NEWS STORY 72 - HISTORIC BAY MEADOWS TO CLOSE AT END OF MEETING ...
Joining the ranks of the now closed Hialeah Park, racing loses yet another keystone track. .....
Story by MC_Excelsior "The Stick"__________________________________________________
3/29/07 - The Stick Studio's, Florida
*Bay Meadows Racetrack will close at the end of this race meeting*
When I think of Bay Meadows, I remember a good friend of mine named, Dale Duspiva. Dale has since passed after a valliant struggle with cancer. In remebering Dale, I remember thinking that Bay Meadows must have been a very pleasant place to work and enjoy as a fan.
I emailed Dale one day while promoting the web site and he immediately emailed back and said why dont you send me your picks and I'll give them out to the fans I know. Just like that. Thats the kind of people who worked at Bay Meadows.
The greatest horse to ever come from California, Sea Biscut, won the Bay Meadows Handicap with legendary rider, George Woolf on board. What an exciting day that must have been !
It all comes to an end on November 4th, when The Bay Meadows Land Company kills the track with bulldozers aimed directly into the jugular vein of the racetrack. This will not be a painless or humane execution. It will be an unpleasant and nauseating blood letting of Horse Racing fans from around the World. We hearby nominate The Bay Meadows Land Company to the status so rightly earned...Equineus Exterminatus Dillatanes.
This rare honor is also given to Mr Brunetti for his killing of Hialeah Park, and to the development company that purchased Roosevelt Raceway with the express purpose of closing racing and building more shopping malls and condos.
*The reasons why Bay Meadows will close*
According to our sources, there are major deveolpers who want to tear the racetrack down and build more condos and shopping malls. It reminds me of the destruction of Roosevelt Raceway in NY and its really sad.
According to news reports, Bay Meadows could not afford to replace its track surface with the state mandated, Equitrack surface. To upgrade to equitrack it could cost as much as $10 Million. The racetrack simply cannot afford it and despite a viable, racing track, the state of California is content to shudder the facility with the same cold blooded ease the developers feel to build on it.
Track President, Jack Libeau is quoted as saying, "For racing in California, this is a day of infamy"
We echo those sentiments and would add that its a day of infamy for the ENTIRE Racing World.
*Who is Next ?*
We know NYRA's working agreement(franchaise) with NY State is coming to an end within a year. Many different operators will be given a chance to bid on that franchaise and who knows what their intentions would be ? Can any private organization afford the maintenance of running 1 racetrack while maintaining 2 others in their off season ? Will slot machines or casin ogaming make that deal more lucrative ?
We know from our friends, that if Belmont Park should ever cease operations as a racetrack, that the land would return to the August Belmont family. They own the beautiful tract of land where Belmont currently sits. It is perhaps the largest tract of undeveloped land in Metropolitan New York.
There have always been rumors about Aqueduct being closed and the land being purchased to provide more space for JFK Airport. The delay of slot machines have kept those rumors alive. However, Aqueduct provides an essential service for NY and NJ Horsemen. It offers a winterized, salt/dirt track which does not freeze, and allows for year round racing in NY. Prior to the Winterized, Inner Track, racing would cease for 3 months in NY.
Saratoga is the cash cow of NY Racing. With enourmous crowds everyday, many Canadians crossing in to enjoy the races, and the realtivly small size of the facility, and the fact that it has a history dating back to the Civil War, Saratoga is a very special place. It always turns a huge profit and while it is a boutique meeting of only 7 weeks, it is a jewel in the crown of racing.
What about Oaklawn in Hot Springs or Finger Lakes in upstate NY ? Oaklawn has a storied history, and is by itself in its area. Finger Lakes, however, is a small track and may require slots to survive.
Maryland Racing ? Laurel and Pimlico keep racing despite the much higher pruses afforded horsemen at nearby Delaware Park's racino. Will Maryland racing have to go racino just to keep pace ?
Are all the Magna and CDI tracks safe ? CDI(Churchill Downs Inc) and Magna own the vast majority of racetracks in the United States. Does their collective corporate power insure the continued operations of all their memeber tracks ? No Way ! Business empires will cut off non performing companies they own. If say Calder, or Laurel became a big money loser to ither of them, they would certainly close or sell those facilities.
*Are Slots the answer ?*
Are racetracks without slot machine casino's at risk ?
In a one word answer.....YES !
I have to admit I was against the promoting of slot machines as a way to save racing, but anyone who spends time at Gulfstream Park will see a packed facility on the weekends. Its like every Satuday and Sunday are Derby Day, or Belmont Stakes Day.
One word of caution though. If every racetrack has a casino, how long will it take Las Vegas and Atlantic City and Biloxi to start offering legal on line wagering ? They are already pushing for it.
With all these gaming options out there, whould you quit your day job and become a professional gambler ? In another word .... NO ! Please remember to enjoy your gaming options and dont bring any more then your willing to lose. Leave the ATM card at home, trust me, when you get home you will be a much happier person.
*KEEP BAY MEADOWS - Organization dedicated to help save the track*
I have found some good friends on the internet devoted to saving Bay Meadows. Check them out when you have time.
Best Regards and Racing to ALL, MC_Excelsior !
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