martin panza

Moving Cigar Mile, Boosting Purse Pays Dividends For NYRA

In its 29 years of existence, the stakes now known as the Cigar Mile Handicap presented by NYRA Bets has undergone a world of change. The brain child of then-New York Racing Association President Gerard McKeon, the one-turn race at Aqueduct was originally named the NYRA Mile by McKeon to shine a positive light on […]

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Could Belmont Run By Epicharis Be Start Of Something Big For NYRA?

The New York Racing Association hopes Epicharis’ participation in the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on Saturday will help to usher in a new era of regular appearances by Japan-based horses in its major races. NYRA officials persuaded Epicharis’ connections to make the long journey from Japan by offering a $1-million bonus if their quest should […]

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‘The Future Looks Bright’: Epicharis’ Presence In Belmont A Win For NYRA

The passage of new legislation allowing Japanese racing fans to bet on international races, provided there is a Japanese contender, encouraged the New York Racing Association to offer a $1 million bonus to any Belmont Stakes winner originating in Japan. Epicharis traveled to New York specifically for the third jewel in the Triple Crown, and Ryota […]

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NYRA Announces Long-Distance Turf Bonus Program For Belmont Meeting

The New York Racing Association announced today a long-distance turf bonus program for the upcoming 2017 Belmont Park Spring/Summer meet. The program will be applicable to all maiden and first-and-second-level allowance races at distances of 1 1/4 miles [10 furlongs] and beyond carrying a purse of $90,000. With adjusted purses, turf maiden allowance races will […]

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McMullen A ‘Natural’ To Continue Gentle Approach As NYRA’s New Starter

Mike McMullen joined the racing scene in 1987 as a tall, lanky teenager who possessed a heavyweight’s hands and a puppy dog’s demeanor as he tagged along behind Jim, his older brother. He quickly became known as “Pup,” a moniker he cannot shake, even after recently being named head starter for the New York Racing […]

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Americans In The Melbourne Cup? NYRA Cards Two-Mile Race On Belmont Day

The New York Racing Association’s Martin Panza, senior vice president of racing operations, has been working with Australia’s Victoria Racing Club to try to drum up American interest in that country’s premier event, the Melbourne Cup. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, NYRA has carded a two-mile race for Belmont Stakes Day in June, calling […]

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Change One Constant In Storied History Of NYRA’s Jerome

A cold, early January afternoon is hardly the place anyone might expect to find a race with the second-oldest history in New York racing. Yet for the Jerome Stakes, change has been a way of life. First contested in the post-Civil War days of 1866, the Jerome has enjoyed numerous incarnations at a variety of locales. […]

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An Edge Or Just A ‘Cycle’? California Besting New York’s 2-Year-Old Production

It’s no secret that the nation’s top Triple Crown contenders have come from California in recent years: California Chrome, American Pharaoh and Nyquist all started in Del Mar’s premier juvenile race, the G1 Del Mar Futurity, as opposed to Saratoga’s G1 Hopeful on the same date. “I think it’s a cycle,” Martin Panza, Senior VP […]

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Make Way: Belmont Will Widen Training Track To Accommodate More Traffic

The New York Racing Association will widen Belmont Park’s training track this summer, starting immediately after the conclusion of training hours Sunday, July 17. The Daily Racing Form reports that the project will make the stretches 17 feet wider, the far turn 18 feet wider, and the first turn 13 feet wider in an effort to […]

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‘Something Of A Surprise’: NYTHA Members Evenly Divided On Synthetic Track For Aqueduct

An online survey of New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association members was almost evenly divided on whether or not the New York Racing Association should install a synthetic racing surface at Aqueduct. NYRA CEO Chris Kay raised the issue earlier this month at a meeting of the New York Racing Franchise Oversight Board, saying his organization was […]

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