An Open Letter to New York State’s Franchise Oversight Board
ELMONT, NEW YORK, October 11, 2016 - To the membership of the New York State Franchise Oversight Board:
I'm writing as a concerned New Yorker and I'm sure I represent many tax-paying citizens of our state.
The New York Racing Association, its Board of Directors, and executives seem to subsist in some kind of ideological bubble that won’t allow reality to interfere until the franchise is returned to them.
While assuming this position, the NYRA has exhibited questionable business practices and has shirked its fiduciary responsibility.
Of course, this comes as a result of delay tactics by state government that is efforting to maintain control of Thoroughbred racing on America’s most important horse racing circuit.
I dutifully ask that the FOB scrutinize the following:
NYRA's president and chief executive officer, Christopher Kay, has said his utmost priority is to make a profit, yet his authority has failed to lead NYRA down a sound fiscal path.
Payments from Genting's Resort World Casino, which were agreed to by the state as part of a franchise extension agreement, among other considerations, have not been met in full due in part to Governor Andrew Cuomo's arbitrary order to cap casino revenue at 2012 levels.
In 2007, NYRA traded the property rights of its three racetracks--Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga--for casino revenue. There were no caps
in the Memorandum of Understanding signed by then Governor Elliott Spitzer.
How About Preps for Belmont Fall Three-Year-Olds?
ELMONT, NY, September 27, 2016 – In 1971, Philadelphia mayor James Tate unexpectedly resigned from his third term and appointed Police Commissioner Frank Rizzo as his replacement. Many questioned the legality of the move but no one legally challenged it.
Rizzo had the reputation of being a notorious cop who left a brutal legacy. Like George Wallace before him and now Donald Trump, Rizzo preyed on white working-class fears of the city's rising violent crime rate and made no bones about his racist distaste for blacks.
"Just wait after November, you'll have a front row seat because I'm going to make Attila the Hun look like a faggot," he said of his enemies during his 1975 re-election bid.
Another move of Rizzo's was to increase taxes. So much so that Thoroughbred racing pulled out of Liberty Bell Park and Keystone Race Track was quickly constructed on the site of a pig farm in Bensalem Township, just north of the city line about 3 miles from where Liberty Bell once stood.
Keystone opened in November of 1974 with all the charm of a strip mall. In fact, because of the large “K” attached to the grandstand, many people dubbed it the K-Mart of racing.
Now renamed Parx Casino and Racing, the track was the site of last weekend's major Thoroughbred races, including the Pennsylvania Derby and Cotillion Stakes of course, the latter a hold-over from Liberty Bell.
But here’s a question: How can a second-tier track eclipse racing at Belmont Park? The answer is that the New York Racing association offers no races for 3-year-olds of either sex on dirt at its Belmont fall meeting.
Now that's a serious hole in the NYRA's stakes schedule.