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Is Racing & Breeding In N Y For Profit A Thing Of The Past?

Posted Thursday March 25, 2010 11:31:47 AM EDT

Politics, poor sponsorship and years of stubborn stewardship have culminated into the "hot mess" NY racing & Bredding is now facing. Can the damage be reversed?

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Comment by llsal
First of all I am not sure how many of you people have ever visited a NYC OTB parlor but most of the people working in those parlors are arrogant, nasty people who think that they have a right to that job and treat you as if they are doing you a favor. I've been to city OTBs and also to OTB parlors upstate NY and the difference is startling. Upstate parlors are run by polite people who are knowledgeable and friendly for the most part. I am not at all surprised that NYC OTB is going out of business, I am only surprised that it took so long. As far as the VLT's at Aqueduct I find it hard to believe that after almost 10 years of one problem after another that you can say it is ineptitude on the politicians part, it is more like political corruption. There should be an investigation into their handling of it. I have been breeding thoroughbreds in NYS for sometime now and will not breed anymore. I have found it to be a very enlightening venture, by enlightening I mean that I really never realized how greedy most stallion farms and vets are. It seems like the only people paying into the system are the breeders and the owners, everyone else are takers. I realize that everyone in this business must make a living and I have met some decent people but they are the exception rather than the rule. I have contacted my representative in the past to try and persuade him to take action on many issues pertaining to racing and breeding in NY but unless there is a TV camera in sight you get the standard reply. The NY racing industry needs to be overhaul and a lot of the people need to be replaced by NY horsemen and women not by people like the ones running it now. I could go on and on but I feel like nothing will ever happen until lthere is new leadership in this industry and a lot of current politicians are voted out of office, both Democrats and Repbublicans. People have got to wake up to what is happening in this state and actually across this country.
Sunday March 28, 2010 7:20:25 PM EDT

Comment by marestation
Dear 2010, You are right in much of your comments. However, sadly I must let you know, that I and many others have tried to get involved as the ship was heading towrds sinking a few years ago, only to be dismissed by the ones at the helm. i encourage you to read some of the older blogs written along with some of the responses. We bred here for a lomg time, and wanted to see the program succeed. Now, we no longer breed here and to come back, many thins will have to change. If the VLT's were approved tomorrow, and the world was rosy for ny state, the breeding program would still not be any good for breeders. The building burned down long ago. I jope that you and some others that are now on the scene are more successful than those before you.
Sunday March 28, 2010 4:38:55 PM EDT

Comment by 2010
Marestation: The reality is, NY is governed by thicker politics than any other state in the US. If you live here, you must see it everyday. $9B deficit, 10% unemployment rate, teachers and education being cut, and jobs being disposed of all over the state. Everyone in this business needs to OPEN their eyes, we are not the only people in crisis.

In saying that, our future is going to be based on our State Government (Gov, Sen, Assembly) either helping or killing the industry. What we should all be doing is "lending a hand or voice" not "a complain and moan" as it does nothing for the cause. If your concerned, please get involved, I personally have and its a good feeling to help lend a voice constructively. Some good stuff happening now!

The fact of the matter is, every single state (PA included) is at risk of having their "subsidy" taken away. It's already been done, and will continue too. The industry needs to support itself on its own legs. Starts with Government getting out of our way and listening to us. When you have an industry seeing 10% declines in revenue year over year, how can it be successful without model changes? No business or program could. We need consolidation between the track and otb, we need fewer race dates and an improved product. Revenue goes up, programs get funded and we support ourselves. End of story.
Sunday March 28, 2010 4:21:39 PM EDT

Comment by 2010
Marestation: The reality is, NY is governed by thicker politics than any other state in the US. If you live here, you must see it everyday. $9B deficit, 10% unemployment rate, teachers and education being cut, and jobs being disposed of all over the state. Everyone in this business needs to OPEN their eyes, we are not the only people in crisis.

In saying that, our future is going to be based on our State Government (Gov, Sen, Assembly) either helping or killing the industry. What we should all be doing is "lending a hand or voice" not "a complain and moan" as it does nothing for the cause. If your concerned, please get involved, I personally have and its a good feeling to help lend a voice constructively. Some good stuff happening now!

