- And there was some really good news. As reported by the News: The death rate at NYRA tracks is now 1.5 per 1,000 starters, the lowest in the country.
Wow, that's excellent, and an impressive turnaround from when the 21 horse deaths in the winter of 2012 sparked enough outrage to get the indifferent governor involved.
I think it's safe to say that this all hands on deck strategy has worked.
Alan's broader point is right, in my opinion. When things are going bad, the press and the industry should point it out. Carrying water results in bad policy and the continuation of bad policy. However, on the flip side we need to see the same when something does work.
In Ontario, pointed out on this blog and other avenues, the same issues the Big A and NYRA faced were noticed years earlier. The Ontario Racing Commission made policy to stop it, not unlike happened at NYRA last year. The whole industry should've known about it, so those pitfalls could be avoided. That didn't happen.
Let's hope the next track that gets high fuelled slots purses, say like have just been passed in Ohio, writes races and puts protocols in that NYRA has this year, not like they had last year. Good policy needs to be copied, bad policy avoided. And the press should cover both.
Breeders in Ontario are suing the Ontario Lottery and Gaming division for $60M for cancelling slots, among other legal thingies, I imagine. On the surface this looks like folly, but I am no Ben Matlock.
Andy Beyer is talking run-up times again, which is a pleasure for people who have been fighting for this for a long time. Beyer carries a stick. We don't.
The head of NYRA, I assume, will be leaving NYRA in 2015. So far we've seen policy changes for the customer which include a signal fee hike/ADW tax, and admission increases. I suppose horseplayers will not be sad to see him go (if it happens), but he probably didn't have a lot to do with these policies anyway.
Have a great day everyone!