Wednesday, December 29, 2010

NYRA Live Race Streaming gets an A

Living in a State where bureaucracy reigns, kudos must go to NYRA for overcoming the nonsense that is New York State Legislation. After the demise of the New York City OTB, NYRA has moved swiftly to finally receive approval allowing live steaming video on their ADW site(NYRA Rewards).

The Live streaming video debuted today. I visited the website ( around 11:30 today before the Aqueduct first race post time of 12:30 pm. I hit the "Live Video" icon and to my surprise I was taken to the "NYRA Replays and Talking Horses" show that runs daily for an hour before each day's racing card on track and at simulcast outlets, allowing me to view NYRA Handicappers Jason Blewitt and Andy Serling as they previewed the entire Aqueduct Card.

The nice thing is that the live video opens up in a separate window, allowing you to stay on the main page, and view odds and bet while you are watching the live stream.

At 12:17 pm, the feed came back on again, with Blewitt and Serling handicapping Race 1 as the live video showed the saddling of the horses and than the Post Parade. If you are a visual handicapper, you know how important this video is.

The site is easy to use and requires no advanced degree designation or computer knowledge to navigate.

I'm the first to knock NYRA but when so much goes wrong for so long, Lets give credit where credit is due. NYRA gets an "A" grade from this reviewer for the integration of Live Video Streaming onto the NYRA Rewards site.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Also Ran Again

Despite a superlative career Zenyatta keeps missing out on the big awards. The recently retired mare missed out on the 2008 and 2009 Horse of the Year awards and this years award is very much in question with 2010 Breeders Cup Classic winner Blame quite possibly getting the 1st place vote.

First in her career 19 times out 20, Zenyatta seems to have contracted the deadly "seconditis" disease.

Last year Zenyatta missed out on the 2009 Female Athlete of the Year award as chosen by members of the Associated Press, finishing second. This year Zenyatta also falls short of the AP award, finishing second once again as Skier Lindsey Vonn takes top honors. Of course, to make matters even worse for the dark haired beauty Zenyatta, she finished second to a blonde.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ok, time to take some Pictures

The 2010 Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance Photo Contest is now accepting Submissions.

You can find all the contest information over on the TBA website.

Entries can be a professional or amateur photograph. I submitted a photograph last year and finished well behind the field. The competitive bastard that I am, I once again submit an entry for 2010.

My photograph (see below, double click to enlarge) was taken at Saratoga Race Course on 8/29/10 during the The Personal Ensign Stakes. The photo features Rachel Alexandra and Persistently during the stretch run of the race ultimately won by Persistently. As the voting is open to the public, I unabashedly ask for your vote, with my reasons why I deserve to win as follows:

My photograph does not feature Zenyatta, the most over photographed horse of the 21st century and for that reason alone my photo deserves your vote.

My photograph was taken with a $39.99 dollar point & shoot camera. I am competing against people with high resolution cameras with lens attachments. I deserve your vote for having the courage to compete with such poor equipment.

Unlike the professional photos that will be submitted, this photograph was taken among the masses in the grandstand who cannot afford the clubhouse or special access granted to those with connections. Imagine how much better the photo would be if I was given a cushy position near the finish line, are at least a little bit closer to the actual race I photographed.

Although Rachel Alexandra finished second in the Personal Ensign Stakes, my shot features Rachel Alexandra when she was still in the lead, at the 1 1/8 mile mark of this 1 1/4 mile race. This photo features the last time ever in her career she was in the lead before being passed by the winner. Some credit must come my way for the timing in taking the photo of Rachel in the lead for the last time ever.

My fiancé was with me that day, and I always seem to get great shots when she is with me at the track, probably because I love her so much. This proves I am a romantic, and horse racing is a game of romance -yet another reason deserving of your vote.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

NYC OTB Debacle

The closure of the NYC OTB affects more than the direct customers of the OTB Parlors.

Remember, this is a state where NYRA's online wagering site, NYRA Rewards is not even allowed to show the post parade or a live stream of its own product on its online wagering site. If you live in NYC, you just lost the OTB Simulcast feed on the OTB Broadcast channel available on broadcast and cable TV. If you don't have access to TVG or HRTV and you have a NYRA Rewards site, good luck on wagering without a look at what you are wagering on.

Here in upstate NY, I can still have access to the Capital OTB TV Station to utilize in conjunction with my NYRA Rewards account. But if you are in the Metro NYC area and have only a NYRA Rewards account, you are now stuck.

Another problem is limited hours to bet on the NYRA Rewards state, again limited by New York State Law.

I have hope we will see a new NYC OTB reorganization plan surface, and this plan should include allowing live online streaming and expansion of hours you are allowed to bet on the NYRA Rewards site.