Cuomo to New York Racing: Drop Dead?

On Saturday at Belmont Park, the New York Racing Association will run its annual autumn showcase for New York-bred horses. Re-named this year, Empire Showcase Day will feature 11 races exclusively for horses that were foaled in this state. More than 100 horses will compete for purse money totaling more than $1.6 million.

Showcase Day annually produces the second-highest attendance and handle numbers of the prestigious Belmont Fall Championship Meet, second only to the day on which the Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup and five other graded stakes races are run. Last year, more than $12 million was wagered on Showcase Day, which was attended by 7,000 people.

In addition to showcasing New York racing, the day also features more than 30 New York craft and food vendors and the Taste NY initiative, which highlights dairy, spirits, fruits, vegetables, beer, and wine produced in the state.

It’s the sort of event that you’d think New York would promote, highlighting as it does a number of the state’s economic engines. It’s sort of the event that you’d think might even attract the attention of the governor, who seized control of New York racing nearly 18 months ago.

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One thought on “Cuomo to New York Racing: Drop Dead?

  1. My suspicion is the Governor in retrospect did not fully think through New York Racing and how important it was when the takeover happened. The Governor, based on what he said about “the bluebloods” at the time may not have realized that most of that faction of racing, which was around when his father was Governor and may have had issues with his father no longer was in power with NYRA or in racing for the most part as many of that “old guard” had passed away or got out of the sport, in the latter case especially following the Tax Reform Act of 1986. He also likely didn’t realize that the NYRA board that endorsed George Pataki over his father in 1994 for the most part was not there anymore (either because most are retired or are no longer with us) and also failed to realize if so that the then-NYRA board’s endorsement of Pataki had little to do with his father’s defeat in the 1994 election (that defeat had much more to do with Newt Gingrich’s “Contract For America” that many voted Republican for that year along with specific to New York City the baseball strike, where many openly admitted they voted Republican to get back at then-President Clinton for not issuing an Executive Order to force an end of that strike AND making up every game missed from the strike).

    Oddly, the Governor seems to have made excellent choices in people to run NYRA (Martin Panza, the latest is VERY well respected inside the sport) and NYRA seems to be slowly doing a lot of things right, even with having to deal with people whose mentalities still date back in some cases to the heyday of the sport in the 1960s and not realizing how much has changed since then.

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