Saturday, June 23, 2007

Belmont Results and Other News

A so-so outing: I cashed a few tickets including a trifecta and a decent exacta, but got beaten by a nose a few too many times to finish on the bright side of the books. Still, the game seemed less impenetrable than it has in recent weeks.

The future of NYRA and Aqueduct are still up in the air, and it looks like the state legislature is going to delay any decisions on the matter until after Labor Day. NYRA's president, Charles Hayward, says that he's feeling optimistic, bless his heart, and this is undoubtedly due to the fact that Albany has more or less conceded that NYRA, and not New York State, does in fact own the land that the three tracks stand on. The latest version of the Spitzer plan would give NYRA a 20-year renewal of the New York racing franchise, sell Aqueduct (!) to pay off NYRA's creditors (NYRA is in bankruptcy), and grant the slot machine franchise to the politically well-connected Excelsior Racing Associates. Belmont would get slots and and a winterized inner track which would allow them to take over Aqueduct's winter meeting. Man, I'm going to miss The Big A.

I'm also a little cranky that I'm going to miss the big "I" - Invasor, who took down the mighty Bernardini in the Breeder's Cup Classic and won Horse of the Year in 2006, is running in the Suburban Handicap next weekend at Belmont, and I can't go. I hate when the responsibilities associated with being a grown-up get in the way of the really important things in life.