Tag Archives: new york racing association

Perp violently attacks security guard outside Aqueduct, steals his Lexus: NYPD


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYPD

Updated Thursday, July 30, 9:47 a.m.

A 66-year-old security guard was brutally assaulted in front of Aqueduct Racetrack over the weekend before his attacker stole his car, police said.

The incident happened about 7 p.m. on Saturday at the 110-00 Rockaway Blvd. venue in South Ozone Park.

According to authorities, the victim, a New York Racing Association peace officer, was just outside the clubhouse when the suspect — described as a black male, bald and about 6 feet tall — approached him and began physically assaulting him. During the attack, the victim dropped the keys to his 2008 Lexus, allowing the suspect to grab them. He then fled in the security guard’s vehicle, which was parked nearby.

EMS took the victim to an area hospital where he was treated for a broken nose and a broken eye socket.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.

Editor’s note: An earlier version, based on information provided by the NYPD, incorrectly identified the location as Resorts World New York City, which shares the Aqueduct address. We regret any confusion that may have resulted. 

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New York Racing Association’s fall schedule to include two ‘Super’ Saturdays


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo by Adam Coglianese

As the New York Racing Association (NYRA) spring season wraps up on July 19, the 38-day fall championship meet at Belmont Park is set to deliver two “Super” Saturdays, with 11 graded stakes worth $4.2 million on Sept. 26 and Oct. 3.

In all, 40 stakes worth $10.6 million will be offered during the meet, which runs from Sept. 11 through Nov. 1.

On Sept. 26, two “win and you’re in” races will be held: a Grade 1, $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic in the Turf division, and the Grade 1, $400,000 Vosburgh in the Sprint division. The winners of those races gain entrance into the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships to be held at Keeneland Race Course on Oct. 30-31.

Also on the card for the Sept. 26 races are the Grade 1, $400,000 Beldame for fillies and mares, the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap for filly and mare sprinters and the Grade 3, $200,000 Pilgrim for juveniles on the turf.

The lead up to the Breeders’ Cup will continue on Oct. 3, with the Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup which offers automatic entry and a fees-paid trip to the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races conclude with the Grade 1, $500,000 Flower Bowl Invitational (Filly & Mare Turf), the Grade 1, $500,000 Foxwoods Champagne (Juvenile), and the Grade 1, $400,000 Frizette (Juvenile Fillies). The Grade 2, $400,000 Kelso Handicap and the Grade 3, $500,000 Hill Prince for 3-year-olds on the turf complete the graded stakes on the card.

“With the Breeders’ Cup scheduled at the end of October, it afforded us the opportunity to present two blockbuster days of racing instead of one,” said Martin Panza, senior vice president of racing operations for the NYRA. “We anticipate both to be ‘must-see’ days at Belmont Park this fall.”

Racing fans can watch all the Breeders’ Cup action at Belmont Park and the simulcast center at Aqueduct Racetrack on Oct. 30 and 31, with live racing action at Belmont to include the Grade 3, $200,000 Turnback the Alarm for fillies and mares on the turf on Friday and the Grade 3, $200,000 Bold Ruler at seven furlongs on Saturday.

The meet will then conclude with the $100,000 Pumpkin Pie for filly and mare sprinters on Nov. 1.

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American Pharoah goes for the Triple Crown at Belmont Park tomorrow


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy New York Racing Association/Adam Coglianese

Having won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, American Pharoah already proved himself a champion thoroughbred; the only question left is whether he is a racing legend.

It will be answered tomorrow at Belmont Park, when American Pharoah goes to the post in the Belmont Stakes as the 14th horse since 1979 with a chance to sweep all three legs of the Triple Crown.

