Pricci: ‘NY state needs to get this one right’

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As the Travers Stakes draws closer this week, John Pricci at Horse Race Insider realizes that there is a big question that needs to be asked in racing…and it’s not ‘who’s going to win the big race.’

Pricci states the question is this, “Who will handle the reins, who will be chosen to right a ship that has been listing since the NYRA’s former management ignored the sun-setting of a takeout provision that cost horseplayers across the country $8.5 million.”

This is the week that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is supposed to announce his changes to the NYRA board, and Pricci, along with many others involved in horse racing, wonder if Cuomo will “allow Thoroughbred racing to have a future as we’ve known it and, if he does, what that future would look like.”

Rumors have swirled as to whom might be named to head up the organization, and Pricci takes a look at two of the potential candidates, with the hope that they will remember to “be good to the game that’s been good to you.”

» Read more at Horse Race Insider
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  • roger

    Bill Murphy laid the foundation and steered Gulfstream Park back on the right track before he left. He understands the game and ALL horseplayers.

    • Sean Kerr

      The last thing NY needs is more ‘status quo’.

  • roger

    Bill Murphy laid the foundation and steered Gulfstream Park back on the right track before he left. He understands the game and ALL horseplayers.

  • salthebarber

    My guess is that the governor’s motivation is make certain that horseracing does not get in the way of his future casino plans for New York. This specifically means that both Aqueduct and Belmont will no longer be just horseracing complexes. It is even possible one of them will be just a casino. He does wants a CEO and board of directors that will NOT resist his plans at any point. And as a subgoal he wants the NYRA to prepare for no or reduced slots subsidies. With the above in mind, I suspect he will bring in a person with corporate restructuring background with little or no horseracing experience. At first, some will believe it’s about time and then reality of what is going will hit them.

    • wallyhorse

      Before you go that far, remember that Cuomo has a Presidential campaign in 2016 to worry about.  Cuomo must walk a VERY fine line or if it goes as many think it will there likely will be lawsuits that regardless of whether or not the state wins in the end could prove damaging to Cuomo’s bid for President in 2016, which the “bluebloods” will save the ammo for (Cuomo is expected to easily win re-election for Governor in 2014).

  • salthebarber

    My guess is that the governor’s motivation is make certain that horseracing does not get in the way of his future casino plans for New York. This specifically means that both Aqueduct and Belmont will no longer be just horseracing complexes. It is even possible one of them will be just a casino. He does wants a CEO and board of directors that will NOT resist his plans at any point. And as a subgoal he wants the NYRA to prepare for no or reduced slots subsidies. With the above in mind, I suspect he will bring in a person with corporate restructuring background with little or no horseracing experience. At first, some will believe it’s about time and then reality of what is going will hit them.

  • Sean Kerr

    Two words that plague American horse racing: Status Quo. There isn’t a single person within the NY State government on any level that has demonstrated an acumen for entrepreneuralism. The state government’s participation, management and oversight at this early stage and in the future does not bode well for NY horse racing. It would be great to see someone in this fiasco actually show some imagination. We need a Jeff Seder – we need someone who has succeeded in taking a business and turning it into an innovative success. We need audacity: but that word is antithetical to the political world for the most part. And without audacity – NY racing is doomed.

    • salthebarber

      The NYRA already had an audacius entrepreneurial type at the helm in Charles Hayward. IMO, audacity would the last quality the governor would have in mind. Obedience is the quality he is looking for. Racing is doomed in NY. Sorry to say.

      • Sean Kerr

        Can you qualify what you mean by C. Hayward being ‘audacious’? That’s extraordinary. I can’t think of a single action from him that might have been remotely audacious. Was it his handling of the take-out fiasco? Hayward was not audacious by any stretch of imagination.

        • Sal Carcia

          Everytime Charles Hayward stood up against the Legislature and Governor he was audacious. The politicians brought the NYRA to the brink of financial disaster so many times it was outrageous. Many of those times Hayward fought hard to make them live up to their promises and allow the NYRA to operate without interruption. Ultimatley this would cost him his job.

