07/10/2008 11:00PM

NYRA gets extension again

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The New York Racing Association Oversight Board on Friday granted its sixth short-term franchise extension to the New York Racing Association, this time until Aug. 28, as the association continues to negotiate with the state over a final deal to hand over its racetracks.

NYRA's previous short-term extension was scheduled to expire on Saturday. The association needed the extension to retain the right to operate Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga while it puts the final touches on three documents negotiated with the state related to a 25-year franchise extension passed by the legislature earlier this year. The extension requires NYRA to transfer ownership of the tracks to the state.

NYRA is currently operating under the protection of U.S. bankruptcy court, though a reorganization plan has already been approved by its creditors' committee.

The association expects to appear in bankruptcy court sometimes in the next several weeks after the negotiations with the state are complete to get final approval for the reorganization plan, according to Charles Hayward, the chief executive of NYRA.