07/15/2003 11:00PM

NYRA cancels voucher promotion


ELMONT, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association has canceled its popular mystery mutuel voucher promotion for Aug. 2 at Saratoga because it didn't meet new conditions set by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.

About 180,000 mystery mutuel vouchers were sent out by NYRA. The vouchers will now be good for free grandstand or clubhouse admission any race day at Saratoga, Belmont Park, or Aqueduct for the remainder of the year.

NYRA's canceled mystery voucher was part of a national promotion tied to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. NYRA was the first of 20 participating track operators to mail out vouchers.

A mystery voucher worth $1 million is part of the NTRA promotion. Keith Chamblin of the NTRA said that in light of NYRA's decision to cancel the promotion, the NTRA redrew the remaining vouchers to insure that a $1 million voucher is mailed out.

"It is very unfortunate that we have been put in a position that makes it impossible to offer the NTRA mystery mutuel voucher promotion at Saratoga," said Barry Schwartz, NYRA's chairman, in a press statement. "Mystery mutuel vouchers have been part of our promotional schedule for each of the last 10 years, run under the same guidelines which have now been changed."

New York Racing and Wagering Board officials were unavailable for comment on Wednesday.