Legislation giving the New York Racing Association a 25-year extension of its exclusive Thoroughbred franchise was signed Feb. 19, Gov. Eliot Spitzer said. Meanwhile, the mayor of New York City reiterated that New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. can't continue under its current arrangement with the state.
- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman - The franchise extension is only the beginning. NYRA has many hurdles to return to profitability.
Relief, tempered with caution about the future, was the word among some of New York's owners and breeders the day after it was announced that the New York Racing Association struck a deal with the state to operate racing at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga for the next 25 years.
The New York Racing Association has unveiled its logo for the 140th running of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the 1 1/2-mile final leg of Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown.
- By Tom Precious
The New York Racing Association will run racing for the next 25 years under legislation approved February 13 that provides hundreds of millions of dollars in direct aid and loan forgiveness to NYRA and new oversight abilities by the state.
The New York Racing Association, in control of Thoroughbred racing in the state since 1955, will continue to run racing under a deal that came together Feb. 12 at the state Capitol in Albany, government and industry sources say.
Negotiators on February 11 failed again to broker a new Thoroughbred franchise deal in New York, raising the chances that Aqueduct could go dark later this week.
While unveiling what he called the framework of a Thoroughbred franchise agreement, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno blasted the New York Racing Association Feb. 7 for attempting to scare its workers and horsemen by threatening a shutdown Feb. 14.
A tentative deal is within reach to give the New York Racing Association a 25-year franchise to run Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga, legislative sources said Feb. 6, the same day NYRA indicated live racing at Aqueduct could end Feb. 14.
The New York Racing Association is working on putting a "contingency plan" in place should Aqueduct be forced to close Feb. 14, NYRA's president and chief executive Charles Hayward said Feb. 5.
Charles Wait, president of the Adirondack Trust Company in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., has resigned from his position on the New York Racing Association's board of trustees, citing his dissatisfaction with the position of Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno as the main reason for his decision.
With another deadline looming that could shut down racing at Aqueduct Feb. 14, rumors are circulating among horsemen that the New York Racing Association might not be willing to accept another temporary extension to keep racing going.
A Republican-dominated state panel overseeing Thoroughbred racing in New York has curbed the ability of its new chairman to broker deals with the New York Racing Association. The chairman was appointed by Democrat Gov. Eliot Spitzer. The move came the same day Spitzer released his 2008 state budget plan, which includes revenue from a proposed casino at Belmont Park.
Negotiators in New York have agreed to another temporary extension to keep racing operating while talks continue on a longer-term franchise deal to operate Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga, officials said Jan. 21.
A release from the New York Racing Association highlighted strong growth in key areas with the on-track handle increasing, but all-sources wagers and average starters per race reflected a slight dip when the organization reported its final 2007 figures Jan. 18.
Negotiators trying to reach a deal on a new Thoroughbred franchise in New York are still at an impasse, and now the talks have turned to approving another extension to permit the New York Racing Association to temporarily continue running racing.
The New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. will cease operations June 16 unless state officials provide regulatory relief before then, according to a Jan. 16 report to the corporation's board of directors.
The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association released a statement Jan. 10 urging the state to address issues of importance to the 6,000 members of its group as negotiations continue on the long-term extension of the New York Racing Association franchise.
As of Jan. 9, HRTV was still not permitted to show races from Aqueduct. The New York State Racing and Wagering Board continues to assess HRTV's application to show video from Aqueduct.
A group of New York jockeys is asking all parties in the ongoing negotiations for the New York racing franchise to come up with creative solutions to the problems facing the industry.
By Dan Liebman - During dinner with colleagues the night of Dec. 29, a member of the party returned to the table and mentioned how the New York Giants were leading the New England Patriots in the fourth quarter. A television in an adjacent room was showing the game on CBS.
Racing will continue to be run at Aqueduct on New Year's Day under an agreement reached Dec. 31, but government negotiators failed to resolve the permanent Thoroughbred franchise issue in New York.
Though state racing regulators failed to approve a temporary license for the New York Racing Association to continue racing in January while talks about a permanent franchise deal continue, NYRA struck a deal with the state to continue operating Aqueduct through Jan. 23.
- By Tom Precious
State racing regulators failed to approve a temporary license for the New York Racing Association to continue racing in January while talks about a permanent franchise deal continue.
