03/03/2014 3:15PM

Aqueduct: NYRA executives miss Gotham Stakes

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Debra A. Roma
Samraat and jockey Jose Ortiz win the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes by a neck over Uncle Sigh on Saturday.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Neither Chris Kay, the New York Racing Association’s chief executive and president, nor Martin Panza, NYRA’s senior vice president of racing operations, was at Aqueduct for Saturday’s first meaningful card of 2014, featuring the Grade 3, $500,000 Gotham Stakes – the second-richest race of the winter/spring meet – and two other graded stakes.

Reached Sunday, Panza said he was in Southern California, attempting to recruit some horsemen to send a string for the Belmont spring/summer meet. Panza, who worked at Hollywood Park for two decades before coming to NYRA last November, said stall applications for the Belmont meet were due Saturday.

“This is a trip I needed to take,” Panza said.

Kay said he was sick, feeling the effects of what he said has been a vigorous work schedule that “took its toll. [Saturday], I got up and felt awful. I certainly intended to be there to present the trophy.”

David O’Rourke, NYRA’s vice president of corporate development, presented the trophy to owner Len Riggio and trainer Rick Violette, the connections of the Gotham winner, Samraat.

Roy Roy More than 1 year ago
THE ENTIRE NYRA BOARD OF DIRECTORS HAS NO CARE IN THE WORLD TO WHAT HAPPENS TO HORSE RACING. THEY ONLY CARE ABOUT THE MONEY THAT GOES INTO THEIR OWN POCKETS. HOW ABOUT ASKING THE EVERYDAY CUSTOMERS THE PROS AND CONS ABOUT HORSE RACING AND WHAT IS NEEDED "FOOD" "FAMILY FRIENDLY AMUSEMENTS' I NEED TO BE HIRED ON THE BOARD. I SWEAR I WILL TURN THINGS AROUND 110% I JUST NEED A CHANCE TO.
Ralph More than 1 year ago
Chris Kay over worked?the board and how it percieves things makes no sense,maybe just maybe they care about racing and its fans
Bryan Tripoli More than 1 year ago
who cares?
pathagan More than 1 year ago
FACT
mikey More than 1 year ago
Good answer why would horses that ran at Hollywood on poly come east when they can run at Del Mar.The trainers are know the purses are big and will come without him taking a free trip.
Stephen Zorn More than 1 year ago
Last time I looked, NYRA had a 17-member Board of Directors. Would it have been too much trouble for Board Chairman John Skorton to have been there for the big day and have presented the Gotham trophy to fellow Board member Len Riggio? While I admire NYRA VP Dave O'Rourke's dedication to learning about racing, which many of his fellow execs have never bothered to do, there should have been a bit more pomp and circumstance for the Gotham.
bourbonhaze More than 1 year ago
While I don't pretend to know the logistics of the recruiting trip, I would think NYRA would have been best-served by having Mr. Panza do the recruiting during the week, taking a red-eye back to NY on Friday night, in order to be present for this rather large day on the NYRA calendar. In my view missing the previous weekend's festivities would have been more palatable and fit much better with the Belmont stall application deadline.
mikey More than 1 year ago
Maybe NY got too cold for him and he went back to cali to warm up and see old friends.Let NYRA pay the bill they have a lot of Jeffery bucks to spend.
johnd More than 1 year ago
You folks don't get it, Chris Kay has absolutely no interest in horse racing. What is it going to take for the readers of the DRF to understanding this. He's shown his utter ignornance of racing and the betting public in just about everything he's done and said since being appointed Chief Executive and President of the NYRA. He's nothing but a political lacky who's going to wind up helping to destroy the NYRA in real time. Watch, it's happening before your very eyes!!!!
Russell More than 1 year ago
What precisely do you want readers of DRF to do about it?
Sal Carcia More than 1 year ago
What's the real deal here? Kay claims he gets stack of letters and emails from the fans praising him for what has done so far for NY racing.
mikey More than 1 year ago
Maybe at toys r us a 2 was a stack.He has no interest in racing other than have his picture taken with other big shots.He might show up a few times a year.
Sal Carcia More than 1 year ago
I thought Kay was receiving tons of positive feedback from the customers. Is this not true?
Barbara Bowen More than 1 year ago
Good thing this non-"story" is free on DRF.
martymar . More than 1 year ago
I think it was David Grening that posted that Hasting Park posted a position it take 7 people in NYRA to cover. Maybe they need another one to be the designated trophy presenter.
Chris Lowe More than 1 year ago
Where's my resume?