By R.J. DeLuke
Matt Jones, chairman of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, mentioned at the Chamber’s breakfast meeting in July at Longfellows Hotel, Restaurant and Conference Center, that pushing the plan to privatize the New York Racing Association (NYRA) “was not fully successful, but that effort will continue.”
It was one of few mentions of the situation regarding NYRA, which controls the three major thoroughbred horse racing tracks in the state–Saratoga Race Course, Belmont Park and Aqueduct.
The board was to revert to private, nonprofit status in 2015 and again this year. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not liked the proposed bills and has proposed capping the amount of money that would go to track operations.
That spawned the creation of Concerned Citizens for Saratoga Racing which is lobbying, with the support of the Chamber, to push re-privatization while ensuring steady funding.
A new agreement extended state control until October 2017.
Jones remarks were made prior to the keynote address by Chris Kay, CEO of NYRA, who spoke mainly about improvements made for the 2016 season, which is in progress, having begun on July 22.