What’s this obsession with the FHBPA?


According to Bernie world everything wrong with South Florida racing is all Sammy Gordon’s fault. What’s this obsession with the FHBPA?
Again, nothing of substance to help racing in south Florida move forward. Just the usual personal attacks. We would all love to see comments like this about CDI and Calder.
Not a word about how Steve Sexton nearly destroyed racing here in South Florida. Not a word about all the purse cuts and race days by CDI at both Calder and Churchill Downs.
Not a word about CDI and Calder holding the FHBPA hostage because they feel they are entitled to the December dates and how this hurts all of south Florida racing.
Tell us Bernie, we are all holding our breath, what is this great master plan of yours to fill racetrack seats, and if it is such a great plan, why hasn’t Calder instituted it first?
Management at Gulfstream Park lowered the take out on some bets. They now have a 10 cent rainbow pick “6” which, as of this writing has a $200,000 carryover, amazing for a dime bet. They now have a 50 cent pick five with record setting pools, and added a early pick 4, creating recording breaking handles. To me, it seems the only missing piece to the puzzle is a Thanksgiving opening day. One of your earlier posting was that you were thrilled about the prospect of Calder running head to head with Gulfstream Park on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Unless they plan on running quarter ,appaloosa,paint and mule races, explain exactly how this model will work when the same thing was tried by Hialeah years ago and that failed. Why did this fail? Blame it all on John Brunetti. Instead of working with the FHBPA, he tried to screwed everyone and in the end, he screwed himself costing him millions of dollars. To this day, this old bitter man just doesn’t get it. The same can be said for Calder. They are heading in the same direction. Instead of admitting that their business model isn’t helping racing in south Florida, they prefer to wage a losing battle, which will alienate horsemen throughout the country.

Reply to Buckyinkentucky
1-26-2011
(January 26, 2011) – Received another email several weeks back from Buckyinkentucky, commenting on previous blogs. Here it is:
“Bernie, you seem negative to everything, especially the Florida situation. You are an owner who races in Florida you are an HBPA member. Do you attend meetings? Do you pass along any positive input or any of your ideas? Surely a man who writes of such things as you do must have insider’s knowledge of how things work. Or are you just a “shill” of another? Get a grip Bernie!! Sam Gordon is a business man first and foremost, he cares about racing deeply and he is your elected leader. Either bring something to the table or walk away from it. Or in other words, Lead, follow or get out of the way. Now I don’t know that Kent Stirling fella, but he may just be another of those “pretty boys.” But, if Sam Gordon has him there it must be that he is pretty good at what he does. I can tell you he is well respected in the industry so if it’s good enough for the masses, it is good enough for me. Congratulations to Sam Gordon, Kent Stirling and the entire FHBPA for a job well done.”

Again, let’s address Bucky’s issues one at time, beginning with the first line – a comment which shows he read one or two blogs about Sammy Gordon, Kent Stirling and the FHBPA and little else. If he had read any prior blogs, or Track Times magazine when it was being published for 18 years, he would never ask if I pass along any positive input or any of my ideas. I have passed along so many of my ideas over the years and in this blog you couldn’t count them on both hands of every board member of the FHBPA.

I don’t know if Bucky will read this, but if he does, I ask him to go to the Blog Archives page and look for the blog of 8-18-2010, titled “Here’s the plan to fill racetrack seats again.” Scores of horse owners and breeders who have heard the plan, including several racetrack executives, think it is a natural. I know it is. Two weeks ago, while attending the races at Gulfstream, I pitched the idea to two of the track’s honchos, Tim Ritvo and Steve Calabro, and they both liked the idea. Tim promised me he would follow up and explore the plan further.
That plan in itself is more than the FHBPA has come up with to help an ailing sport in the past 10 years. All that organization has done is cross swords with track managements and anybody else they can find to do battle with, including their own members.

As for my belonging to the FHBPA or attending any meetings – sorry, I am not a member of the FHBPA and I never will be as long as Gordon and Stirling are running the show. I disagree with everything they stand for, which is, no transparency when it comes to informing their members of current important situations; blocking any attempts by members to get numbers, lists, or any other pertinent info regarding the organization; and questionable practices concerning voting for the FHBPA board.

Next, the comment that Sam Gordon is a business man first and foremost and cares about racing deeply and he is my elected leader. First of all, he is not MY elected leader. Second of all, Sam Gordon is a man whose deep love for racing is fueled only by his desire to be a president, and keep his job, and get good seats in Christine Lee’s and free lunches whereever he goes. As for his business prowess, in a recent deposition, under oath, he maintained he is (or was) president of Del Monte Foods (which we all know is one of the foremost companies in the world).

However, Del Monte Foods is based in California, and Sammy’s connection is or was with the Del Monte Banana Corp. of Miami, a job he got years ago because he is related to the late Izzy Hecht, who owned the company and also Flagler Kennel Club. There is zero connection between the two Del Monte companies. Telling people he is the president of Del Monte Foods is an outrageous lie. But that never stopped him or his organization.

Finally, I “follow” when that tactic is called for, and I certainly don’t get out of the way. I lead, when the time is right and the situation warrants it. Go back and read my blogs, there are probably 250 in the archives, especially the one I mentioned above. The only negative aspect in them is when I talk about those who are detrimental to the sport. You just might learn something.

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