          One time he actually had to file for bankruptcy protection until the Legislature came to its senses. If he didn’t the racing would have had to shut down. Hayward fought through this political minefield bravely, never once allowing his own people to suffer.

          Another time he used the NYRA’s claim to ownership of the property as a lever for continued funding. In reality, the NYRA could have never made that stand up in court, but it worked to keep the game running and get additional funding.

          But, then again, it could be something as simple as hiring Andy Serling, a real and controversial player. To me, Andy has added so much to the horseplayer. Or hiring Maggie Wolfendale who has the guts to tell the viewers what horses really look like in the paddock, as opposed to the usual every horse looks good the other tracks feed us.

          Or maybe, just something as minor as telling the condition of the turf course by 8 AM.

          That is off the top of my head. If I think harder, there is lot more that describes the man both as audacious and entrpreneurial.

    • Indulto

      Would you consider Bill Nader audacious?

      • Sal Carcia

        Yes, Bill Nader is a smart man who does well every wherever he works. He was great at Rockingham, NYRA and Hong Kong. But, I think Bill left because he didn’t want to fight the political fight that was needed at the time. Charles Hayward stood on to take on that ultimately losing battle.
         
        Nader would be a great leader for the NYRA at this time. But, he would still have to play politics in order to survive. I would describe it as playing footsie with the governor. Sonmehow, I think it is wishful thinking to believe the governor is going to bring someone (like Nader) of substance (for horseracing) at this time.

  • Sean Kerr

    Two words that plague American horse racing: Status Quo. There isn’t a single person within the NY State government on any level that has demonstrated an acumen for entrepreneuralism. The state government’s participation, management and oversight at this early stage and in the future does not bode well for NY horse racing. It would be great to see someone in this fiasco actually show some imagination. We need a Jeff Seder – we need someone who has succeeded in taking a business and turning it into an innovative success. We need audacity: but that word is antithetical to the political world for the most part. And without audacity – NY racing is doomed.

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    Lou Raffetto???…whats John been smoke n???…PLEASE!!!…

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    Lou Raffetto???…whats John been smoke n???…PLEASE!!!…

  • kyle

    Eliot Spitzer is looking for something to do.

  • kyle

    Eliot Spitzer is looking for something to do.

  • Mazderby

    His title is correct but the content is lacking.  As S.K. states NY needs someone who has shown entrepreneuralism and will show it again.  More than just a few new tables and flat-screen tv’s at Saratoga to suggest change and clean-up. 

    No disrespect but anyone who has been in a management capacity in the industry for decades will not have that pedigree.

  • Mazderby

    His title is correct but the content is lacking.  As S.K. states NY needs someone who has shown entrepreneuralism and will show it again.  More than just a few new tables and flat-screen tv’s at Saratoga to suggest change and clean-up. 

    No disrespect but anyone who has been in a management capacity in the industry for decades will not have that pedigree.

  • salthebarber

    The NYRA already had an audacius entrepreneurial type at the helm in Charles Hayward. IMO, audacity would the last quality the governor would have in mind. Obedience is the quality he is looking for. Racing is doomed in NY. Sorry to say.

  • Francis Bush

    The person chosen should be someone who has a well defined business sense. That person should understand how to balance the books, cares for the small time horse player, gives good, clear instructions to his staff and deals with the whims of politicians. Is there anyone alive who could fit these requirements. 

  • Francis Bush

    The person chosen should be someone who has a well defined business sense. That person should understand how to balance the books, cares for the small time horse player, gives good, clear instructions to his staff and deals with the whims of politicians. Is there anyone alive who could fit these requirements. 

  • Sean Kerr

    Can you qualify what you mean by C. Hayward being ‘audacious’? That’s extraordinary. I can’t think of a single action from him that might have been remotely audacious. Was it his handling of the take-out fiasco? Hayward was not audacious by any stretch of imagination.

