September 1, 2020
This is not an easy article for me to write. There are half a dozen activities that impacted my life. One such activity has been/is/and probably will always be thoroughbred wagering. I’ve been betting horses since I was 16 years old when I won my first bet – $2 win on Bedazzle at the old Jamaica track that paid $10.80. I can also still remember giving testimony as a representative of the horseplayers at a Presidential Crime Commission hearing in 1976 (my testimony is in the archives). In any event, any discussion on thoroughbred betting to follow would unquestionably have to center on the New York Racing Association (NYRA).
NYRA is home to three thoroughbred racetracks in New York State: Aqueduct, in New York City; Belmont Park, in Elmont; and, Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs. (An automobile racetrack is located in Watkins Glen.)
- AQUEDUCT RACETRACK. The genesis of the name? Aqueduct is any artificial channel built to transport water; the aqueduct may take the form of an open or enclosed canal, a tunnel, or a pipeline. Underground aqueducts were in use in ancient Mesopotamia, but the aqueducts that supplied water to ancient Rome are the most famous. Several extensive aqueducts have been built in Europe but the most extensive aqueducts system in the world is that which supplies water to southern California, including the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego. The major source of water is the Colorado River. In any event, Aqueduct Racetrack today is also home to the Resorts world Casino. My thoughts? ? The track is an absolute dump; I haven’t been there for 11 years.
- BELMONT PARK. It’s Belmont Park, not Belmont, a city in San Mateo County in California or Middlesex County in Massachusetts. The original Belmont Park opened in 1905 in Elmont, Long Island. Nearly 40,000 were in attendance on opening day. Today? NYRA has successfully converted what was once the most beautiful racetrack in the world into a fourth-class hangout for a handful of abused senior citizens. NYRA’s incompetence – no surprise since it is run by either career bureaucrats or career bureaucrat opportunists – is to blame. I stopped going last year after NYRA knowingly shortchanged their Belmont senior ticket wagering the time had come to end their abuse and exploitation – 25 years ago, I predicted (in the Daily Racing Forms) that daily attendance would drop below 5,000. Hell, I was wrong. Prior to COVID-19, weekday attendance was under 1,000!!! The place is now a disaster, plain and simple … a ghost town and a manure-hole. Thank you NYRA. Thank you Cuomo.
- SARATOGA RACECOURSE. This track is housed in upstate Saratoga Springs, Saratoga Springs is not to be confused with Saratoga, FL, our family’s favorite vacation spot or the city of Saratoga in Santa Clara County in California. Saratoga Springs conducts the summer meet (part of July and August) at Saratoga Race Course. Since 1955 (1), your author has attended the races there 65 years in a row. Weekly vacations have been reduced to a 2-night stay with the entire family at the historic Gideon Putnam, with breakfast at the fabulous Triangle Diner and dinner at Friend Bruce’s local gem Pennell’s and the overly expensive 15 Church. For me, going to Saratoga Springs is a bad habit that has gotten worse … but Mary, the kids, and the grandkids love the joint. Attend if you must, and you won’t get ripped off … you’ll get GOUGED like never before.
I won’t mince words early on, but here is how I have described NYRA in the past. “… a corrupt organization that has perpetrated one of the biggest scams on an unsuspected public”. This so-called “non-profit” organization is dedicated to maximizing profits for the thoroughbred industry at the expense of the patrons, public, and incompetent government officials (e.g., Cuomo). The only bigger scam and fraud in the NCAA.
So what’s the problem? As noted, it’s simply that NYRA has managed to destroy New York Racing as we once knew it. The sport survived 2 scares in the last half century. OTB first brought in a whole new group of fans. NYRA started staggering again soon after but casinos came to their rescue in recent years. I don’t think there is another Trump (no pun intended) card around for this industry. So the bottom line is that it is just a matter of time. The sport CANNOT survive! Why?
- A near 20% takeout will not sit well with crafty younger-set investors / gamblers in the future.
- I just don’t see them ever trying to accommodate the patrons. My suggestion is that you save your money and buy a sports book stock. I just purchased 2.000 shares of William Hill (WIMHY) two weeks ago at $6.08/share.
Not a pretty picture. Let me know what you think. Incredibly, the newsletter is approaching 15,000 hits.
Visit the author at:
Basketball Coaching 101 (Facebook)
OCTOBER 1: On the Ultimate Quiz III
NOVEMBER 1: On Election Time
Here are this month’s three offensive suggestions from the upcoming second edition of my “BASKETBALL COACHING 101” book.
- Devise delay strategies to allow the opponent shooting a foul shot to “cool” off.: this can include making a substitution or having the individuals on the line crisscross. Delay. Delay. Delay. Delay especially at the end of a game.
- Where appropriate, employ a shuttle system to ensure that the best defensive players are on the court.
- Practice one-on-one defense with each player. See also (#11).