07/03/2001 12:00AM

Three finalists for RCI prez

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A committee of the Association of Racing Commissioners International has reached a recommendation for a successor to former president Tony Chamblin, and an announcement is expected by the end of the week, RCI officials said Tuesday.

Arthur Khoury, chairman of the RCI and the committee heading the executive search, said that board members are currently being asked to vote on the committee's recommendation. He said voting would likely be completed by Friday.

Although Khoury declined to comment on the recommendation, three candidates for the position, several officials have said, were Roy Wood, the executive director of the California Horse Racing Board; Bennett Liebman, a former member of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board; and Lonny Powell, a consultant to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and former vice president of Magna Entertainment. The three had final interviews Friday in Chicago, the officials said.

Chamblin, president of the RCI for 15 years, officially stepped down on July 1 after announcing his resignation earlier this year amid a lingering controversy over his pay.