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Old 05-01-2020, 09:19 PM   #16
dilanesp
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NOW, the important questions....

What about the Belmont?

Will Met Mile go back to Memorial Day Card....that would seem to be a card that will a perfect opportunity for BIG day of BIG races.

Will there be enough horses ready to run to fill BIG races?

Gee, talking racing again....whodathinkit?
I would imagine New York Racing, especially at a time when some other big tracks are still closed, is going to be very high quality.
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Old 05-01-2020, 09:20 PM   #17
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Except for a few days a year nobody goes to Belmont anyway.
So they might as well run.
It's sad, really. It's one of most beautiful tracks in the world.
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Old 05-02-2020, 12:17 PM   #18
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I hear you. The place is massively underutilized.

I'm one of the guys that still goes on beautiful sunny days.

You can find me near the paddock looking at the horses for the upcoming race or sitting on a bench near the tote board in that area contemplating a bet. For me, a sunny day at Belmont in the back yard is like a brief glimpse of heaven. At 61 and retired last year, I'm not happy about not being able to enjoy this time the way I hoped.
I know how you feel. When I retired 13 years ago , I'm 72, that was part of my plan. But after a few years no more sun for me. Sitting under those big trees in the shade I could never handicap or bet. I would just nod off. So into into the grandstand. Cheer up as soon as this goes away you'll be back by the paddock. Maybe I'll see you there. I'll be one of the old guys with a big hat.
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Old 05-02-2020, 07:18 PM   #19
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Dilanesp's knowledge knows no bounds. It spreads coast to coast.
The curve that cannot be flattened!
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Old 05-02-2020, 10:20 PM   #20
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The curve that cannot be flattened!
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Old 05-02-2020, 11:17 PM   #21
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I hear you. The place is massively underutilized.

I'm one of the guys that still goes on beautiful sunny days.

You can find me near the paddock looking at the horses for the upcoming race or sitting on a bench near the tote board in that area contemplating a bet. For me, a sunny day at Belmont in the back yard is like a brief glimpse of heaven. At 61 and retired last year, I'm not happy about not being able to enjoy this time the way I hoped.
that sounds like a good time to me!
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Old 05-03-2020, 02:48 PM   #22
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Running a fan-less Saratoga meet seems very questionable. The only benefit I can see is the possible increase in handle, though I maintain the notion that the exact same race in August at Belmont would draw significantly less $ is shaky. On the negative side, racing at Saratoga would entail moving three to five thousand people (families included) from an area with high virus exposure. Consider that the whole disastrous Italian outbreak has been traced to a small number of travelers from China. Here is another point from a long time NY trainer:


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Ok, right now many trainers are on life support financially. The expenses of moving to Saratoga for two months are staggering. Saratoga is all about the people. If the decision is to race without people, why not stay home and run a Saratoga at Belmont meet? Let everyone heal.
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Old 05-03-2020, 03:39 PM   #23
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Ok, right now many trainers are on life support financially. The expenses of moving to Saratoga for two months are staggering. Saratoga is all about the people. If the decision is to race without people, why not stay home and run a Saratoga at Belmont meet? Let everyone heal.
I've been saying this since the start of the discussion. No one has been talking about the incremental expense of shipping and living up there.

Even if there is some benefit to the "Saratoga" brand, (which I personally doubt is significant when it comes to off track wagering) you still have to question whether it's enough to make up for the extra expense and incremental risk. I'm glad someone is actually talking about it. I'm sure he knows the amounts. I was just generalizing.
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Old 05-03-2020, 04:05 PM   #24
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I've been saying this since the start of the discussion. No one has been talking about the incremental expense of shipping and living up there.

Even if there is some benefit to the "Saratoga" brand, (which I personally doubt is significant when it comes to off track wagering) you still have to question whether it's enough to make up for the extra expense and incremental risk. I'm glad someone is actually talking about it. I'm sure he knows the amounts. I was just generalizing.
may also not be a good idea to bring together the sheer amount of shippers from around the country as different parts of the country are on different paths of peak Covid spread.
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Old 05-03-2020, 04:49 PM   #25
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may also not be a good idea to bring together the sheer amount of shippers from around the country as different parts of the country are on different paths of peak Covid spread.
By the time Saratoga is due to start will there be anybody left to infect? It would seem that testing of the shippers would be a logical move, both human and horses.
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Old 05-03-2020, 05:19 PM   #26
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Not sure if this was posted elsewhere but Monmouth opens July 4th.
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Old 05-03-2020, 05:23 PM   #27
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Even if there is some benefit to the "Saratoga" brand, (which I personally doubt is significant when it comes to off track wagering)

Agree. With 3-5 tracks racing on any given day, any NY track is going to be the top brand on the market. Especially with the west coast shut down.

P.S. The big brand for tomorrow, Monday, is Will Rogers.
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Old 05-03-2020, 06:01 PM   #28
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Why are we even discussing whether there would be a difference in handle between Saratoga and Saratoga at Belmont? This is very basic and VERY simple. Saratoga is the strongest brand in the sport. It commands the most attention from every stakeholder. You can’t run it elsewhere and expect the same results. Look at the off-track handle figs. I took a record Belmont Saturday and compared it with a new Saratoga Saturday and the difference was almost 10%.

And the “Will Rogers and Fonner handle proves people will bet on anything” argument is not applicable. There are two tracks running on those days and everyone is locked at home.
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Old 05-03-2020, 07:19 PM   #29
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We hope. God knows what will they do with some of the stake races that were unable to run on Aquaduct (maybe move the Wood Memorial to Belmont for 1 year only?). But yeah. Belmont is coming back soon. Bills need to be paid baby...


Johnny I calling the Belmont is gonna be a weird thought tho
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Old 05-03-2020, 07:28 PM   #30
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Why are we even discussing whether there would be a difference in handle between Saratoga and Saratoga at Belmont? This is very basic and VERY simple. Saratoga is the strongest brand in the sport. It commands the most attention from every stakeholder. You can’t run it elsewhere and expect the same results. Look at the off-track handle figs. I took a record Belmont Saturday and compared it with a new Saratoga Saturday and the difference was almost 10%.
In terms of revenue, part of the formula is how much you handle on/off track, part of the formula is the quality of the races, and part of it is number of starters.

All those things must be considered, but we are getting bits and pieces of each from people trying to justify the move and not a total analysis that includes COSTS (which has been my point) and RISKS.

Maybe a valid analysis exists at NYRA, but it wasn't in that article that was posted and I surely don't know it.

Saratoga has many of the premier races of the sport each year, the typical card is of much higher quality than Belmont, and there are more starters per race. That's what created the brand over and above the beauty of the track and town (which won't be in play if there are no fans).

Do you think the Travers, Alabama, Whitney, Woodward, and other Grade 1 race cards of that caliber are going to handle a lot less off track if they are at Belmont?

They might handle less, but imo the difference would be a lot less off track than you are implying with quality cards like that compared to what's typically run at Belmont (all else being equal).

So the question is whether all the incremental expenses and possible incremental risk is worth it to move trainers, families, equipment, and other backstretch workers to Saratoga just so they can do none of the things that make Saratoga special when they can run the same races at Belmont from the safety of their own homes and save money.

I don't know all the costs, but Gary Contessa does. He appears to want to stay home. I can't blame him. That's why I brought up the cost side. No one else was. If things turn around enough in the next month or so that having some fans is a consideration, then it's an entirely different story. As is, IMO it's close call.
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