The fact of the matter is, every single state (PA included) is at risk of having their "subsidy" taken away. It's already been done, and will continue too. The industry needs to support itself on its own legs. Starts with Government getting out of our way and listening to us. When you have an industry seeing 10% declines in revenue year over year, how can it be successful without model changes? No business or program could. We need consolidation between the track and otb, we need fewer race dates and an improved product. Revenue goes up, programs get funded and we support ourselves. End of story.
Sunday March 28, 2010 4:19:20 PM EDT

Comment by marestation
I don't know if the racing industry and the throughbred breeding business in NY is doomed. What I do know is that it has not been the best program in the country for a long time now, and the current financial crisis is just being used as an excuse or crutch by the overall inept leadership that has plagued the NY circuit. It's way too political with either corrupt or inept people leading the way. This subject has been talked about ad nauseum on this website and countless other blogs for years now. The troubles predate the current VLT issues and the terroble political leadership at the governors office in NY. NY breeders and owners need to get rid of all current management and start off new. It's time to close the current club and replace them with people who would like to actually make things better. This ship has been sinking for years. I moved all of our mares out of NY two years ago when someone told me about the gloomy outlook and rules changes. I spoke to our contact at the NYTB and the NYSBC with our concens and they told me not to listen to the rumors. I did listen, and I am happy i did. Shortly thereafter, I rec'd the letter cutting the awards, but only for breeders, not for owners. Saw who the owners awards were going to, and new that it was time to go. I won't be back until the entire program is purged of all of the parties responsible for its demise.
Sunday March 28, 2010 2:58:37 PM EDT

Comment by allplaystable

I deeply love Thoroughbreds and racing, and in one way or the other I've been involved in the sport for over sixty years. Some observations:

I. Government at every level is, and has always been, untrustworthy. This is so because a). government is made up of 'takers,' and b). government routinely does what we would be sent to prison for doing - they co-mingle funds. I'm referring to 'honest government' (an oxymoron?). Corrupt government makes the above situation one-hundred times worse (I'm not a New Yorker but, New York?) .

Where horse racing is concerned, for many decades government has taken and taken and taken, but the only thing they've ever 'given' was permission, and that nearly always grudgingly.

Most people in givernment across the US (whoops - Freudian typo?), whether elected officials or appointed bureaucrats, either don't like horse racing or they don't care. When our spigots open and the $$ come flowing out, government shows up like buzzards to a road kill . The rest of the time, and especially when our industry needs regulatory and/or financial relief, their ears are covered and their backs are turned.

This is how they treat our industry which, by the way, is first and foremost about jobs (we're not very good at emphasizing this point). We've been required to give government hundreds of billions of dollars over the decades but their response never changes. They continue to do everything they can to make it more and more difficult for us to survive. Would you treat your best 'customer' that way?

II. Industry-wide we have plenty of internal problems that we should begin to cure all by ourselves, starting with the fact that there are too many conflicting agendas that run unchecked within (a subject far too wide and deep to address here).

However, for starters please ponder this: There are only two groups of people that bring money IN to Thoroughbred racing: Owners and Bettors.

You'd think the industry would go out of its way to provide 'uppies' for owners and bettors. By and large this does not happen. When is the last time a track exec, a large Thoroughbred breeder, or a trainer spent several hours canvassing the 'average' owner or the 'averge' bettor in an effort to learn how things could be made better? Down deep, what do many trainers really think about most owners? How do you like those $5 beers, $4.50 hotdogs and $3.50 lemonades? Are you pleased with that exceptional 'personal touch' you get from industry insiders when you go to the track?

Sidebar: I've always gotten along fine, but I grew up in the sport and I'm experienced. New people, whether owners or fans, see our sport much differently than do I, and their impressions are generally not wonderful. I know this because I'm on a quest to get new owners into the sport and I hear this stuff from them all of the time. I'm not mad at anybody, but I want our fantastic sport to survive and prosper. To achieve that we must change for the better, but I just don't see that coming.

We personally owned and operated radio stations for thirty-five years. If we had ever treated our listeners and advertisers the way many racing insiders treat owners and bettors we would have been 'off the air' in six months.

Unless and until we recognize the success of NASCAR and the NFL, and yes, adopt their their operating policies and principles, I don't see much improvement on the horizon. Note: From the way they behave one could conclude that many of the leaders and pillars of our sport have never heard of the NFL.

There are many of us in the industry who can offer terrific ideas and viable solutions, but those ideas and solutions would no doubt require serious change in philosophy and in the way many things are done. New ideas would also create situations wherein a step or two would have to be taken backward (short-term sacrifice) before forward momentum could begin (long-term improvement). Those at the top wouldn't like that. Change is hard.

Meanwhile it seems as though we are intentionally committing suicide. Examples? No national network TV for Rachel in the Woodward - a huge missed PR opportunity when she was at her hottest and most every female in the USA, racing fan or not, was aware of her. No National TV for the FL Derby last week. Two different betting TV channels necessary if one wants to bet all of the tracks (do these folks understand the concept behind shopping malls?).

We have Danica Patrick's in our sport, too. Why aren't we promoting them, even to the point of making them the 'human' faces of Throughbred racing? If the 'guy' drivers are upset about Danica, well that's too bad, but I don't hear that from them. If IndyCar Racing 'gets' this and I get it, why doesn't our sport get it?

People always act in a way that either a). brings them benefit or b.) they believe WILL bring them benefit. As long as those with clout insist on 'the status staying quo' one must conclude that they are benefitting. But the status quo must change if Thoroughbred racing is to be saved, whether in New York or anywhere else.

