N.Y. Legislators Set Meeting on Franchise

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.

The meeting was announced Aug. 30 by the office of Sen. Bill Larkin Jr., who chairs the racing committee. The meeting, to be held in Albany at 11 a.m. EDT, will include “several widely recognized industry specialists,” according to a release.

The New York legislature will select the next entity to operate the franchise currently held by the New York Racing Association, which is one of the bidders. The franchise expires Dec. 31.

Spitzer said Aug. 25 he hoped to make his recommendation by a Sept. 4 deadline, but also noted that might not occur. The release from Larkin’s office, however, seems to indicate a recommendation is forthcoming.

“It is important that the bidder or consortium of bidders that is selected to operate the state racing franchise has the most far-sighted business plan that can successfully operate the race tracks at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga for the benefit of the state of New York’s taxpayers, the Thoroughbred racing industry, and for our dedicated racing fans in New York and throughout the world,” Larkin said in a statement. “Further, it is critical that the selected bidder should not have its integrity questioned.”

Along with NYRA, which is wrapping up a successful Saratoga meet, Capital Play, Empire Racing Associates, and Excelsior Racing Associates submitted bids for the franchise.



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