03/29/2013 11:19AM

New York funds will go to equine health efforts

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One percent of the purse subsidies flowing to horsemen at New York’s tracks from casinos attached to them will be redirected to the New York State Gaming Commission for equine health-related initiatives under a budget approved Thursday night by state lawmakers.

The provision is expected to raise $1.5 million for the initiatives, according to estimates prepared by staff of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The money will be used to fund recommendations in a report released last September that was prepared by a task force examining a spate of deaths at Aqueduct racetrack over its 2011-2012 winter meet.

The report recommended that state regulators enact several costly initiatives, including the establishment of a necropsy program for all horses who die at state tracks and improvements to drug testing.

Under the budget provision, any money that the New York State Gaming Commission does not spend on health and safety initiatives from the redirected funds will be remitted to purse accounts.