Let's start today. I'm ready to roll up my sleeves even further and get even busier. I want to help. How about you?

Sincerely,

Paul H. Rothfuss, Manager
All Play Stable, LLC
Sunday March 28, 2010 1:45:12 PM EDT

Comment by eddybrooktb
Subject: More funding for AMD???? But not OTB??? Something STINKS
Here we go.... layoffs at the OTB because a plan was not approved... and to top it off, in other news, the state is considering additional construction funding for the AMD plant-

so, we'll bail out the unknown, for some future promise of more jobs, but not our own jobs/industries that are NOW (EQuine JOBS)
Global Foundries needs construction funds...again... we have already handed over millions of tax payers funds.... so another words, the foreign country funding Global Foundaries is out of money ALSO.... so WHY should NY'ers go further in debt???? ( it will ultimately show up in property taxes, fees, income taxes or reduction of programs) and risk loosing an entire industry affecting thousands of New Yorkers!!!!
FACT:
**The jobs at the plant that are promoted now will not start for another year of two....... more marketing hype to win support and offer false promises.
**The promise of more future jobs is conditional on the state providing funding for an expansion which MAY happen.
** But yet it seems they need funds NOW to finish what they have already started... and for jobs that will not be available for a couple of years
** Layoff's are occurring at OTB... NOW
**Layoff's are occurring at NYRA ... NOW
**Farms are closing...NOW
**Farms are eliminating jobs ...NOW
**Equine Businesses closing...NOW
**Breeders are leaving the state ...NOW
**Trainers are leaving the state...NOW
** More horses are being abandoned, neglected and put up for adoption ...NOW
** Real Estate is being vacated, less tax revenue for the state...NOW

But let's all allow our legislature to send more funds for a future project, empty promises.....and whatever political corruption is going on in Albany...AGAIN
NOT! We are not stupid



http://www.bizjournals.com/albany/stories/2010/03/22/daily45.html

http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/56119/nycotb-to-close-down-april-11?utm_medium=email&uid=76BCC1CE-D8D2-4357-A061-B76DD83BF1EA&utm_source=DailyNewsletter&utm_campaign=20100327

Please write or call your legislatures....AGAIN>>>>

Here is a link for everyone to look up phone numbers for their reps..

http://www6.oft.state.ny.us/telecom/phones/

Saturday March 27, 2010 6:09:26 PM EDT

Comment by farmmgr
I expect NY racing will come back but all the small owners and breeders will be finished or moved to another state like Pennsylvania where the politicians find that running the state is more important than political posturing. The only breeders left will be hobbiests and those that made their fortunes in other businesses. I heard yesterday from the NY Breeders Association that breeders award checks for 2009 purses that were to be mailed in March have not been sent and there is currently no plan to do so. This applies the the first quarter 2010 awards as well. Why isn't this information being reported in the papers? No one seems to care that the breeders are going bankrupt but I'm sure they'll holler when the beautiful farms all over the state get converted to Super Walmarts.
Thursday March 25, 2010 6:41:51 PM EDT

Comment by farmmgr
I expect NY racing will come back but all the small owners and breeders will be finished or moved to another state like Pennsylvania where the politicians find that running the state is more important than political posturing. The only breeders left will be hobbiests and those that made their fortunes in other businesses. I heard yesterday from the NY Breeders Association that breeders award checks for 2009 purses that were to be mailed in March have not been sent and there is currently no plan to do so. This applies the the first quarter 2010 awards as well. Why isn't this information being reported in the papers? No one seems to care that the breeders are going bankrupt but I'm sure they'll holler when the beautiful farms all over the state get converted to Super Walmarts.
Thursday March 25, 2010 6:22:26 PM EDT

Comment by 4850626
That come from behind bright light like Zenyatta helps too. Who ever watches the first half of any of those races?
Thursday March 25, 2010 2:57:15 PM EDT

Comment by joemarx
What goes around, comes around. NY will be back on top again. The money is in NY. The man behind the curtain has been exposed. People know what must be done, it's just a matter of time (probably longer than we would like) for the turn around. The fact that people are talking about it, is the first step.

One of the things NYRA needs to do is maintain the stellar distance races. These are the races that create fans, because the fans take sides on horses and create enthusiasim and debate. I'll never forget Seattle Slew losing by a nose to Exceller, Affirmed & Alydar in the Belmont, or Forgo " coming like a freight train ". These races created interest & fans for years. Thoroughbreds were made to get a distance of ground. The trend of a major majority of races going short is not exciting to fans. In the long races fans get more bang for the buck. It seems like your horse can win at some point in the race. In the short races you my know in the first 10 or 20 seconds that you can throw your ticket away. After a while, new fans are turned off.

But NY racing will come back. There is just too much to lose.
Thursday March 25, 2010 11:31:47 AM EDT

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