In a few weeks, we will publish a statement regarding three rules for the 2024 race meeting.
I know that you are aware of the seriousness that the horse racing industry is facing regarding injuries on the track – both thoroughbreds and standardbreds. Abuse of racehorses, intentional or not, is without a doubt the most urgent issue that the sport has faced in its entire history. Buffalo Raceway, operating on the grounds of an agriculture center, is and has been particularly concerned. This resulted in the administration of a Buffalo Raceway “whipping rule” that is considerably more urgent in its nature than the current racing commission rule in New York State. We are going to amend this rule again. Starting in March 2024, it will without a doubt become the most seriously administered rule in the country. All penalties given to you in 2023 will be carried over in 2024. That is to say that if you received one (1) whipping violation in 2023, the next one you receive in 2024 will be your second. If you received two (2) whipping violations in 2023, the next one you receive in 2024 will be your third. If you feel you will be at risk, please think about whether you can compete here. There will be no warnings, and obviously, no appeals to the track.
The second rule addition, which has been already discussed and agreed upon with the horsemen’s association, involves daily ship-ins. The exact details will also be given to you in a few weeks, but we will now require a trainer who ships to Buffalo Raceway to clean their stalls upon exiting the facility. This year, it was not unusual to have over 50 ship-ins per race day. It has gotten too onerous for the track to keep up. The purses are very competitive, and we need this cooperation. We will continue to provide the shavings.
The third, which will remain as in the past is the Competition Rule. We will not entertain any discussion on this matter, regardless of the policies employed at any other racetrack.
On another matter, we are very excited about the racetrack improvement project commencing in two weeks costing in excess of a quarter million dollars to be paid by the racetrack and horsemen’s association. We have employed the services of two very qualified consultants, Gary Wolff from the Meadowlands, and Mike Torcello, formerly from Harrah’s, to work with Buffalo Raceway’s track manager, Dave Dylo. We will provide more details on this later.