Officials in New York are considering pushing back the Sept. 29 deadline for the recommendation by a state panel on which entity should be awarded the franchise now held by the New York Racing Association.
The first bids for the franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga for 20 years beginning in 2008 were submitted Aug. 29 by the current operator and two groups that included developers and casino and racetrack companies allied with Thoroughbred owners and breeders.
Concerned Citizens for Saratoga Racing, a group that includes several prominent horsemen, has called on the state to make continuation of spring and fall training in Saratoga Springs, as well as submission of all expansion plans for Saratoga to local government for approval, required under the request for proposal to operate Saratoga, Aqueduct, and Belmont Park.
The chairman of the state panel overseeing the bidding process for New York's Thoroughbred racing franchise dismissed growing speculation that the complex task of awarding a new franchise holder won't begin in earnest until next year.
In keeping with the quest for what they call the best equine drug-testing program in the country, Kentucky racing commissioners on Wednesday officially opened the bidding for the state's drug-testing contract. The commission unanimously approved the request for proposal, a thick document that was four months in the making.
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