04/06/2007 12:00AM

Swindal no longer with Excelsior


Steve Swindal, the New York Yankees general partner, has dropped out of Excelsior Racing Associates, according to a filing by the group, which is bidding on the franchise held by the New York Racing Association.

Swindal’s departure comes days after four members of the family of George Steinbrenner – daughters Jennifer and Jessica and sons Harold and Henry – also withdrew from Excelsior. Last week, Jennifer Steinbrenner, Swindal’s wife, filed for divorce, creating questions about Swindal‘s future with his father-in-law’s baseball team, the New York Yankees.

Swindal was part of a partnership with the four Steinbrenner children that owned 23.75 percent of Excelsior. Also last week, the real-estate development company Tishman-Speyer, which owned 5 percent of Excelsior, dropped out.

On Thursday night, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board posted on its website the proposals filed by Excelsior and three other groups bidding for the franchise. Excelsior’s proposal, which was filed on Monday, according to a spokesman for Gov. Eliot Spitzer, did not include Swindal’s name among its ownership group or list of executives.

Excelsior and the other groups – NYRA, Empire Racing Associates, and Capital Play Inc. – are scheduled to give presentations about their proposals to run the franchise during hearings on April 10 and 11 in Albany. NYRA’s franchise, which includes the right to operate Aqueduct, Belmont, Saratoga, and a casino at Aqueduct, expires on Dec. 31. Any deal to name a successor to NYRA must be approved by both Gov. Spitzer and the legislature.

Excelsior, Empire, and NYRA all filed proposals to run the franchise last year with the Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of Racing, a panel put together by former Gov. George Pataki. That panel ranked Excelsior’s proposal first among the three bidding groups.