03/05/2008 1:00AM

NYRA meeting called 'formality'

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A meeting of New York State's Non-Profit Racing Association Oversight Board is scheduled for Friday at 11 a.m. at which time it is expected the board will grant the New York Racing Association a fourth short-term extension to conduct racing.

"There is a meeting set up for Friday for the purpose of an extension," said Steve Newman, head of the oversight board.

Newman called the granting of an extension "a formality."

Though the NYRA was awarded a 25-year renewal of the franchise by the state legislature to run racing at Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga, the agreement will not be finalized before the end of business Friday, when NYRA's current extension expires. In exchange for the franchise, NYRA agreed to transfer ownership of the land that Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga sit on to the state. NYRA must obtain a legal document for that transfer.

The date that the new extension runs through has not been decided, Newman said, but it will likely be some point in April.

Meanwhile, NYRA had a bankruptcy court hearing scheduled for Wednesday postponed to March 19, at which time it hopes to have its reorganization plan approved.