American Pharoah comes to Belmont on a six-race winning streak and off a Preakness win in which he went wire-to-wire amid a torrential rainstorm. Standing between him and the Triple Crown is a trip around the daunting 12-furlong circuit of Belmont’s main track and seven challengers, each of whom did not race in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

Pharoah’s jockey and trainer have been in this spot before: Victor Espinoza and Bob Baffert brought War Emblem to Belmont in 2012 with a chance at a Triple Crown, only to see the colt stumble badly out of the gate and finish eighth. Last year, Espinoza rode California Chrome to a Triple Crown bid, but the colt finished fourth in the Belmont. Baffert came up short in two previous Triple Crown chances with Silver Charm in 1997 and Real Quiet in 1998 — the latter of which lost the Belmont by a nose.

As with any Triple Crown berth, a huge crowd is expected at Belmont Park on June 6. The New York Racing Association (NYRA) capped the maximum attendance at 90,000; last year’s Belmont Stakes drew over 100,000 but the cap aims to make patrons more comfortable and reduce overcrowding issues.

No general admission tickets will be sold at the gate tomorrow; all tickets must be purchased in advance online.

Last year’s event also ended on a sour note off-track due to problems with departing trains at the Belmont Park Long Island Rail Road station that left some patrons waiting hours after the final race to leave. The LIRR and NYRA spent $5 million to build two new concrete platforms and make other improvements to the station to better accommodate the thousands expected to travel to and from Belmont by rail Saturday.

Additionally, the NYRA scheduled a post-race Goo Goo Dolls concert to ease the crowd’s departure and reduce train and road congestion.

The $1.5 million Belmont Stakes highlights a championship 13-race card that includes nine other stakes races including the $1.25 million Metropolitan Mile for older horses, the $1 million Manhattan Stakes for older turf horses and the $1 million Ogden Phipps Handicap for older fillies and mares. The first post is 11:30 a.m.; the Belmont Stakes will go off at 6:52 p.m.

The Belmont Stakes field. Graphic courtesy NYRA.com

The Belmont Stakes field. (Graphic courtesy NYRA.com)

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Pol: Racino money should go to Aqueduct


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Assemblymember Goldfeder

Following years of neglect and two recent crimes, one Queens pol wants to turn the Aqueduct Racetrack from a “national disgrace” back into a community gem.

“It’s unacceptable that this once national treasure has become an eyesore and serious danger to our families and neighbors in southern Queens,” said Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder.

Goldfeder  introduced new legislation Monday that would require an existing $30 million, generated by neighboring Resorts World Casino, go directly to Aqueduct.

Earlier this month, a mentally handicapped 40-year-old woman was found naked in the racetrack’s bathroom stall after being sexually abused by Frank Wood of Pennsylvania, according to District Attorney Richard Brown.

Additionally, just this week the 1985 Breeders’ Cup trophy and several electronic items were stolen from the site, police said.

Goldfeder said his proposal would bring in funds to significantly upgrade security as well as give current employees the tools needed to combat crime. It would also go toward general upgrades for the facility.

The $30 million from Resorts World accounts for 4 percent of the racino’s yearly revenue. It is allotted to capital expenditures for maintaining and upgrading New York Racing Association (NYRA) facilities.

Currently, NYRA uses the funds at the Saratoga and Belmont racing sites.

Eric Wing, a NYRA spokesperson, said revenue received is diverted to Saratoga, Belmont and Aqueduct depending on what is needed in capital improvements.

“In the past year, we’ve spent well over $5 million just on upgrades at Aqueduct,” Wing said. “Everyone who comes can easily get a firsthand look at the many improvements that have been made.”

He said NYRA has a “responsibility to all three of our racetracks” and upgrades will continue to be made at the borough’s track.

 

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Aqueduct Racetrack hosting street art show ‘Murals’


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

The grandstand walls at Aqueduct Racetrack will serve as canvasses for 11 contemporary urban artists who will transform the first floor of New York City’s only racetrack into a horse racing-themed street art show entitled “Aqueduct Murals,” opening to the public on Saturday, November 23.

