08/21/2012 12:02PM

Saratoga: NYRA changes policy on release of handle, attendance figures at meet


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association has switched horses midstream in deciding to drop a policy in which the association released cumulative handle and attendance figures at the close of racing on Mondays during the seven-week meet.

NYRA had released the figures on each of the four previous Mondays. The latest release, on Aug. 13, showed that total handle was up 6.5 percent through the first 22 days of the 40-day meet compared to the same stretch last year, although total races during the period this year were 228, compared to 219 in 2011. Attendance was down 1.9 percent.

Dan Silver, a spokesman for NYRA, said that NYRA decided against releasing the cumulative figures in order to get “its finance team more involved in the production of these releases.” He also said that the association wanted to include handle on imported simulcasts at NYRA’s three tracks and that the inclusion of those figures was not possible given the production of the releases just after the last live race on Monday concluded. NYRA offers simulcasts ontrack after its live cards end.

Silver also said that NYRA plans to release figures after the Aug. 25 Travers Stakes card and at the conclusion of the meet.

During the week in which NYRA did not make the figures available, Saratoga enjoyed mostly sunny, mild weather. The Saturday card featured two Grade 1 stakes races, the Alabama and Sword Dancer, and, on Sunday, NYRA gave away a free “pilsner glass” with each paid admission.

Also during the week, New York racetracks were targeted in a report produced by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli that contended that casino supplements for the racing industry had not produced any measurable long-term gains in attendance and handle over the past decade. NYRA’s horsemen strongly disputed the characterization in the report of the impact of the supplements on the Thoroughbred racing industry.

Don Reed More than 1 year ago
Why is it that Dan Silver, otherwise an admirable person & an excellent writer, is always the messenger of these preposterous NYRA (or whatever they cal themselves, any minute now) press releases?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is becoming a shell game. bb/pok
Whennif More than 1 year ago
Some make it like all is well.....Have any of you been to Saratoga lately? The TV's are from the 90's. No flat screens, no high def. Most of the screens are covered in dirt. Some places you can not hear the audio. Where is the $$$$?....Then you have somebody making the decision that 2 year old races are limited to just 8 horses....All is not well and and change is needed badly!
John Stevelberg More than 1 year ago
You obviously have some great points. Saratoga will be on the decline UNLESS some folks wake up. Slot $$ may not be the answer if you look south to NJ Gov. Christie is asking the quaestion "race purses" or "School lunch" programs. Its going to be a tough debate to win.
Bryan Langlois More than 1 year ago
Of course it has not had a noticeable impact yet...the racino cash has only been coming in for less than a year. What DiNapoli should better spend his time on is investigating and maybe auditing the money trail of previous administrations and legislatures in the state who I am sure arranged some back room deals to get their buddies to try and run the Racino at Aqueduct. I will admit that I am sure some of that money could be better managed, but lets maybe hold off on negative reoports to satisfy and Governor who obviously hates racing and a legislature who is just drooling over that money sitting there. Maybe...just maybe...give it a full year before making any major decisions. Its amazing...menaingful change in gov't takes eons to occur...but see some money sitting there to balance the budget?? Wait...we can just take that away immediately to make ourselves look good.
Don Reed More than 1 year ago
BL: Whenever there's a flood of cash from a new source that might not be around for long, the inclination of the recipients - regardless of the business - is to milk it and then split. It's called a "bust out." Are we seeing the same thing here? I don't know. Do you have an opinion on this?
James Ronan More than 1 year ago
We should all get ready for the coming revolution, there is absolutely nothing a politician wouldn't say or do to find another way to just outright steal the money. If there are any more obnoxious, despicable, greedy, and dishonest people roaming the earth today than these cretinous politicians than I've yet to make their acquaintance. Fastest way I know for these dummies to reduce the amount of taxes and fees they collect is to blatently make their wishes known to steal even more, than it just goes away, it's called the law of unintended consequences. Death to the bloodsuckers!!!
AZ Wildcat More than 1 year ago
Guaranteed that the state will pull all slot money from racing within two years, as they have in Ontario. Trusting the government is lunacy.
W.G. More than 1 year ago
Don't be so sure. If as expected the state tries it, the horsemen and other groups probably will go to court and try to block such from happening, and that could tie it up there for YEARS. Even if the state did eventually win such cases and/or they were found to be frivolous, the damage to a potential Presidential campaign for Cuomo in 2016 could be too much. The "bluebloods" would not bother with 2014, when Cuomo is widely expected to be re-elected as Governor easily, they would save their ammo for 2016 and use it both in the Democratic Primary and then the General Election should Cuomo survive the primary. That is where any attempt to pull the funding could come back to haunt Cuomo big-time, and it is why he has to walk a very fine line with NYRA.
riconap More than 1 year ago
Racino supplements help keep the racing industry alive and well in New York so that it continues to exist at the same level of quality as in the past. Sometimes medicine or "supplements" are required to maintain a healthy status quo without actually healing the malady or even vastlyimproving the patients' health status. That's enough for most of us !