10/02/2006 11:00PM

Dragone to direct N.Y. breeders' group

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Chris Dragone, the former general manager of the Maryland Jockey Club, has accepted a position as the executive director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc., the breeders group announced on Tuesday.

Dragone, the son of the late New York Racing Association chairman Allan Dragone, started in his new position on Monday, and has moved to Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where the breeders group is based. He replaces Dennis Brida, who accepted a position this summer with Empire Racing Associates, a group bidding for the franchise held by the New York Racing Association.

Dragone, 47, said his priorities in his new post will be to represent breeders' interests in the legislature and with racetracks. Breeders in New York are facing a multimillion-dollar windfall in the next several years based on anticipated payments from slot machines at NYRA's Aqueduct racetrack.

"We need to be involved at every level in those issues, and make sure breeders have a say in the decisions," Dragone said.