New York Racing

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Commentary: Charming Trip

Commentary: Charming Trip

By Steve Haskin - When the doors of the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., open for Silver Charm Aug. 6, there will be no one blocking his way, and he will take his rightful place among the greats of the sport.

New York Committee Meets at Racing Hall

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Two months after conducting initial hearings in Albany and New York City, the Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of Racing was back in public session Thursday at a daylong program held at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs.

NYRA Chief Pushes Lawmakers for Lower Takeout

While pushing to take over the New York City Off Track Betting Corp., Barry Schwartz has been busily pressing top state lawmakers at the Capitol in Albany to back him on what has become his other chief lobbying mission this year: lowering the takeout at New York racetracks.

Pro-VLT Forces Step Up Efforts in New York

Promoters pushing to legalize video gambling at racetracks in New York have stepped up their efforts in recent weeks to make a last-gasp push to get the controversial devices turned on at Thoroughbred and harness tracks. The quiet but intense effort, first reported by The Buffalo News, has been spurred by a new plan to use the state Lottery Division as a possible way to allay concerns about the constitutionality of the machines.

Momentum Building to License OTB-Owned Track

Officials in New York are rushing to get legislation approved to re-open one of the nation's oldest, nighttime harness tracks, Batavia Downs, in time for racing to begin this summer for the first time in three years. Batavia Downs, located outside Buffalo, became the state's first -- and so far only -- racetrack purchased by an off-track betting corporation, which in New York are publicly owned entities. Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. purchased the ailing track in 1998 for $2.5 million, but was rebuked from opening it for racing when other tracks, fearing competition from a government- owned facility, said the state could not budge from New York law that bars OTBs from operating racetracks.

New York Horse Interests Looking at VLTs For Tracks

An unusual meeting of the usually fractious factions in New York's racing industry quietly met near the state Capitol recently to explore whether a renewed effort should commence to bring video lottery terminals to racetracks. The session, called by a Standardbred breeders group, led to the creation of a committee of the often-competing interests to determine if they can get together to end years of stalemate over the VLT issue.

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