Tag Archives: NYRA

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’


| 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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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]