07/19/2005 11:00PM

NYRA gets new finance head


William Byrne, the New York Racing Association's chief financial officer since late 2003, resigned on Tuesday and has been replaced by Mike Kravchenko, the former chief financial officer of the Daily Racing Form, NYRA announced on Wednesday.

In addition, NYRA announced the hiring of David A. Smuckler as senior vice president of human resources and labor relations. Smuckler, 52, who held a similar position at Newsday, is filling a post previously held by Ralph Chetcuti, who was dismissed last week along with the association's racing secretary and chief examining veterinarian.

Byrne was hired in September 2003 as part of a broad reorganization of NYRA in response to criticism from federal and state authorities related to an investigation into NYRA's cash policies in its mutuel department.

Kravchenko, 45, will begin his post on Aug. 1, according to NYRA. Kravchenko was brought into the Daily Racing Form by NYRA's current president, Charles Hayward. Kravchenko and Hayward, who was president and chief executive of DRF, left the Form shortly after it was purchased by the Wicks Group in May 2004.