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The Week in Review: January 30, 2019
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 30, 2019
by: Valerie Mellema
Here's our weekly wrap up of what's been happening in the world of horse racing this past week.
New York State Budget Proposes OTBs the Option of Dropping Horse Racing
The 2019-2020 state budget proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, provides the state's off track betting (OTB) establishments the option to drop betting on horse racing entirely or to merge with another OTB district. There are currently five OTB districts in New York that cover the state, except for New York City. New York City's OTB stopped operating in 2010.
The reason behind this is because most of the districts have reported a loss on horse racing and have branched out to the slots business. Once sports betting laws are formulated in the state, OTB operations may also take on sports betting. However, according to Nassau OTB president Joe Cairo, "The agencies have not turned a profit on horse betting in over a decade as racing has become a losing proposition throughout the country."
Based on the language in the budget proposal, it suggests that it was designed to help free some OTBs of financial strain, but also to benefit Capital OTB, which covers the Saratoga-Albany area. Capital does not rely on any slots and is viewed as the most successful OTB in the state. Should the budget pass, Capital would be in a position to take over the racing portion of the business if the other OTBs want out.
Polar Vortex Forces Racing Cancellations
Due to dangerously low temperatures and windchill, several tracks have canceled upcoming race cards including:
Aqueduct - Canceled Jan. 31st card
Charles Town Races - Canceled Jan. 30th-Jan. 31st
Belmont Park - Training and live racing closed Jan. 31st
Laurel Park - Canceled Jan. 31st
Penn National - Canceled through February 2nd
Belinda Stronach Talks of Expanding Pegasus Day
Having just completed the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the inaugural Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, Belinda Stronach suggested in a recent interview that they may look at adding additional races to the series, such as a filly race. She also doesn't believe that all of the Pegasus races need to be held at Gulfstream, suggesting that some races could also be held at Santa Anita. They are also looking at a "Win and You're In" concept for the Pegasus.
Eclipse Awards Results
Prior to Pegasus Day, the 2018 Eclipse Awards were held at Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino in Hallandale Beach. Here's the results in case you missed it!
Horse of the Year and Champion 3 Yr. Old Male - Justify
Champion 2 Yr. Old Male - Game Winner
Champion 2 Yr. Old Filly - Jaywalk
Champion 3 Yr. Old Filly - Monomoy Girl
Champion Older Dirt Male - Accelerate
Champion Older Dirt Female - Unique Bella
Champion Male Sprinter - Roy H
Champion Female Sprinter - Shamrock Rose
Champion Turf Male - Stormy Liberal
Champion Steeplechase Horse - Zanjabeel
Have a great week!
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