Patrick McKenna

NYRA Acquires Sugar Maple Farm

New York's Sugar Maple Farm, comprising 466 acres and located about one hour from Belmont Park and two hours from Saratoga, has been acquired by the New York Racing Association (NYRA). NYRA's Patrick McKenna released the following statement Wednesday afternoon: "NYRA, through a wholly owned subsidiary, has acquired a large parcel of land in Duchess County, N.Y. known as Sugar Maple Farm. The 466-acre property, which was previously utilized as a breeding farm, could be appropriate for a wide array of uses including as a new center for equine health...

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After Meetings With Horsemen, Jockeys, and Vets, Saratoga to Continue With Racing Sunday

After the on-track deaths of two racehorses on its Saturday card prompted a series of meetings with interested parties, the racing card will continue as scheduled Sunday at Saratoga as planned, according to a release from NYRA's Vice President of Communications, Patrick McKenna. "Sunday's live racing program will proceed as scheduled following a series of productive meetings held with horsemen, jockeys, and veterinarians last night and throughout the morning," read an emailed statement. "Based on these conversations and ensuing dialogue, NYRA is confident in the safety and overall consistency of...

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Saffie Joseph Jr. Resumes Training at NYRA; Gets 23 Stalls at Saratoga

Saffie Joseph Jr. has nominated Violet Gibson (Ire) (Expert Eye {GB}) to the Wild Applause S. at Belmont Saturday, June 24, and has been given 23 stalls for the summer at Saratoga Race Course, according to an email from NYRA's Vice President of Communications, Patrick McKenna. "Following consistent and productive dialogue between Saffie Joseph Jr. and NYRA, Joseph Jr. will resume training and racing at NYRA tracks," McKenna wrote. "He has nominated Violet Gibson to the $150,000 Wild Applause and has been allotted 23 stalls for the 2023 summer meet...

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NYRA: If Necessary, We'd Prefer Belmont-at-Saratoga

With the construction of the new Belmont Park scheduled to begin after the spring 2024 meet, and plans for the 2025 event still uncertain, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) expressed their preference that a non-Belmont-Park Belmont Stakes be held at Saratoga rather than Aqueduct. "Should the construction of a new Belmont Park require the Belmont Stakes to be run at a different venue, then NYRA's preference would absolutely be to hold the event at Saratoga Racecourse," said NYRA's Director of Communications, Patrick McKenna, in a text to the TDN...

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Belmont Race Down to Two Horses After Lasix Mix-Up; Veterinarian Dismissed

The third race at Belmont Park Friday was left with just two horses entered to run after Lasix was not administered to four horses who were supposed to receive it. The veterinarian charged with administering the Lasix, Dr. Steven Lascher, "is no longer employed by NYRA," the company said. The race, a $100,000 allowance optional claimer at one mile had drawn six entries, but was left with just two: Pharoah's Heart (American Pharoah) and Honey Money (Central Banker) after the omission came to light. "Four horses entered to run in...

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Senate and Assembly One House Budgets Include Project to Build a New Belmont Park

Edited Press Release As the final weeks of budget negotiations begin, both the Senate and Assembly majorities included the project to build a new Belmont Park in their "One House" budget resolutions. The project was also included in Governor Kathy Hochul's Executive Budget Proposal last month. The Belmont modernization project's inclusion in the Senate and Assembly One House budget resolutions comes just one day after over 100 New Yorkers--including organized labor, family farmers, small business owners, backstretch workers, and more--joined legislators from both parties to rally in the State Capitol...

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From the TIF: Fixed-Odds in NY Could be Next

Fixed-odds betting options on horse racing could come to New York residents if a new bill introduced by Senator Joseph Addabbo, Chairman of the state Senate's Racing, gaming and Wagering Committee, is passed, according to a story from the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation. Senate Bill 2343 is similar to a measure introduced a year ago, also by Sen. Addabbo, but which was never advanced for a vote, TIF reports. "There should be no doubt amongst racing stakeholders that our existing pari-mutuel offerings are not enough in today's competitive market," said Thoroughbred...

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New Ruling on Changes Leaves NYRA, Trainers Puzzled

The notice began appearing on the overnight in early January. "By order of the stewards. Pursuant to NYSGC RULE 4033.8. Effective February 1st, only equipment specifically approved by the stewards shall be worn or carried by a jockey or a horse in a race. No equipment change (including shoes) will be allowed once the overnight is published." "There is no new rule," wrote Brad Maoine, Director of Communications for the New York State Gaming Commission in response to TDN's request for information about the new posting on the overnight. "The...

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Thoro-Graph Sues NYRA Over Disputed $333K in ADW Partnership

A business partnership between performance-figure provider Thoro-Graph, Inc., and the New York Racing Association (NYRA) that had been billed as a "win-win-win" deal for the two parties and advance-deposit wagering (ADW) customers when it first launched in 2017 has gone sour, resulting in a lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court. According to the civil complaint, Thoro-Graph is suing both NYRA and its NYRA Bets ADW platform over the alleged non-payment of at least $333,000 that Thoro-Graph believes is its rightful cut for incentivizing horseplayers to become NYRA Bets...

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Suspended NYRA Clocker Denied Stay, Claims Absence Will 'Harm' Horsemen

Richie Gazer, the longtime NYRA head clocker who is set to begin a 30-day suspension and pay a $2,500 fine for "altering a published work of a horse to make the horse eligible to race," has been denied a stay of his penalties by the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) while he seeks to elevate the case to the state court level. Gazer's attorney, Karen Murphy, confirmed the NYSGC's denial to TDN on Friday afternoon, shortly after the commission emailed her the decision stating the stay would not be...

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NYRA Considers Action Against Potts

After the news that trainer Wayne Potts had been suspended by the New Jersey Racing Commission for the first 30 days of the Monmouth Park meeting, the New York Racing Association is investigating the possibility of holding a hearing and potentially suspending the trainer as well, according to NYRA spokesman Patrick McKenna. The news was first reported by Dave Grenig of Daily Racing Form. In a TDN story Saturday, it was revealed that on Aug. 6, 2021, Potts allegedly told his assistant, Bonnie Lucas, not to permit one of his...

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Judge Dismisses Baffert's Lawsuit Against NYRA

A federal judge on Friday dismissed Bob Baffert's lawsuit against the New York Racing Association (NYRA) that had alleged the Hall of Fame trainer was injured by NYRA's initial attempt to bar him back in May and again in September when it summoned him to a hearing to adjudicate his "detrimental" conduct related to repeated equine drug positives. Chief among the reasons that United States District Court (Eastern District of New York) Carol Bagley Amon dismissed the amended complaint were that some of Baffert's claims were not yet "ripe" for...

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