09/25/2006 12:00AM

N.Y. deadline pushed back


The New York committee evaluating proposals to operate the racing and casino franchise held by the New York Racing Association has pushed back the date by which it will release its recommendations, the committee announced late Friday.

Patrick Barrett, the chairman of the committee, said in a statement that the committee would not be able to meet its Sept. 29 deadline, and that a new date to release its recommendations "is expected to be determined in the very near future."

The nine-member committee, known as the Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of Racing, is evaluating bids submitted by four groups for a 20-year right to operate Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Saratoga Racecourse, and a casino at Aqueduct. Bids were accepted on Aug. 29.

"The committee had always anticipated that an adjustment may be necessary and therefore included language in the [request for proposals] specifically reserving the right to change dates at their sole discretion," said Barrett in Friday's statement. "Each member of the committee remains committed to reviewing every aspect of each of the proposals and making the most informed recommendation possible to the legislature and governor."

On Monday, the committee announced that its next meeting would be Friday.

The groups submitting bids were Capital Play Ltd., Empire Racing Associates, Excelsior Racing Associates, and the New York Racing Association.

The committee's recommendations are not binding, and any winning bidder will need to be approved by New York lawmakers and the governor after substantial legislative changes are enacted.