Big Events & New Customers…or not

Hockey returned to the NHL this week after the Olympic break, our national loyalties reverting to regional ones, as the players against whom we rooted over the last few weeks once again become our home team.  Whether NHL players will return to the Olympics in PyeonChang, South Korea, in 2018 remains to be seen; injuries to the…

NYRA Has Built It. Will They Come?

“The second richest day in North American racing” will come to Belmont Park on June 7. That’s what the New York Racing Association (NYRA, and an occasional freelance client of mine) announced last week, in a reconfiguration of its springs/summer stakes schedule designed to create a blockbuster race card on the day of the Belmont…

NYRA Board Has First Serious Disagreement

The reorganization board of the New York Racing Association met for the first time a year ago, but it wasn’t until its eighth meeting Dec. 4 that its members offered any significant disagreement to a proposal made by board chairman David Skorton. On the agenda was NYRA’s 2014 budget, one of the most contentious elements…

Mixed Bag for NYRA at Fan Advisory Meeting

Saturday’s meeting was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. EDT, the time the gates open at Belmont. But with few people in attendance, the forum was delayed until nearly 11:30 a.m., which put it up against a jockey autograph signing scheduled by the New York Racing Association. NYRA’s only role in the fan council forum…

Safety/Integrity Education For Racing Officials To Be Offered At Belmont Park

On June 19 and 20, Belmont Park will host a certificate program for the Racing Officials Accreditation Program. Consisting of one day of general education and one day of job-specific modules, the event offers education and certification for seven racing official positions: clerk of scales, horse identifier, paddock judge, patrol judge, outrider, and starter/assistant starter.…

The “somewhat historic” Brooklyn Handicap, 1913

When racing returned to New York State after nearly three years, shuttered due to stringent anti-gambling restrictions, the Brooklyn Handicap, first run in 1887, came with it.  With survival, though, came transplantation, as the race was moved out of its eponymous borough, from the Gravesend track to Belmont Park. And with transplantation came a whiff…