Monday, December 21, 2009

New York Racing-50 years ago & Today

Sometimes things really don't change, they just happen over and over again.

Sports Illustrated writer Whitney Tower in an article 50 years ago dated September 14, 1959 wrote:
...Thoroughbred racing in New York has had some great days. But it has also been saddled with an apathy and an inertia that at times forced New York to take a back seat to such race-conscious states as New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Florida, Illinois and California, where year after year striking new tracks sprang up to attract the sports-minded pubic.
But in 1959 New York got its new track, a brand spanking new Aqueduct and it opened that fall with much success.

On December 20, 1959 The New York Times ran an article with this lead line from author Joseph C Nichols:
"Horse racing in New York enjoyed the most prosperous financial season in its history as a result of the opening of the new Aqueduct track in September"
Fast forward 50 years to 2009 where now New York once again has been saddled with an apathy and an inertia that at times forced New York to take a back seat, this time falling behind in the slots mania, a now 8 year long and counting debacle brought to you by our wonderful New York Legislature.

Perhaps exaggerated a bit (by quotes from Charles Hayward of NYRA), but now on December 21, 2009 we get this article from the NY Daily News with this paragraph:
A top racing official says the Belmont Stakes- the third leg of the fabled Triple Crown - could be scratched this year because the governor and legislators can't agree on a plan to revitalize the state's premiere racetracks.
At least 50 years ago, it seemed optimism was at least alive, whereas now most of us just expect to get shafted.

Much like our Federal Government over the last 8 years, The New York Legislature falls deeper and deeper into dysfunction, not doing much but lining their own pockets where all but the most naive wait in line to see OZ.

1 comment:

The_Knight_Sky said...

Whitney Tower wrote:

back seat to such race-conscious states as New Jersey....

Is it alright to send belated compliments?

The longer the wait in Albany the bigger someone's windfall will be. ;-)

Unfortunately the horse racing customers will still be competing against the same takeout rates and eliminating themselves once they tap out.

When the novelty of slots wears off in a few years, what will happen to NY horse racing then?