Sunday, April 14, 2013

Open Letter to NYRA's Dr. David Skorton

Dear Dr. Skorton,
You and I don’t know each other, but we have at least one thing in common. We are both willing to state in public that we “do not know much about horseracing.” Since I go to the races all the time, and you are nominally in charge of reforming horse racing in New York, I don’t know which of us should be more embarrassed, but I will leave that to others to figure out.

Last Saturday I attended the races at Aqueduct Racetrack on the occasion of the Wood Memorial. I have been coming down from Boston for the Wood for the past several years. I enjoyed the sunshine and I actually made money at the mutuel windows, so this is not a letter from a sore headed loser.

You had a big crowd (I actually enjoyed mingling with one of the broadest cross-sections of humanity available to the unincarcerated), and the races were almost all well run. The owners of Freedom’s Child in the Wood have no doubt already been in touch. 

But given that The New York Daily News reported that “Resorts World Casino brought in a record $71.2 million in revenue during March,” I have to ask:

Would it kill you to:
Get the City of New York to put in a left turn arrow for patrons coming off the Van Wyck and down Rockaway Boulevard?

Clean the restrooms? The ones in the casino are immaculate. Yours are embarrassing.

Provide more than one place for a patron to get a hot dog and a beer? The food court in the casino is a long way from the mutuel clerks.

Wipe the guano off the few remaining grandstand seats?

Let people leaving the track know that they don’t have to pay the $5.00 in the machine at the garage when they leave? There are enough ways to feel like a chump at the races. Paying unenforced parking fees should not be a patron’s last memory of the day.

See you at Belmont!

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