Sunday, September 2, 2007

Belmont's future uncertain

To some it was the Taj Mahal of horse racing, a spectacular, bucolic oasis on the Nassau-Queens border where bettors could lose themselves in the glory and excitement of thoroughbreds galloping down the stretch.

But in recent years, Belmont Park Race Track has fallen onto hard times, as attendance dwindles, the grounds decay and politicians and residents grumble that the institution is out of touch with the surrounding community.

Betting on Belmont's future

Now all that is poised to change dramatically with a major redevelopment plan that could reshape Belmont, Aqueduct and Saratoga, New York's premier tracks, and spark a new race for millions of dollars in revenue from electronic gaming. Some officials want to bring in a form of casino-like gambling by installing thousands of video lottery terminals at Belmont and possibly the other two tracks. The proposal may include upscale restaurants and luxury hotels.

Gov. Eliot Spitzer is set to announce on Tuesday his recommendation for which of the four bidding organizations should be awarded the job. It's unclear if the lottery machines also would be installed at Aqueduct and Saratoga, or whether horse racing would continue at all three tracks.

Here are some of Eliot's options.

Photo from Newsday


Anonymous said...

Second rank politicians with one track minds and tired third rate ideas.

Convert the property into a passive park, for Christ sake!

Why do these morons feel the compelling urge to shoehorn more and more into a system that is already at capacity?

What does it take to stop the madness?

Anonymous said...

The track was named for August Belmont,
builder of the NYC subway.....
similarly in terrible shape when compared
to the world's other clean and efficiently run
public transportation systems .

Anonymous said...

I'm not a racing fan
so I couldn't care less if the track is closed.

Horse racing is the sport of touts and gamblers.....
not of kings.

I do, however, think that it should become parkland !

Why does every remaining placid piece of real estate
have to be drooled over by speculating developers?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, you and I might want it to be a park, but Mr. Belmont wanted it to be a racetrack. It was his land, he willed it with that caveat. His will trumps our desires.

Anonymous said...

no, i think eliot spitzer's campaign contributions trump our desires

Anonymous said...

Take away the horses
and put in horseless carriage racing (ha, ha, ha)......
and it's still Belmont...... PARK......
in accordance with Mr. Belmont's will provisions!