryland for the winter months. Some trainers simply can’t afford to make a move for the winter to points south. How I would handle it would be like this:

    The Saturday after Thanksgiving would be the last day of racing until December 26. There already is a one-week (sometimes more) Christmas break in the schedule, so this would not be that bad, and you can come back fresh on the inner track the day after Christmas, when many would be chomping at the bit for live action after approximately a month off.

    From December 26-January 1 (or 2 or 3 depending on where New Year’s Day falls), there would be racing every day except for the Sunday in that period, as there would be no racing on Sundays from the week after Labor Day until after the conference championship games as the NFL is clearly the 800-pound gorilla of sports (if New Year’s falls on a Sunday or Friday, there would be racing January 2, if it falls on a Thursday, there is racing January 2 & 3). There would be 10 races on all such programs with first post at Noon.

    After the Christmas-New Year’s period, there would be racing on Fridays and Saturdays ONLY for the rest of January, plus racing on Martin Luther King, Jr. day (in 2014 Monday, January 20) and the Sunday between the conference championship games and Super Bowl (Sunday, January 26). Friday programs would be eight races beginning at 1:00 PM, all other programs would be 10 races beginning at Noon.

    In February and March, racing would be on a Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule, with Saturdays being 12 races with first post at 11:30 AM and all other programs being eight races with first post at 1:00 PM. There would also be a special Presidents Day program (in 2014 on Monday, February 17) with nine races and first post at 1:00 PM, which would make that week the only four-day week in that period. If Palm and and/or Easter Sunday fall in March, those weeks would be Thursday-Friday-Saturday.

    The normal five-day-a-week schedule would resume in April once turf racing starts and more horses are available (four-day weeks if Palm and/or Easter Sunday fall in April).

  • G11gy

    So what? NCAA basketball isnt nearly as good as it was when the best players stayed for more than 1 year but they still play the tournament. If the NY product isnt up to the standards of your supposed players group simply dont play there. Regardless a whole lot of people ARE still playing NYRA in the winter.

  • Stanley inman

    Love your tenacity
    Please to meet you

  • Mike C

    G11,

    If the players can unite and shut down garbage winter racing at Aqueduct, the pools at both Gulfstream and Santa Anita will swell giving the players a serious chance at a lifetime score. NY garbage winter racing features short fields with too many odds on horses sapping the players money with little chance of winning any serious money. Join the team, boycott garbage NY winter racing, help the players!

  • Don Reed

    Yes.  That’s why you have all that extra $ in March.

  • Don Reed

    Reason why it seems to be
    a disconnected thought (non-sequitur), I believe, is that it was a reply and
    the Paulick Report’s Discombobulatis (Disqus) posting system set it up as an
    original post.

    Not everyone at the NYC
    OTB was a bad apple.  A few were people
    I’d recommend to anyone anywhere, anytime. They were drowned in a sea of Anything
    Goes.

  • Don Reed

    When was the last time you were in Alaska?

  • Don Reed

    Thank you.  I was wondering how someone who was a World War One hero (1917-18) could have lived such a long life that he was still on the scene for the OTB mistake (late 1960s-70s).

  • Larry Ensor

    No disrespect but no “top stallions” will ever leave Kentucky no matter what a state bred program offers. Leading sires lists are nothing more then raw numbers. There is a lot more going “between the lines”. If a 1st-2nd-3rd crop sire of racing age is not in the top 10 it will be looking for a new home somewhere else in the world. The fact of the matter is even in Kentucky there is just not a lot of mares worthy of being bred to stallions that stand for $20+ in this day and age of large books. But hope always spring eternal.
    I am not a big fan of state breeding programs by and large. Even though it is one of the main reasons our farm is located in PA which by the way is a far better program for a breeder and an owner. But given the fact as a commercial and breed to race operation with limited means it would be next to impossible to make a viable living in KY. That being said I am still very careful who and what I bred to. Our mares by and large have far better pedigrees then the majority of mares being bred in PA or NY. But I still don’t breed all of them every year. Only a select few. I have little tolerance for the “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks mentality”. I know first hand where the cast offs end up.
    Personally maybe the time has come where people need to be qualified and licensed along with their mares to breed. If we don’t make the cut so be it.
    I understand there are other ways to look at it. Just the way I see it.

  • Don Reed

    “but if you prefer to make up things…”

     

    You mean, like created a fictional existence:
    “G11gy”?

     

    Instead of signing your real name to posts?

  • Ray13

    Violette makes some convincing arguments. From afar, I agree with him. Heck, I bet winter racing in NY with as much vigor as any other time of year. It’s still a good product. And the jobs factor was my first thought, before i even read his comments.  

  • Ray13

    Violette makes some convincing arguments. From afar, I agree with him. Heck, I bet winter racing in NY with as much vigor as any other time of year. It’s still a good product. And the jobs factor was my first thought, before i even read his comments.  

  • Ray13

    I respectfully disagree

  • STEVE W

    LOL- nothing will kill NY racing now that slots are part of the game-winter racing in NY is horrible-the horses are 3rd rate and there are far too many races where it’s obvious that only one or two horses are actually trying to win-without winter racing the subsidies purses are getting from slots could be used for other less important things like schools/police/ things that most citizens of NYC care about.

  • STEVE W

    LOL- nothing will kill NY racing now that slots are part of the game-winter racing in NY is horrible-the horses are 3rd rate and there are far too many races where it’s obvious that only one or two horses are actually trying to win-without winter racing the subsidies purses are getting from slots could be used for other less important things like schools/police/ things that most citizens of NYC care about.

  • Figless

    NYRA will be around a lot longer than your alleged players group if you continue to chase that once in a lifetime score in that GP gimmick pool with the highest takeout in the nation.

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