Karches Says NYRA Cooperating With Probe

Peter Karches, co-chairman of the board at the New York Racing Association, pleaded for compassion for the embattled track operator Saturday, three days after state and federal investigators barged into all three racetracks in a mysteriously conducted raid.

Karches reiterated NYRA's position that the raid was brought about by information turned over to the New York State Attorney General by a special oversight committee, of which Karches is a part.

"This was initiated by NYRA," he said. "NYRA did everything we were supposed to do. We won't tolerate any wrongdoing at NYRA. That's the way we are going to run our business from now on."

Karches said the new investigation has been unfairly linked to an investigation into unlawful practices by NYRA pari-mutuel clerks. That ultimately led to a deferred prosecution against the association.

"We've taken a pretty good pounding in the press over this," he said. "It's being likened to the felony conviction that was brought on. It's really nothing like that.

"We need a fair shake here. We've changed a lot of things. We need to be treated a little fairly. The treatment we got on this thing was really harsh."

Karches stopped short of confirming any details about the investigation but noted, "The assumption that jockeys' weights are involved in this investigation is a fair assumption."

He declined to comment when asked if NYRA attempted to handle the situation in-house before alerting the authorities.