“New York City is arguably the Mecca of street art and “Aqueduct Murals” integrates horse racing with a celebration of this vibrant, artistic community,” said Paul Kelleher of The New York Racing Association, Inc.’s (NYRA) Corporate Development department. “Aqueduct is New York City’s racetrack and this exhibit will be emblematic of the track’s wonderful, multi-faceted environment.”

The artists – from as far away as South Africa and as near as Brooklyn – will descend upon the racetrack for three nights prior to the show’s opening to pair the Big A’s walls with their unique visions of the “Sport of Kings.”

“Part of the beauty of street art is its impermanence,” said artist Joe Iurato, also the show’s curator. “A piece might last an hour or a few years, but every artist accepts that it won’t last forever. An exhibition like this, where works of this scale are housed indoors, isn’t something you see happen very often. In a sense, it preserves a small piece of New York culture that is otherwise constantly fleeting.”

One of the five local artists featured is 41-year-old Chris Stain, who teaches art at P.S. 49 in Middle Village.

“When I was approached to do the show, it immediately reminded me of my grandfather,” he said. “I always heard him talk about the track and the horses, so there’s some sentimental value there for me and it’s a way to explore that more. What sets street art apart from other forms is there are no rules to it. With other forms of art you have to follow a certain structure. With street art you can freestyle and there aren’t any limitations.”

The exhibit is free and open to the public from 11 a.m. daily, beginning November 23 at Aqueduct Racetrack, 110-00 Rockaway Boulevard, Ozone Park. For more information, call 718-641-4700 or go to www.aqueductmurals.com.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Police Bust 14 In Queens, Brooklyn Auto Theft Ring

If you own a specific type of luxury SUV, you could have been the target of a sophisticated car theft ring. The New York City Police Department and Attorney General’s office announced the arrest of 14 people Wednesday in a sting they’re calling Operation EZ Steal. Read more: [NY1]

 

A Whitestone tradition in danger of disappearing 

 

A Memorial Day tradition in Whitestone is in danger of disappearing. The Whitestone Veterans Memorial Day Parade has hit tough times, with organizers barely able to fund this year’s event. Some residents are worried it may become the last. Read more: [New York Daily News]

 

Board Threatens To Disband NYRA Amid Pay Out Scandal

 

State regulators are threatening to replace the New York Racing Association amid allegations the entity cheated bettors out of millions of dollars. The state’s Racing and Wagering Board is blasting the agency for holding back $8.5 million in winnings and is now considering reorganizing all of NYRA which operates the tracks at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga. Read more: [NY1]

 

JFK Airport Cargo Worker Accused Of Stealing From Care Packages Meant For Troops Overseas

 

A cargo worker at John F. Kennedy Airport is accused of stealing from care packages meant for U.S. troops serving overseas. Investigators said the theft was discovered when the suspect was caught wearing one of the stolen items. Read more: [1010WINS]

 

Like they never Met

Guess he’s still more of a Wally the Green Monster kinda guy. Mayor Bloomberg seemed to give Mr. Met the cold shoulder at City Hall yesterday as he announced that next year’s MLB All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field. Read more: [New York Post]

 

Queens College students plant one of the city’s biggest apple orchards on campus

 

Where most Queens College students saw an empty field, senior Grace Magee imagined a place where an undergrad could pluck a low-hanging piece of fruit on her way to class. She suggested to school administrators last month that the campus partner with an initiative that plants Newtown Pippin and other apple tree types in New York’s public spaces. Read more: [New York Daily News]

Board Threatens To Disband NYRA Amid Pay Out Scandal


| jlane@queenscourier.com

State regulators are threatening to replace the New York Racing Association amid allegations the entity cheated bettors out of millions of dollars.

The state’s Racing and Wagering Board is blasting the agency for holding back $8.5 million in winnings and is now considering reorganizing all of NYRA which operates the tracks at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga.

Investigators are also probing the deaths of 20 horses at Aqueduct in its race season over the winter.

In the wake of the scandal, the association already appointed a new president and secretary.

[NY1]