01/26/2018 4:26PM

NYRA racing secretary Salvato ruled off grounds


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Matt Salvato, who last fall was promoted to racing secretary at the New York Racing Association, has been ruled off the grounds at the three NYRA tracks, the company said Friday.

Though no reason was given, NYRA spokesman Pat McKenna said Salvato has “been trespassed from NYRA properties as of Jan. 25. As it is a personnel matter, we won’t be commenting any further.”

Salvato, reached Thursday after he was escorted out of Aqueduct by security, said he was “suspended” indefinitely. Salvato, citing an ongoing investigation, declined to comment further.

Salvato, a native of Farmingdale, N.Y., joined NYRA in 2008 after graduating from Adelphi University with a degree in sports management. He was an assistant racing secretary before taking over as racing secretary with the opening of the Aqueduct fall meet Nov. 3. Salvato replaced Dan Eidson, who in December moved back to Southern California to become racing director at Santa Anita.

Salvato did work in the racing office during the time period when the New York State Gaming Commission and NYRA investigated a situation where two racing officials were accused of accepting bribes for providing confidential information from the track’s InCompass system.

Jose Morales Jr., at the time an entry clerk for NYRA, was accused of providing the confidential information via email from April to June 2014 to one or more persons. Information from InCompass included entry sheets of past performances for horses entered in particular races before entries closed.

Morales, along with Stephen Foster, a NYRA clocker and placing judge, and Mike Gonzalez, a jockey agent who at the time worked for Manny Franco, also were ruled off the grounds. Foster and Gonzalez were both fined and suspended 10 years by the gaming commission.

Morales’s case is still pending. He did appear at a hearing before the gaming commission last month.

It is not clear if this action taken against Salvato by NYRA is related to the InCompass situation. A spokesperson for the gaming commission would neither confirm nor deny that the investigation is ongoing.