04/25/2006 12:00AM

Brida joins Empire as V.P.


Dennis Brida, the executive director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc., has been hired as the vice president of racing operations and industry relations for Empire Racing Associates, the horsemen's group that intends to bid on the franchise held by the New York Racing Association, Empire announced on Tuesday.

Brida said Tuesday that he expects to serve as a liaison between elements of the New York racing industry and Empire Racing Associates as the group develops a business plan to bid on the NYRA franchise. Brida, 57, has been involved in the racing industry for 25 years as a trainer, a breeder, the president of the New York Thoroughbred Horse-men's Association, and the executive director of the breeders' group.

"I'm going to bring all those views to the effort, and I think, more than anything, I need to be the big ears of the project," Brida said. "I think everyone on the backside and the frontside needs to be able to speak up and speak up freely, and that might not be the case right now."

Brida said he expects to start in his new position in two weeks.

Empire was formed in March by a number of New York businessmen and horse owners. The group intends to raise $3 million from New York owners and trainers to lobby for racing-friendly changes to New York's racing law, and has a goal of raising $500 million to $1 billion for a bid on NYRA's franchise, which expires at the end of 2007.