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News stories tagged with "horse-racing"

Comptroller fears NYRA could soon run out of money

The state's top finance official says the New York Racing Authority is once again facing a financial crisis. NYRA already got a $250 million loan from the state to operate racetracks, including Saratoga Raceway, this summer. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says he's putting auditors on site there to monitor NYRA's operations.
An audit shows the NYRA faces insolvencey unless it cuts more spending and starts getting revenue from a casino at Aqueduct that doesn't exist yet.

Karen DeWitt reports.racetrack.  Go to full article
Rep. Scott Murphy (D-Glens Falls) is urging state officials to fix horse-racing "crisis"
Rep. Scott Murphy (D-Glens Falls) is urging state officials to fix horse-racing "crisis"

Rep. Murphy: Without loan from state, Saratoga horse racing season won't happen

Congressman Scott Murphy says there is a growing risk that this summer's thoroughbred racing season in Saratoga Springs could be canceled. The move would devastate the region's tourism economy.

Yesterday, the New York Racing Authority sent letters to its employees warning of possible lay-offs. State officials have failed to provide revenue to the thoroughbred industry from a proposed video-lottery terminal casino. The project has been stalled for nearly a decade.

The New York Racing Authority now says this summer's thoroughbred season, scheduled to begin in July, could be canceled if the legislature doesn't provide a bridge loan. Congressman Murphy from Glens Falls has been working to try to broker a settlement. He spoke yesterday with Brian Mann.  Go to full article
Scott van Laer's breeding farm in the Adirondacks has been threatened by the state crisis (Photos:  Brian Mann)
Scott van Laer's breeding farm in the Adirondacks has been threatened by the state crisis (Photos: Brian Mann)

Bungling by industry and state leaders threatens Saratoga horse racing season

The budget crisis in Albany is threatening to derail yet another major upstate New York tourist draw.

Already this year, Governor David Paterson raised the possibility of cutting all funding for the Olympic Regional Development Authority in Lake Placid and shutting down state campgrounds.

Now the state's political gridlock could force horseracing officials to cancel or scale back this year's summer meet at the track in Saratoga Springs.

Even the sport's biggest fans say New York's thoroughbred industry is in serious trouble.

As Brian Mann reports, some of that pain is being felt here in the North Country.  Go to full article
Scott VanLaer's horses are selling for upwards of $100,000
Scott VanLaer's horses are selling for upwards of $100,000

Adirondack breeder builds a business around winning horses

This week, we've been talking about the history of North Country horseracing, from the harness buggies that raced the county fairgrounds in the early 1900s to the storybook run of Funny Cide for the Triple Crown. But horseracing also has a future in the region. A thoroughbred breeder in Ray Brook, in the Adirondacks, is raising top horses that are competing on tracks around the world. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article
Keeping pace in Saratoga
Keeping pace in Saratoga

Postcard: starting a harness race means driving the gate

All this week we're telling stories about horses and horse-racing, a sport which for decades has been part of North Country culture. Today, Brian Mann sends this audio postcard from the harness track in Saratoga. That's where he met Scott Hamilton, who travels the North Country every year starting trotter races at county fairs.  Go to full article

Paterson unhappy with NYRA decision

In his first major break in policy from his predecessor, Governor Eliot Spitzer, New York Governor David Paterson says he's displeased with an arrangement that gives the New York Racing Association control over horseracing in the state for the next quarter century. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

Horse racing talks never get out of the gate in Albany

When 2008 begins, New York State will no longer have any state-approved organization running it's horse racing tracks. The multi billion-dollar industry will likely be run by an oversight board, because Governor Spitzer and the legislature have so far failed to agree on a new franchise agreement. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

Heard Up North: Sam the Bugler summons the ponies

One of the most iconic sounds in the North Country is the "Call to the Post" at the Saratoga Horse track. It turns out that for the last fifteen years, one guy has been blowing that little tune. He's today's Heard Up North. Note: Sam prefers not to use his last name. He lives on Long Island and plays in a rock and roll band in his spare time.  Go to full article
Funny Cide at Saratoga. Source: Wikipedia
Funny Cide at Saratoga. Source: Wikipedia

Funny Cide ends gloried run, Sackets Harbor celebrates

One of the most storied racehorses of the last thirty years retired Friday in Saratoga Springs. Funny Cide was adored by the public for being a blue-collar horse that came agonizingly close to capturing the 2003 Triple Crown. The horse was owned by a group of friends from Sackets Harbor, not far from Watertown. As Brian Mann reports, they got into the thoroughbred horse-racing business on a whim. That whim took them into the horse-racing history books.  Go to full article

NYRA President Resigns

Governor Pataki says he hopes that the public will have new confidence in the New York Racing Association, now that its president, Terry Meyocks, has resigned. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

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