SBD/8/Events Attractions

NEAR-RECORD CROWDS SEES ALL THAT HORSE RACING HAS TO OFFER

          Saturday's Belmont Stakes, in which Real Quiet lost his
     bid for the Triple Crown by a nose to Victory Gallop, drew
     80,162 fans to Belmont, the second-largest crowd ever to
     witness the race (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/7).  In NJ, Mike
     Farrell wrote that "betting records fell left and right" on
     Saturday, as total wagering, including all simulcast and OTB
     betting, "topped" $55.6M.  That figure "blew away" the
     previous record of $51.3M, set in '97 (Bergen RECORD, 6/7).
          THE RACE IS THE THING: Following Saturday's Triple
     Crown finale, Joseph Durso of the N.Y. TIMES writes under
     the header, "Run The Horses And Hold The Marketing."  Durso:
     "For the second year in a row, the business of horse racing
     was saved by, of all things, a horse and a race.  Not by a
     marketing plan or an advertising campaign."  More Durso, on
     the NTRA's new "Go Baby Go!" campaign, which focuses on
     wagering: "Why make your pitch to common gamblers when
     you're trying to save your sport from extinction?" (N.Y.
     TIMES, 6/8).  In NJ, Tom Luicci: "Forget all the recent
     attempts to inject life into the sagging sport, well-
     intentioned as most of them have been.  Nothing can do for
     the game what [Saturday] afternoon at Belmont Park did"
     (STAR LEDGER, 6/7).  ESPN's Mike Lupica called the race "one
     of the great Saturdays the sport has ever had" (ESPN, 6/7).
          NOTES: During an inning break at Saturday's Marlins-
     Yankees game, the Diamondvision at Yankee Stadium showed the
     race in its entirety.  Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner:
     "It's the Belmont, it's part of New York. ... I thought the
     fans would like to see it" (N.Y. POST, 6/7)....Visa USA
     President Carl Pascarella, on the company's $5M Triple Crown
     bonus, which Real Quiet missed: "We wanted nothing more than
     to (write) that $5-million check" (DETROIT NEWS, 6/7)....
     "[C]ontroversial" Psychic Friends Network CEO Michael Lasky
     was forced to scratch his horse, Hot Wells, from Saturday's
     race after he "was told he would not be granted a racing
     license" on Friday.  Lasky said that he "may take legal
     action" against the NY State Racing and Wagering Board
     (NYSRWB) and "perhaps" N.Y. Post columnist Phil Mushnick,
     who "criticized" the industry in his column Friday for
     allowing Lasky to participate in the race (DAILY NEWS, 6/6).

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