Monday, September 24, 2012


The big news today is the New York Post story on Governor Cuomo's potential plans for racing in New York State.
  • Gov. Cuomo, in a startling move, has decided to “privatize’’ the running of the famed Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga thoroughbred tracks with a new management company that will replace the scandal-scarred New York Racing Association, The Post has learned.
  •  “The NYRA model won’t work. It’s flawed, and it’s unable to do the job. Privatizing makes the most sense,’’ said the source.
So, racing will move from a government-government type appointed partnership, to a state takeover, to a private enterprise (that will probably be a government appointed partnership). All in something like a year.

Meanwhile in Ontario, racing will move from a government-government type appointed partnership to a government led organization in some form (for most of racing), as they take away slots and give away $50 million or so over a few years.

Meanwhile, New Jersey moved from a government-casino-private-state partnership to a private enterprise when subsidies were taken away. Kind of like New York is doing, only kind of different.... I think.

Meanwhile, some tracks are a government-casino-racing partnership, because racinos supply most of the purses. That's why we see track names like "Harrah's Chester" and "Harrah's Louisiana Downs". Sometimes in these places the non-core business becomes a nuisance and is eliminated, like what's happening in Iowa with the dogs.

Racing seems to have models upon models, some of which have been tried before and failed, and are retried, based on what state or province you reside in.

I'm not smart enough to even remotely predict what will happen in New York State, or if it is good, bad or indifferent. Like most, I simply add it to the list of decisions made, and faced by the sport, the last ten or fifteen years. It's worse than a boat without a captain. The boat doesn't even seem to have a rudder.

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