The New York Racing Association has entered into a content exchange agreement with TrackNet Media Group for 2008, NYRA officials said Dec. 28. In addition, NYRA has new deals with TVG and Youbet.com for the upcoming year.
With talks going down to the wire, the New York Racing Association has reached an agreement with a state government oversight panel to at least continue running racing on a brief, temporary basis.
- By Claire Novak
BloodHorseNOW.com staff writer Claire Novak chronicles the racetrack career of 72-year-old Charlie Camac, who found his greatest success in the starters' stand by showing empathy and concern for the fields of Thoroughbreds he controlled.
A state government panel in charge of overseeing the New York Racing Association's finances--and the racing franchise as of Jan. 1, 2008--has a new chairman at a critical moment in the franchise negotiations.
The New York Racing Association can agree to new performance benchmarks for its operations as part of a franchise extension deal, but state officials must be more flexible to take into account future changes in the racing industry that could affect those new standards, according to the president of NYRA.
Negotiations for a new Thoroughbred franchise in New York have progressed in the past several days, but the Republican-led Senate has refused to budge so far on several key points that could risk a shut-down of racing in less than three weeks, according to a top adviser to New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
With closed-door talks failing to produce a deal on a new Thoroughbred franchise in New York, state officials have begun discussing getting the framework of a deal in place before a Dec. 31 deadline with passage of an agreement by the legislature in early January.
The New York Racing Association released its 2008 stakes schedule Dec. 12, following approval by NYRA's board of trustees at its monthly meeting. The New York State Racing and Wagering Board still must give its approval, a standard procedure.
With talks so far stalled on reaching a deal on a new Thoroughbred franchise holder, New York's top Republican in the Legislature blasted the operations of the New York Racing Association.
The New York Racing Association, whose annual deficits are "not reflective of operating in a sound and economical manner," underpaid the state of New York by $10.9 million in franchise fees from 2004 to 2005, according to a new audit by state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
- By Tom Precious
The New York Racing Association, whose annual deficits are ?not reflective of operating in a sound and economical manner,?? underpaid the state of New York by $10.9 million in franchise fees from 2004 to 2005, according to a new audit by state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
Keeneland Association and the New York Racing Association are collaborating on a project to preserve NYRA's film and video archives, which span more than 100 years of racing.
A federal bankruptcy court judge has paved the way for the New York Racing Association to emerge from Chapter 11 protection pending the outcome of a vote by creditors.
NYRA has submitted financial plans it anticipates a bankruptcy court will use to begin the process of ending its Chapter 11 protection.
Aqueduct's winterized inner track opens Nov. 28, but not without trepidation from horsemen concerning the future of New York Thoroughbred racing.
The New York Racing Association is proposing to keep 17.5 acres of land adjacent to Aqueduct after it gives up it land claims to the state of New York, according to amendments filed to its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.
With a franchise expiration date of Dec. 31 fast approaching, it still remains very unclear who will be in control of Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga in 2008 and beyond.
- By Tom Precious
Two days after a top lawmaker said he believes Gov. Eliot Spitzer has moved away from the idea of awarding the entire Thoroughbred racing franchise to the New York Racing Association, a plan is kicking around in Albany to split the three tracks among different entities.
The top Republican in the New York legislature, after months of pessimistic offerings, believes a deal on the state's Thoroughbred franchise could be struck before Thanksgiving if "productive" talks are successful.
The live racing card Nov. 3 at Aqueduct was cancelled after jockeys refused to ride prior to the first race, citing strong winds resulting from the remnants of Hurricane Noel.
The New York Racing Association can add the Internal Revenue Service to its list of obstacles, as the federal agency wants NYRA to pay it $1.6 billion to settle past tax bills.
New York Racing Association officials met with racing officials from Delaware Park, Monmouth Park, Meadowlands, and Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack Oct. 31 to discuss issues of mutual interest.
The Spitzer administration is signaling it could be game for the opening of a casino at Belmont Park, despite its recent public plan that removed the track from the running for a gambling facility.
The New York Racing Association has filed a Chapter 11 plan in which it plans to surrender a claim of ownership to Thoroughbred tracks in exchange for the right to run the facilities for the next 30 years.
A commitment to customer comfort and an increase in purses will greet fans when Aqueduct Racetrack opens the doors on its 45-day Fall Meet Oct. 24.
A new state corporation would be created to select new operators of New York's three-track Thoroughbred racing franchise under a plan by the Republican-led state Senate.
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