Tony Allevato

Did Racing Pick Up New Customers in 2020?

The sport's major ADWs enjoyed explosive growth in 2020 and, in some respects, none of this comes as a complete surprise. In a year where everything, not just in racing but in society as a whole, was turned upside down by the pandemic, ADWs were oftentimes the only way a horseplayer had to get a bet down. Handle, no doubt, flowed during the year from bricks and mortar facilities to the ADWs. But was some of the growth a product of racing attracting new customers while it was up and...

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NYRA's Expanded TV Coverage Seen as Reason for Healthy Handle Numbers

Because of the coronavirus and the resulting cancellations, comparing 2020 handle numbers to 2019 numbers is an inexact science. But something clearly has gone right for NYRA this year. Entering December, the daily average all-sources handle number for NYRA races was $11,829,355, a 19.6% increase from this time last year when an average of $9,894,226 had been pushed through the windows. For the year overall, NYRA's all-sources handle is down 14.2%, a modest decrease when considering that the amount of races offered has dropped by 25.1%. That the increase in...

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Spanish Language Announcer Sues NYRA, Says He Was Paid Less than Whites Doing Same Job

Luis Grandison, a Black Latino who is a native of Panama and who served as the New York Racing Association's Spanish language race caller from 2014 through March 2020, has sued NYRA claiming he was discriminated against because he was paid less than white Americans who call the races in English. According to a suit filed Tuesday in Brooklyn Federal Court, Grandison was paid $60,000 a year. The suit claims that long-time NYRA announcer Tom Durkin earned $440,000 a year before retiring in 2014 and that his replacement, Larry Collmus,...

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Runhappy Travers Returns to FOX Sports

For the second consecutive year, the $1-million GI Runhappy Travers S. at Saratoga will be televised live on the FOX Sports broadcast network as part of a 1 1/2-hour telecast from 5:00-6:30 p.m. ET Saturday. Post time for the 151st running of the Runhappy Travers, featuring a showdown between GI Belmont S. winner Tiz the Law (Constitution) and the unbeaten Bob Baffert-trained Uncle Chuck (Uncle Mo), is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. ET. An expanded Runhappy Travers Day edition of Saratoga Live, presented by America's Best Racing, Runhappy and Claiborne Farm,...

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Handle Off to Strong Start at Spa with Help of Increased TV Exposure

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - At the very bottom on the left-hand side of the daily recap sheet you can find the answer to why the New York Racing Association opted to run at Saratoga this fan-free summer instead of staying downstate and operating at Belmont Park: All Sources Handle. Though they were acutely aware that New York State's COVID-19 protocols prevented spectators from attending professional sporting events, NYRA officials projected that handle on Saratoga racing would be stronger than on 40 days at Belmont. The early returns are showing they...

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TVG Will Not Televise NYRA Races

While the Thoroughbred industry is set to welcome back racing at Belmont Park this Wednesday, the races will not be shown on TVG. Reporting for HorseRacingNation, Ron Flatter said that NYRA races will appear only on FOX Sports, MSG+ and across advance-deposit wagering platforms, including TVG. "FOX Sports has significantly increased its commitment to horse racing every year since our partnership began in 2016," said Tony Allevato, Chief Revenue Officer for NYRA and the president of the company's advance-deposit wagering platform NYRA Bets. "This year, FOX Sports presented NYRA with...

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NYRA Offers Expanded Weekend TV Coverage

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will offer an expanded weekend broadcast schedule for America's Day at the Races, presented by Runhappy, Claiborne Farm and America's Best Racing. Produced by NYRA in partnership with FOX Sports, America's Day at the Races will air Friday from 1:30-3:00 p.m. EST on FS2 and 3:00-6:30 p.m. EST on FS1. Saturday and Sunday's coverage will air on FS1 from 1:30-6:30 p.m. The 15-hours of weekend coverage will include stakes action and live racing from Aqueduct Racetrack, Oaklawn Park, and Tampa Bay Downs. "During...

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Nerud, Suburban Moved to July 4, NBC

The GII John A. Nerud S., a 'Win and You're In' event for the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint, and the 10-furlong GII Suburban H. will be moved up one week to the July 4 card at Belmont Park and will be televised on NBC. "By moving these races up one week, we'll be able to showcase the Stars and Stripes Racing Festival to a national audience on NBC," said Tony Allevato, NYRA CRO and President of NYRA Bets. The July 4 card will also include the Manila S., a one-mile...

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NYRA to Launch Empire 6

The Empire 6, a jackpot-style multi-race wager replacing the traditional Pick 6, will be launched at Saratoga by The New York Racing Association, Inc. Featuring a $0.20 bet minimum and 20% takeout, the Empire 6 will be added to the wagering menu beginning Wednesday, Aug. 7 and continue through the remainder of the 2019 meet at the Spa. If one unique ticket exists, then 100% of the net pool, plus the jackpot carryover if applicable, will be paid to the winner. If there is no unique wager selecting the first-place...

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