A Legacy That’s Worth Leaving
LOS ANGELES, July 28, 2016—Steven Crist's retirement from the Daily Racing Form qualified him as the most newsworthy development of last week. Though better known as a Daily Racing Form executive and columnist, acclaimed author of betting books and influential horseplayer advocate, he had also worked as a New York Racing Assn. executive under then CEO, Kenny Noe Jr.
In a subsequent Q&A interview by the Thoroughbred Daily News
, Crist candidly described the experience: "… It was frustrating. I discovered there was this whole political side to the job. Kenny and I took a lot of early morning plane rides up to Albany to talk to dopey legislators. You had to do them favors or give them things. It was just horrible."
Asked about his impact when writing about New York racing and politics, he replied, "… It’s hard to feel any sense of accomplishment. It just gets worse and worse and it doesn’t matter what they say… they’re never held accountable for anything. What Andrew Cuomo has done, making a deal with NYRA and then taking it back, it’s just disgraceful."
Crist's announcement came on the heels of another news-making development made by friend and former DRF colleague, Charles Hayward. The former NYRA CEO garnered media attention
with "the formation of Hayward Advisory Services LLC to assist racing companies grow their business through a strategic planning process and by introducing revenue and cost-saving initiatives."
This is Hayward's next step in an effort to restore his relevance in the wake of attempts to further assassinate his character by minions of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and assorted industry commentators.
In what some observers attribute to the Governor's ‘agenda’ to optimize state revenues from gambling through casinos at the expense of horse racing in the state, Hayward was fired upon the official discovery of NYRA's incontrovertible failure to lower takeout beyond the legislated sunset date for a temporary state-imposed increase.
Ironically, the wayward Hayward was condemned by e-mails from and to Crist, who had inquired about the issue at the behest of a DRF reader.
A Dubious Challenge to the Dubai World Cup
LOS ANGELES, May 16, 2016—A post-Derby announcement of a revised plan to unseat Dubai as the world's richest Thoroughbred horse race has piqued interest across the Internet.
Two factors are responsible: The first has to do with the novel strategy on how to fund the event, the second because it’s the brainchild of Frank Stronach, arguably the most powerful individual in North American racing.
The original "Pegasus World Championship," proposal called for a 10-furlong race with a $12 million purse to be held at either Santa Anita or Gulfstream Park, perhaps in rotation. Obviously both are Stronach properties.
In essence, 12 shares would be sold at $1 million each to investors who then can not only enter the race but also share in ancillary revenues generated by the event.
It's most recent reincarnation embraces Gulfstream--with far lower seating capacity--and the distance will be nine furlongs which unlike the longer race comes with a much shorter run to the first turn.
How would you like to put up a million bucks and draw the 11 or 12 hole?