Thursday, January 04, 2007

My Thoughts - January 4

- The State of New York has filed a motion in Federal court to dismiss NYRA's request for bankruptcy protection. The basis of the claim is that NYRA is an "instrumentality of the State and a public agency" that is not eligible to seek Chapter 11 protection. This goes much deeper than what appears on the surface. NYRA considers itself to be an independent, but highly regulated, not-for-profit corporation. If the Federal judge buys into the "instrumentality" classification, then the State has a slam-dunk answer as to who owns the tracks. It would no longer be an us and them, but "you are part of us" and these tracks are OURS. And by the way, we decided that you will no longer exist. Bye.

- Regarding the New York franchise battle, I thought I would enjoy watching the race as it played out. I was wrong. I'm sick of the politics, the gamesmanship, the public relations spectacles and the waste of our politicians' time. I may not speak for all of the New York fans, but what I want is competitive races and a decent place to watch them. I don't care if it is NYRA, Excelsior, Empire or even Capital Play. Establish a business plan that lets the horse owners make money and the fans enjoy the show, and all the other good stuff will come.

- Thor's Echo was purchased by Sheik Rashid of the Maktoum family. I'm happy for Pablo Suarez because he most certainly was paid well for his gelding, but curious as to why Sheik Rashid bought him. He just retired Henny Hughes, a contemporary of Thor's Echo. If he wanted to compete in this space, he already had a tremendous athlete. And purchasing a gelding? I guess the Jr. Sheik thinks there's plenty of money to be won in Dubai with him without any breeding payoff in the end. I'm glad I got to see Thor's Echo kick some rear end in person at Laurel in the DeFrancis dash. It might be the last time he races on this side of the world.

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