by Paul Post
New York Racing Association President Charlie Hayward said Monday that he expects the organization to be profitable for the first time in eight years and that it still has $27-million of the $30-million the state advanced it last September when NYRA received the 25-year franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course.
The state advanced the cash to keep NYRA solvent and provide money for improvements while it waits for expanded gaming to come online at Aqueduct and possibly Belmont. The state and NYRA have faced many hurdles in naming a gaming operator, but Hayward said that the state could decide on an operator by Labor Day.
“I think they’re going to get this done by the end of the Saratoga meet,” Hayward said during the first ever meeting of the Saratoga Race Course Local Advisory Board Monday in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Governor David Paterson had hoped to name a gaming operator by August 1, but a recent month-long power struggle in the Senate paralyzed state government and delayed the selection process.
Hayward said that NYRA made $3-million in June in part because of a successful Belmont Stakes (G1) day and what he called “streamlined operations.”