In an Aug. 31 letter to FNYR president and chief executive officer Tim Smith, Knowlton wrote, in part: "In view of my appointment on Aug. 26 as a member of the Committee on the Future of Racing by Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, it is necessary for me to submit my resignation as a member of the board of directors of Friends of New York Racing effective immediately."While serving on the board for only a few months, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and commend you for the leadership you have provided in taking on the challenge of reforming horseracing in New York state."
"We fully understand Jack's need to resign, however, he will be missed," Smith said in a statement. "His industry experience, public policy background, common sense, and selfless dedication to the best interests of New York horseracing made him an exemplary director. Everyone who cares about the future of the game in New York supports him in his new, important role and is glad Sen. Bruno picked him as one of his appointees."
Knowlton, who lives in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., is a horse owner and champion of the horseracing industry in New York. Sackatoga Stable owns 2003 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Funny Cide. The 5-year-old gelding is in training for a future start at the Belmont Park fall meet.
The Committee for the Future of Racing was created by the New York legislature. It is responsible for drafting a request for proposal (RFP) to operate the New York Racing Association franchise and issuing recommendations to Gov. George Pataki, the legislature, and the New York State Racing and Wagering Board on any bids that are received.
The committee is comprised of nine members, three each appointed by Pataki, Bruno, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.