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Monday, January 23, 2012

What a Difference a State Can Make

While racetracks in Illinois won't be getting slots, there is a big difference between New Jersey and Illinois, the racetracks got the casino industry by the proverbial, well you know what.  There won't be any new casinos in Illinois without the racetracks getting some compensation in the form of subsidies or impact fees.  It is not the racetracks hold much sway, it is the politicians from Southern Illinois, the ones who raise the racehorses in the state, grow the hay and grain for the industry are dead set against more casinos unless the tracks are compensated.

It is a complicated situation in the Land of Lincoln.  The casinos don't want to pay, the tracks don't want the money going ot the state first, as the state have tight pockets as they still haven't appropriated to racing the $27 million dollars the tenth casino in Illinois owes racing according to state law.  As an outsider looking in, if the casinos don't pay the racing industry subsidies directly, there is a good chance no new casinos, including the one planned for Chicago aren't going to get built.  It's nice to see racing in the drivers seat once.

PTP reports that in Ontario, they are considering moving the slots out of the racetracks and into the city proper; this in one of the most racing friendly provinces.  If the slots leave the racetracks you can imagine what is going to happen to purse and operating subsidies.  Not saying it is going to happen tomorrow, but believe me, if it could happen in Ontario, it can happy in __________ (fill in the blank).

Vintage Master is making his last career start this coming Saturday in the Presidential Series at the Meadowlands prior to heading to the breeding shed.  I realize Golden Receiver is the logical selection to win the race, but for sentimental reasons, I hope this six year old son of Western Ideal goes out on a winning note.

Prosecute Your Way to Integrity?  At this weekend's presentation before the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association, Jeff Gural indicated prosecution may be the way to restore integrity to harness racing in harness racing and if he has his way, New Jersey will be the place the prosecution will take place.  It is clear suspensions and fines are not stopping the shenaningans, so he may be right.  The question is will a district attorney or attorney general dedicate the resources towards such a prosecution.

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