Excelsior Racing Associates lost some of its major backing April 1, with the announcement that the Steinbrenner family and a major New York City development firm will no longer be involved in the effort to obtain New York's lucrative Thoroughbred racing franchise.
The reported departure of Steve Swindal from the New York Yankees--and his ties to the Steinbrenner family as well--has thrown into doubt the future of Excelsior Racing Associates, the group trying to take over New York's Thoroughbred racetrack franchise. Excelsior Racing, however, said Swindal remains an "integral part" of the team.
Officials said New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer doesn't plan to reopen the bidding process for the state's Thoroughbred franchise--but he doesn't feel obligated to follow the recommendation of a screening panel, either.
New York Yankees partner Steve Swindal said his Excelsior Racing Associates group is already discussing future track management and laying plans to take over racing in New York on Jan. 1, 2008 when, he believes, Excelsior will begin operating Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks.
Principals in the ownership of and construction of a new stadium for the New York Yankees are similarly committed to strengthening the Thoroughbred racing and breeding industry in New York via the Excelsior Group, Yankees partner Steve Swindal said.