Edited press releaseJ. Patrick Barrett, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of Horse Racing in New York, will discuss the role and work of the committee over the past year when he delivers the keynote address Aug. 20 at The Jockey Club Round Table Conference in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.In addition, Charles Hayward, president and chief executive officer of the New York Racing Association, will give an update on activities at NYRA.The Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of Horse Racing was formed by Gov. George Pataki in early 2005 to ensure the future strength of the New York horse racing industry. Since its creation, the committee has conducted public hearings, established the franchise bid process, and issued a formal request for proposals for the exclusive right to operate and maintain Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga for a franchise period beginning on Jan. 1, 2008.The committee will recommend which bidder or bidders can reasonably best provide for the operation and maintenance of the racing facilities. NYRA currently holds the franchise.Once the committee's solicitation and evaluation process is completed, it will report its findings to the governor, the state legislature and the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, along with recommendations it deems necessary to implement its findings.The Round Table Conference will open with the traditional welcome by Ogden Mills Phipps, chairman of The Jockey Club. Jim Gagliano, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of The Jockey Club, will deliver a report on the activities of The Jockey Club.Dr. Scot Waterman, executive director of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, will talk about the progress the RMTC has made in the past year, and Rogers Beasley, director of racing for Keeneland, will do the same for the Equine Drug Research Institute, which was launched and announced at the 2005 Round Table Conference.The first half of the program will close with Frank Fabian, president of the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau, and Maurits Bruggink, executive director of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, discussing their organizations' respective initiatives in the area of wagering integrity.In a segment devoted to the installation of Polytrack, Nick Nicholson, president and CEO of Keeneland, and Bob Elliston, president and CEO of Turfway Park, will share their philosophy and experiences with the synthetic racing surface.The Round Table Conference will be held at the Gideon Putnam Hotel beginning at 10 a.m. EDT.
The New York Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming, and Wagering will hold a meeting Sept. 12 to review Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s anticipated recommendation regarding the franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga.