I realize a lot of you are travelling today to celebrate Christmas with family and friends. With racing basically shut down for a few days, let's take a look at a few news links that you probably have not had a chance to see.
In the Saratogian, there is an article about battle lines being drawn regarding horse slaughter. The article claims there are efforts in place to still ban horse slaughter despite the funding bill that allows for USDA inspectors for horse slaughter. Some people claim there is still too much public revulsion regarding horse slaughter, good luck in getting a state allow it. I agree most states will not allow horse slaughter, but there is always that one state...
While there are deals in place for racing in NJ, there are still angry feelings out there. The Examiner, writes about it.
Ocean City, Maryland wanted nothing to do with slots, so Ocean Downs racetrack which is outside of Ocean City got the casino. Now that the casino is a success and Ocean City gets very little of the benefit of the casino, their council decides now is the time to work with them and cross market. All those people in Prince George county who don't want a casino in their county better wake up because if Rosecroft Raceway doesn't get slots, they will kick themselves in the arse.
Alan Leavitt is the chair of the standadrbred committee for the RCI and has some lofty goals. Good luck Alan getting this industry to make changes and spend some money at the same time. If you cna do this, you will be known as The Miracle Worker.
No link here, but Joe (Faraldo), can't you take care of the business for your members without issuing a public press release criticizing those that oppose your position? You are give Chuck Schumer a run for his money. Sometimes you can get more with honey than vinegar. Don't get me wrong, while I don't necessarily agree with everything you propose you do defend your horsemen's interests. But in defending their rights, can't you do this without picking public fights? I can see a public response when someone sends you an open letter, but when you attempt to rip someone a new one who has revived racing at Vernon Downs, and introduced racing at Tioga Downs, that's plain wrong. No, there is not much wagering up there when compared to Yonkers but let me ask you what percentage of your purse account comes from wagering? No they don't race 200+ days a year, but if you look at a lot of tracks in the United States, they don't run meets all year like Yonkers, which thanks to location and slots you can do, but if you had to depend on wagering, you would burn out your customer base.
Yes, Jeff Gural operates a racino at each of these tracks and if not for racinos those may not be there, but if you recall, at one time Yonkers Raceway's property was for sale and talked about being the site for the new Yankee Stadium. If not for slots, Yonkers Raceway would be with Roosevelt Raceway; a track that used to exist but is a shopping mall. So I don't understand the vitriol you have for Jeff Gural. After all, what is the difference between Jeff Gural and Tim Rooney? Oh, Tim Rooney is the one you need to deal with on a daily basis while Jeff Gural is upstate and you don't need to deal with everyday. I am pretty sure when it comes to gaming Tim and Jeff are pretty much on board with each other, yet I don't see any public criticism of Tim Rooney by you. The only difference is because Yonkers Raceway is in the metropolitan area, the slot play allows you to race all year.
I am not saying you should have Jeff Gural invited to any Christmas party or even on your card list, but if you have real differences with him, does it need to be a public exhibition? Pick up the phone and talk to him. Maybe then everyone would get a better understanding and who knows? You may actually accomplish something Send your letters to the legislature where they may or may not have an impact; no need to release these letters to the racing media.
Jeff Gural is good for racing. Joe Faraldo is good for racing. This public bickering needs to stop. No one wins from that.