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Capital Region Lawmakers Ask For NYRA Privatization

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The New York Racing Association (NYRA) hopes to continue to operate the Saratoga, Belmont and Aqueduct tracks.

A delegation of Capital Region lawmakers has delivered a letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo urging that the New York Racing Association, the organization that oversees thoroughbred racing in the state,  be transitioned back to a private, non-profit racing entity.

“Many of our rural and urban residents’ livelihoods are tied to the success of the racing industry through their hospitality, tourism, and agricultural ventures, and NYRA must be able to make long-term decisions that will ensure a positive future for horse racing in our area," said Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, a Democrat who represents Saratoga and Washington Counties.

Language in this year's budget pushed back NYRA's reprivatization into 2016.

The letter is also signed by Democrat John McDonald of Cohoes, Democrat Angelo Santabarbara of Rotterdam, Democrat Pat Fahy of Albany, Republican Dan Stec of Queensbury, and Republican Jim Tedisco of Glenville. Senators signing the letter include Republican Hugh Farley of Schenectady, Republican Kathy Marchione of Halfmoon, Republican Betty Little of Queensbury, Republcian George Amedore of Rotterdam, and Democrat Neil Breslin of Delmar.

Also signing are Chair of the Assembly Committee on Racing and Wagering, J. Gary Pretlow and Chair of the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering, John Bonacic.

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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