06/08/2004 11:00PM

NYRA pushes bill passage

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New York Racing Association officials met with horsemen Wednesday to explain their support for a bill that would overhaul regulation of racing in the state and also pave the way for slot machines at Aqueduct racetrack, according to an official of the horsemen's group.

The subject bill would eliminate several racing regulatory agencies but bind any successor to NYRA to a contract that the association would sign with a slots operator, said Bob Flynn, the executive director of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association. Racing association officials, including chairman Barry Schwartz, said at the meeting that the bill would allow NYRA to proceed with construction plans on slot machines.

"As long as NYRA is behind it," said Flynn of the bill, "we are too."

The bill, proposed by New York Gov. George Pataki, passed in the Senate last week.