Aqueduct to add daily simulcasts

December 18, 1993|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

A specially convened session of the New York General Assembly passed a bill yesterday permitting increased simulcasting of out-of-state races at Aqueduct.

Aqueduct will cut two live races from its daily card, running seven to nine live races and adding five simulcasts from the Gulfstream Park meet, which begins in Hallandale, Fla., on Jan. 4.

It is New York Racing Association's first venture into simulcasting, although they have offered infrequent simulcasts of special out-of-state stakes.

"It's just increasingly difficult to fill the live races," said Bruce Lombardi, NYRA's racing secretary. "Stall applications are down, partly because of the horse shortage, partly because it's expensive to stable in New York."

The Florida simulcasts also will help NYRA compete with The Meadowlands, which offers an extensive simulcast program.

Despite the cut in live races, Maryland jockeys Edgar Prado and Mike Luzzi are planning a move to New York.

Luzzi won with his first mount at Aqueduct yesterday, taking the $40,000 feature with Tell Margie.

El Bakan's Maryland return

El Bakan, the "Panamanian wonder horse" that finished third this year in the Preakness, is expected to arrive at Laurel Race Course tomorrow for a winter campaign.

Owner Robert Perez is sending the 3-year-old colt to join his Maryland division, trained by Zeke Rolon.

Perez bought the horse early this year with the express purpose of running him in the Triple Crown after he had won seven straight races in Panama.

El Bakan finished 18th in the Kentucky Derby, third in the Preakness and then was scratched from the Belmont Stakes because of an injury.

Lately, the horse has fallen on hard times, finishing off the board in three Grade I races and the Blue Swords Stakes at Aqueduct on Dec. 9.

Purse overpayment decreases

Lenny Hale, vice president of racing at Laurel/Pimlico, said the horsemen's purse account, which had shown a $2.5 million )) overpayment last month, has now dropped to $2.1 million.

"It has decreased about $400,000 in the last five weeks," Hale said. Overpayment occurs when the track pays out more in purses than what it has allocated to the account from betting revenues.

Hale said elimination of the rich turf allowance division in the winter months is helping to bring down the overpayments.

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