05/10/2007 12:00AM

N.Y. governor makes bids a priority


New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer told leaders of the New York legislature at a public meeting on Wednesday that determining how to award the racing franchise currently held by the New York Racing Association should be a priority during the last six weeks of the legislative session.

NYRA's franchise to operate the state's three largest tracks - Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Racecourse - and a casino at Aqueduct expires at the end of the year. A panel put together earlier this year by the governor is formulating recommendations on how the state should award the franchise.

Spitzer met with Joseph Bruno, the Senate majority leader, and Sheldon Silver, the Assembly speaker, on Wednesday in Albany to discuss legislative priorities. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn at the end of June.

Paul Larabee, a spokesman for Spitzer, said Thursday that the panel, which met earlier this year to hear proposals from four bidders for the franchise, is still working on its report to Spitzer.