Andrew Cohen returns to Harness Racing Update to chime in on the latest Faraldo-Gural feud and to no surprise, Cohen finds that Faraldo is out of step. Out of step is an understatement. His latest missive (which you can find a link to here) is an out and out disgrace. Faraldo calls the poll questions a push poll; which is proven to be a complete lie when the poll questions were made available in editions of HRU and the Horsemen and Fair World's Weekend Update. Look at these questions (page 3) and tell me these questions are a push poll and why you think they are.
Make no mistake, Joe Faraldo is representing his constituents well, but sitting there in the ivory tower which is Yonkers Raceway with a massive population center, it is easy to say your way is the way to go. Yes, the SOA spent a $1 million (as they claim) to get Yonkers Raceway's races on the NYRA simulcast television channel. When you consider what the horsemen get from slots at Yonkers, what is that million dollars out of their purse account and how long does it take to recover that million?
Let's see what Faraldo could do as the head of the horsemen's association at a track like Monticello Raceway or a Hazel Park and see how his strategy works. How good are Yonkers purses if they had to do without purse subsidies? Half of what the Meadowlands pays out on purses or less? How many people would be at the track?
You talk about how you occasionally hit a $1 million handle. How much of that comes from on-track wagers. If you handle a $1 million through wagers from out of state, that gets you $35,000 a night or less for your purse account. See how long your purse account lasts without slots. There is talk about New York putting out for bid seven full casino licenses. Say New York State does an Ontario on you and puts those licenses out to bidding. Those casino companies have a lot more money to bid than most racetracks, perhaps even out-bidding Yonkers. If that is the case, how much are those slot machines going to handle at Yonkers? Clearly the weather at Yonkers is sunny, but if the weather turns stormy, your ship may be swamped.
To Mr. Faraldo, it is easy to say the way things have been done work wonderful when you wear your rose colored glasses. Try taking your glasses off and look at the rest of the industry. Let's see you give up the leadership of the SOA and become head of the MHHA at Monticello where that racino has a $5,700 top purse. Go to Hazel Park or Cal Expo where there are no slots and see how things are doing there and tell us you way is the way to go for the industry. I would suggest your tune would change.
Come down from your ivory tower and join the rest of those in the industry. You will see the error of your ways. It is a whole different world out there and it shows you despite slots, harness racing is an industry hanging on precariously. I suggest you take off your rose colored glasses and get a clear look of things.