Monday, September 15, 2008
New NYRA Assumes 25-Year Franchise

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced today that it has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and has filed Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State of New York effectively creating the new New York Racing Association as of 12:00 Noon, Friday, September 12. The new NYRA was selected by the State to continue operating racing pursuant to State legislation enacted on February 13, 2008 which awarded NYRA a 25-year franchise to run Saratoga Race Course, Belmont Park, and Aqueduct Racetrack, which NYRA has operated since 1955.

“Today’s birth of the newly constituted, not-for-profit NYRA is the culmination of complex negotiations that will secure and enhance the interests of Thoroughbred racing in New York for the next 25 years,” said NYRA Chairman C. Steven Duncker. “We appreciate the dedication and perseverance of Governor Paterson and his staff and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Majority Leader Dean Skelos and their staffs who have invested long hours collaborating with our franchise working group of trustees which included Michael DelGiudice, James Heffernan, and Stuart Subotnick, along with senior management. I also want to thank our outgoing Board of Trustees for their steadfast resolve since we set out to retain the franchise in 2005. We all share in NYRA’s success and reaffirm our commitment to our stakeholders and fans to produce the highest quality Thoroughbred racing in North America.”

NYRA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on November 2, 2006. Previously, Judge James M. Peck of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved NYRA’s reorganization plan. Yesterday, Judge Peck reaffirmed such decision, approved the documentation necessary for the transaction and authorized and directed the consummation of the Plan and its transaction.

The February 13 legislation also creates a new NYRA Board of Trustees comprised of 14 members appointed by NYRA and 11 State-appointed members. The composition of the new NYRA Board of Trustees will be announced next week.

“I extend enormous thanks to all of our NYRA employees and the owners, trainers, jockeys, and backstretch workers who have diligently produced the best racing in the country throughout this difficult and protracted process,” said NYRA President and CEO Charles E. Hayward. “With the franchise process behind us, NYRA can now resume its leadership role and focus directly on the many issues that face the Thoroughbred racing and breeding industry nationwide.”