Former DRF Executive Could Land Top NYRA Job

The New York Racing Association is close to naming a new president, and sources say Charles Hayward, the former chief executive officer of the Daily Racing Form, is in line to take over at a crucial time in the racing entity's history.

Hayward is believed to be the sole candidate at this point, and officials are conducting a background check before signing off on an employment contract, sources said. Hayward would replace Terry Meyocks, who resigned earlier this year after being held out for criticism by state officials for overseeing a racing empire mired with legal and financial troubles.

NYRA Chairman Barry Schwartz, who last week announced he was leaving his job at the end of the year, declined comment on Hayward. "We're very close to reaching an agreement for a candidate for president,'' he said.

The NYRA board, meanwhile, is scheduled to meet Wednesday. It was unclear whether Hayward, who once served on the board, would be formally hired during the meeting or at some later date.

The NYRA board is also expected to begin in earnest the process for replacing Schwartz. A nominating committee will run the process. Though some racing insiders expected a replacement to be announced at the board's October meeting, others say it could be until the board's December meeting before a new chairman is named.

Schwartz, citing the time commitments of the NYRA chairman's job, said it is time to move on after four years in the post.

Hayward was head of the Daily Racing Form until it was sold earlier this year to the Wicks Group of Companies LLC. He could not be reached for comment.