A Message From Joe Faraldo
Copyright 2010 Standardbred Owners Association of New York
Standardbred Owners Association
of New York
Our organization was founded in 1954, and since that time we have diligently represented the Owners, Trainers, and Drivers competing at Yonkers Raceway.
2010 was a terrific year for harness racing at the Hilltop Oval, where purses soared to record levels and our handle exceeded 2009 by a whopping $41 million. This year should prove to be even more exciting, as we re-introduce 1 1/16 mile racing and television programming.
The SOA meets bi-monthly throughout the year with Senior Management of Yonkers to be certain that matters of vital interest to our horsemen are addressed in a timely manner. Typical agenda items include purse structure, race conditions, safety, capital improvements, paddock maintenance, advance deposit wagering, simulcasting, live video streaming and virtually all issues affecting racing and wagering.
We continue to interact with regulatory authorities by recommending rule changes and modifications; supporting those changes which we believe will be beneficial to our sport and opposing others that we believe are detrimental, ill conceived, and worse, ineffective. This year, a significant amount of our attention will again be devoted to Workers Compensation Reform.
Last year, we were vehemently opposed to the proposed bailout of NYC OTB; an entity that owed our purse account alone over $11 million in unpaid revenue. Now, as a result of its demise, we are presented with a tremendous opportunity to take charge of our own destiny.
Through our efforts, it was the SOA of NY that helped procure the VLT Legalization that has created the harness racing renaissance that we continue to experience here at Yonkers. As a result of our lobbying efforts, we are protected in the legislation with guaranteed percentages and minimum race dates. Still, we remain ever vigilant in ensuring that certain laws beneficial to our industry remain unchanged, while striving for improvements through SOA-drafted legislative proposals.
The SOA founded the SOA of NY PAC Inc., a political action committee whose major objective is to help political candidates that know, understand and support harness racing. It was also the SOA of NY that founded the Empire State Harness Horsemen s Alliance. Comprised of five of this state s horsemen s organizations, its purpose is to share information, address issues common to all and take advantage of economies of scale where possible.
Because of our strong horsemen membership, the future looks even brighter for racing at Yonkers in the upcoming year. As the year progresses, we anticipate higher purses, increased attendance and handle, as well as great racing. As always, we both encourage and welcome your comments and questions. Please feel free to use the "Ask a Question" form on the Contact Us page or call us directly. On behalf of all the SOA directors and staff, I wish you all the success possible in both racing and in life.