Wednesday, I, Nicole, and a host of smart, dedicated, and passionate HW volunteers went to the NYS Capitol in Albany for a press conference and lobby day on Governor Hochul’s proposed $455M loan to the New York Racing Association to rebuild Belmont Park. (The text of my remarks at the PC are below; part of the media coverage here.) Immediately following the PC, Nicole led our activists over to the governor’s office to present a mock trophy to Ms. Hochul for intending to build what would become the deadliest racetrack in America. Then it was off to 72 key legislative offices for an intense, productive afternoon of lobbying. Thank you to all who made this event a great success. (Video of the day can be found on our social-media platforms.)



Thank you, and good morning. As you’ve already heard, extending more corporate welfare to the New York Racing Association makes absolutely no sense financially. Horseracing is an archaic, long-in-decline gambling business that is simply unable to compete with the lottery, casinos, and now, mobile sports betting. But beyond cheating schoolchildren out of tens of millions in desperately-needed education dollars each year, there is a real cost to all of this in lives – specifically, the lives of the so-called equine athletes this industry so deceptively celebrates.

Horseracing Wrongs is a national nonprofit known for, among other things, compiling and reporting unprecedented data on U.S. horseracing. In the most recent five-year period, 2018-2022, the combined death toll at Aqueduct and Belmont – which is precisely what the New Belmont would comprise – is 274, a figure that would rank first in the nation in horses killed. That is what Governor Hochul is proposing to build – the deadliest racetrack in America.

Viewed another way, if NYRA gets this money and builds this track, using the historical average of 61 dead annually at Aqueduct/Belmont, we can reasonably expect another 1,200 or so horses to perish at the New Belmont Park over the term of the loan. That’s another 1,200 beautiful, intelligent, sensitive creatures who will be killed, for nothing more than $2 bets, and by an industry that is being propped up by taxpayers. And this doesn’t even begin to account for the myriad more who will be raced in NY and who, once the industry is done exploiting them, will land in equine hell – the slaughterhouse. In short, we are asking the legislature to please reject this latest money grab by NYRA and by doing so, protect and save the lives of countless horses. Thank you.

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6 Comments

  1. All of your efforts to be the voice of the horses (exploited for racing, wagering, government subsidies and government-directed benefits including tax write-offs and tax exemptions) are appreciated much more than I can express in words! Keep on keeping on for the horses. Thanks to everyone who showed up in Albany, NY on behalf of the horses!
    Since the horse racing industry stakeholders DON’T VOLUNTARILY publicize the names and other pertinent information on the horses that they have injured, maimed and subsequently killed, it takes Horseracing Wrongs to do this great work.
    Otherwise, thousands of horses would continue to disappear in anonymity. Even though many horses still do disappear, this group helps to call attention to these dirty secrets of this industry.

  2. Patrick,

    Amazing… a tweet about you doing this was circulated by someone in our Horseracing group and made it all around DXE; you guys are allstars!

    Tweed Conrad Author/Analyst/Researcher conrad1@berkeley.edu 415-793-2929

  3. To Patrick, Nicole and all the brave opponents of this Ponzi scheme including the Coalition to End Subsidies – THANK YOU!
    In the midst of this cash grab for politicians, horse racing, and the rich are a bunch of innocent, defenseless, voiceless victims.
    This is going to be a DISASTER for the racehorses and for generations of children plus any small business who struggles to open their doors every day and who employs more people than horse racing ever has or ever will.
    There’s another trophy that Gov. Hochul deserves: IDIOT OF THE YEAR who has no problem handing out people’s hard earned money to 1% of the population which denies children a public education.
    How about “Corruption at its Best” since Gov. Hochul and her staff received about $180,000 in what seems to be bribes to put this through.
    What should really happen is to END ALL SUBSIDIES TO HORSE RACING then the next thing should be SHUT DOWN AQUEDUCT AND BELMONT.
    The proceeds from these properties should all be returned to the public coffers.
    It’s about time that horse racing GIVES BACK to taxpayers and casinos instead of taking and taking which will never end.
    Essentially, this will enslave generations of children who will be forced to pay for this as working adults when they probably won’t even attend any of these tracks.
    This is a gravy train for horse racing and it will be the poor racehorses who pay the price.
    If this goes through, the next step would be to vote Gov. Hochul out of office and then elect somebody in there who will commit to END this insanity.

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