In an Aug. 23 presentation at the Saratoga Hotel and Conference Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Capital Play CEO Karl O’Farrell called Saratoga Race Course the “crown jewel of New York racing” and pledged his company’s commitment to maintaining the historical significance of the track should Capital Play gain the governor’s recommendation for the 20-year franchise to operate Belmont, Aqueduct, and Saratoga race courses.
“We see a need for enhancements, but we respect Saratoga’s rich history,” O’Farrell said. “Our plans for Saratoga include exclusive limited racing dates, a training center with an all-weather track, and a place on the National Historic Trust.”
O’Farrell is also the major shareholder of Capital Play Party Limited, a fully licensed international wagering company based in Australia that he founded in 2002. The Australian model has more than 50 simulcast contracts with race tracks across the United States and abroad.
According to Farrell, his New York company seeks to “bring back a passion” for racing in New York state.
“This is a crossroads, a time for change,” he said. “It’ll take us a three- to five-year time period to turn around racing in New York, but we can do it.”
Also present at the event were key Capital Play operating officers Paul Brettell, John Schreck, James Colquhoun, and Jon Ellwood. In addition, Victoria Racing Club Chairman Rodney Milton Fitzroy attended.
Capital Play’s partners include the Victoria Racing Club, casino operator Mohegan Sun, Extell Development Company, Plainfield Asset Management, and CIBC World Markets, a leading international financing company to the gaming and racino industries. The Capital Play proposal is also supported by the standardbred breeding operation Blue Chip Farms.