  • Sean Kerr

    The last thing NY needs is more ‘status quo’.

  • wallyhorse

    Before you go that far, remember that Cuomo has a Presidential campaign in 2016 to worry about.  Cuomo must walk a VERY fine line or if it goes as many think it will there likely will be lawsuits that regardless of whether or not the state wins in the end could prove damaging to Cuomo’s bid for President in 2016, which the “bluebloods” will save the ammo for (Cuomo is expected to easily win re-election for Governor in 2014).

  • Indulto

    Would you consider Bill Nader audacious?

  • DianeTPelletier

    i love Cumeo I trust him

  • DianeTPelletier

    i love Cumeo I trust him

  • Sal Carcia

    Everytime Charles Hayward stood up against the Legislature and Governor he was audacious. The politicians brought the NYRA to the brink of financial disaster so many times it was outrageous. Many of those times Hayward fought hard to make them live up to their promises and allow the NYRA to operate without interruption. Ultimatley this would cost him his job.

    One time he actually had to file for bankruptcy protection until the Legislature came to its senses. If he didn’t the racing would have had to shut down. Hayward fought through this political minefield bravely, never once allowing his own people to suffer.

    Another time he used the NYRA’s claim to ownership of the property as a lever for continued funding. In reality, the NYRA could have never made that stand up in court, but it worked to keep the game running and get additional funding.

    But, then again, it could be something as simple as hiring Andy Serling, a real and controversial player. To me, Andy has added so much to the horseplayer. Or hiring Maggie Wolfendale who has the guts to tell the viewers what horses really look like in the paddock, as opposed to the usual every horse looks good the other tracks feed us.

    Or maybe, just something as minor as telling the condition of the turf course by 8 AM.

    That is off the top of my head. If I think harder, there is lot more that describes the man both as audacious and entrpreneurial.

  • Sal Carcia

    Yes, Bill Nader is a smart man who does well every wherever he works. He was great at Rockingham, NYRA and Hong Kong. But, I think Bill left because he didn’t want to fight the political fight that was needed at the time. Charles Hayward stood on to take on that ultimately losing battle.
     
    Nader would be a great leader for the NYRA at this time. But, he would still have to play politics in order to survive. I would describe it as playing footsie with the governor. Sonmehow, I think it is wishful thinking to believe the governor is going to bring someone (like Nader) of substance (for horseracing) at this time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/UnbridledRacing Unbridled Racing

    Meanwhile, as political appointments and battles ensue….the American thoroughbred is systematically being drugged into obsolescence on the backside of tracks around this country. The won-ton disregard for the horse and its well-being will bring this industry to its knees. At every level of racing, the greed that drives humanity to the abuse of chemicals from snake oil, to frog juice, to deadening nerves with shockwave therapy will cause racing to implode. At the rate this is continuing unregulated —- soon there will be no “horse” industry to fight about. Seriously, do veterinarians and trainers who choose to inject lame horses and race them anyway see the horse as a sentient being? A willing partner in the success of owners, trainers, jockeys? I was taping at the track this morning and disheartened by what I saw going on. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/UnbridledRacing Unbridled Racing

    Meanwhile, as political appointments and battles ensue….the American thoroughbred is systematically being drugged into obsolescence on the backside of tracks around this country. The won-ton disregard for the horse and its well-being will bring this industry to its knees. At every level of racing, the greed that drives humanity to the abuse of chemicals from snake oil, to frog juice, to deadening nerves with shockwave therapy will cause racing to implode. At the rate this is continuing unregulated —- soon there will be no “horse” industry to fight about. Seriously, do veterinarians and trainers who choose to inject lame horses and race them anyway see the horse as a sentient being? A willing partner in the success of owners, trainers, jockeys? I was taping at the track this morning and disheartened by what I saw going on. 

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