01/01/2008 1:00AM

Account contracts await board approval


Though Aqueduct was open for business on New Year’s Day, fans who wished to wager on that track’s races via TVG, HRTV or Tracknet Media Group were shut out.

According to New York Racing Association officials, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board had not yet granted the necessary approvals for these contracts, which were finalized on Dec. 28. NYRA president Charlie Hayward said the board refused to address any of NYRA’s contracts before an agreement was reached that would allow NYRA to continue operating Aqueduct after Dec. 31, when its franchise was to expire. That agreement wasn’t finalized until mid-afternoon Monday, Hayward said.

NYRA on Monday was granted a temporary extension to continue racing at Aqueduct through Jan. 23.

The board on Monday did approve pre-existing simulcasting and wagering contracts for that extension period. NYRA did not have contracts with HRTV and Tracknet – which owns Xpressbet.com and Twinspires.com – and its contract with TVG had changed dramatically from 2007. In fact, according to Hayward, NYRA and TVG on Tuesday were still working on details on a new contract.

Hayward said he is hopeful “all those guys will be back in the pool on Thursday.”

Despite the fact it couldn’t accept wagers on Aqueduct’s races, HRTV opted to show the races. TVG chose not show Aqueduct’s races.

– David Grening