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CEO and President Chris Kay Reports on The New York Racing Association, Inc.'s First 60 Days Under his Leadership

By Eric Wing | 08/28/2013 03:34 PM ET

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) Board of Directors, meeting in Saratoga Springs today, heard reports and presentations from CEO and President Chris Kay on the conclusion of the Belmont Park spring/summer meet, and new initiatives surrounding the Saratoga Race Course meet to date, including a recap of the 144th running of the Travers Stakes on August 24.  It was Kay's first Board meeting as NYRA CEO and President since joining NYRA on July 1.

Speaking on the importance of guiding NYRA through a successful reprivatization by October 2015, Kay acknowledged several positive meetings he has had with New York State policymakers, and he expressed appreciation for the collaborative working environment between the state and NYRA.   

The Board heard additional reports from Chair David Skorton and Chief Financial Officer Susanne Stover.

Later in the meeting, updates were presented on Saratoga 150 initiatives and the tote company transition from United Tote to AmTote, which will be accompanied by the introduction of 1,200 new self-service betting terminals.

Status reports were delivered on Capital Investments by Vice President of Facilities & Racing Surfaces Glen Kozak and Advanced Deposit Wagering by Vice President of Corporate Development David O'Rourke. Kay and O'Rourke each stated that a Request for Proposal (RFP) for an account wagering platform provider would be released sometime in the next week, with a selection expected in October and implementation anticipated next spring. 

The Board heard a presentation from Patrick Connors, Chairman of the New York Racing Fan Advisory Council, which is tasked with providing recommendations to track operators and regulators on how to bring new fans to the sport.

NYRA's Audit & Compliance Committee, Equine Safety Committee and Finance Committee also issued reports to the Board.

The Board also heard a report from the Nominations and Governance Committee and voted to approve the minutes of the Board meetings held on June 10, 2013 and June 18, 2013.

All materials discussed and reviewed during the Board's meetings, replays of past meetings, and a list of Board members are available at: http://www.nyra.com/saratoga/board-meetings/.


About the NYRA Board: The NYRA Board consists of 17 directors: eight appointed by Governor Cuomo; two directors each appointed by the Senate and Assembly; and five directors appointed by the former NYRA Board. Breeders and Horsemen each have an ex officio member. The NYRA Board is in effect for 3 years, following which NYRA will revert back to majority private control. Seven of the appointees are new to the NYRA Board, and bring experience from the entertainment, finance, and legal fields in addition to horse racing.