NYRA Notice to Fans, Bettors
The New York Racing Association has posted a notice on its Web site informing racing fans and its NYRA Rewards members of the possible shutdown of racing at Aqueduct as of Wednesday, Feb. 13.

The notice reads:

"As you know NYRA is faced with the real possibility of having to suspend racing after the Wednesday, February 13th card is run.

"NYRA’s franchise to run Thoroughbred racing at Aqueduct, Saratoga and Belmont Park, which dates back to 1955, expired on December 31, 2007 without a franchise renewal in place.  Acting in good faith and responding to assurances that an agreement would soon be reached mirroring the September 4th Memorandum of Understanding already agreed to by NYRA, the Governor and the State Assembly, NYRA accepted a three-week temporary extension of its franchise until January 23rd and a second extension which will expire Wednesday.

"NYRA can no longer operate under temporary extensions and will conclude racing at Aqueduct on Wednesday unless NYRA receives a new long-term franchise.

"Without getting too deeply into the issues surrounding the franchise, NYRA is committed to securing an agreement that ensures the franchise is operated by people who have the best interests of Thoroughbred racing at heart and are dedicated to ensuring that the thoroughbred industry is a vital contributor to the State of New York.

"Absent an appropriate franchise agreement, on Thursday two-thirds of our employees will be laid-off, while the rest will take significant pay cuts with further cutbacks expected if the closure is prolonged.   Trainers have been told they may train their horses at our tracks for two weeks, but that NYRA will not be able to accommodate horses or backstretch workers past February 27th.

"Unfortunately, you will be affected as well, as your participation in the greatest game played outdoors also will be interrupted.  We will keep you informed about any significant developments in the franchise process and deeply hope that any interruption in racing is brief.  We understand your frustration and appreciate your patience."

"To Our NYRA Rewards members:

"NYRA has worked hard to get your patronage, so it’s doubly frustrating that we may not be able to serve you, at least temporarily.  Your account balance is in a secure escrowed account and is fully protected.

"In the event of a racing shutdown, which we hope will be brief, wagering will be suspended.  However, you will have access to your funds via the touch-tone phone system and by normal mail and fax procedures as follows:

"1) Phone 1-800-THE-NYRA - You may electronically transfer funds from your NYRA Rewards account to a personal checking account.  You must have at least one deposit made through the automated system to be eligible to withdraw funds using this option. If you believe you have qualified to use this service, call 1-800-THE-NYRA and select option 4, and then option 2. You will need to provide your account number, pin, and the amount of your withdrawal.

"2)  Mail - Send in a written request with your name, address, account number, amount of the withdrawal, and your signature. This can be mailed to NYRA, Telebet Account Manager, P.O. Box 90, Jamaica, NY 11417.

"3)  Fax - Fax in a written request with your name, address, account number, amount of the withdrawal, and your signature. This can be faxed to (718) 641-4669.

"NYRA appreciates your business, and thanks you for your patience and understanding regarding this situation. Please know that we are doing everything within our means to achieve a resolution to this issue."


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