by Karen M. Johnson
New York Racing Association officials met with racing officials from Delaware Park, Monmouth Park, Meadowlands, and Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack Oct. 31 to discuss issues of mutual interest.
NYRA executive vice president and chief operating officer Hal Handel was behind the idea to have the meeting, according to Charles Hayward, NYRA's president and chief executive officer. The two-hour session was held at Aqueduct.
Among the topics discussed were stakes schedules, simulcasting, wagering, medication regulations, and promotional concepts. Hayward said an effort between NYRA and the other tracks to better coordinate their stakes schedules for the benefit of the tracks and horsemen was among the issues explored.
“We talked about the methodology of staying off of each others’ races,” Hayward said. “The racing secretaries will meet again before Thanksgiving to work on this.”
Hayward reported a discussion was held about creating multiple-leg wagers among the tracks, which would feature top races from each of the venues. Another explored concept that would tie the tracks together is a state-bred racing competition.
The issue of regulating the use of steroids was addressed. The New York State Racing and Wagering Board is soliciting public opinion regarding possible new restrictions for the use of anabolic steroids. Hayward said adoption of such restrictions would also have a bearing on other tracks in the region.
Currently the Mid-Atlantic region racetracks are working together to institute regulations for steroid use throughout the region.
Joining Hayward and Handel from NYRA was P.J. Campo Jr., racing secretary at Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga. Others in attendance were Dennis Dowd, senior executive vice president of racing for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority; Mike Dempsey, racing secretary at NJSEA tracks; Joe Wilson, COO at Philadelphia Park; Sal Sinatra, director of racing at Philly Park; and Bill Fasy, COO at Delaware Park.
Hayward said another meeting among those who met Oct. 31 would take place around Thanksgiving.