Friday, August 18, 2006

Race to the finish

Bill Nader must be getting his resume together now that the odds are rapidly stacking against the flailing New York Racing Association. And many of the soldiers are lining up behind the Magna cartel, including the patron queen of the Spa City, something that will make the state Legislature’s ultimate decision a bit more difficult in the end. And how can anyone say no to Mary Lou, especially after her recent brain freeze?

But with all the glitz and glitter now adorning the Empire Racing coalition, there’s a frightening undertone to the plan they would ultimately bring to the track; one that even Whitney herself appears to endorse. In two words, for profit.

Capitalism seems to do pretty good for individuals. But when it comes to the masses, there are some pretty heavy drawbacks. That’s precisely the problem with making New York’s tracks a for-profit venture. Ultimately, private management of the tracks will benefit the bottom line for a few select people, while the rest of the masses suffer with decisions made behind closed doors in a board room thousands of miles away.

This is not to say that NYRA isn’t a twisted organization; by the very nature of its operation, it’s a crew of crooks and thieves. They’re under the purview of the state, however, meaning they’re the public’s crooks and thieves and subject to the public will. Shuffle the track to Empire Racing would change this rather precipitously.

The bottom line is that NYRA needs tweaking; they need new blood and a new charge from the people. They don’t need to be dissolved to do this. On the other hand, throwing the gate wid open for the sharks of Empire Racing would be akin to giving the town drunk the keys to the liquor store.


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