Gov. Cuomo makes good on promise to restructure NYRA

Oct 22, 2012 7:28 PM

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made good his promise of restructuring the New York Racing Association (NYRA) by revamping the non-profit’s board of directors.

Economic advisor David Skorton, president of Cornell University, has been named chairman of the board, although he has had no experience whatever with horse racing. Joining him on the new board will be a number of prominent individuals, some of whom already have investments in the industry.

These include celebrity chef Bobby Flay, who in the past two years has seen his racing colors prominently displayed in the winner’s circle following the expenditure of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Leonard Riggio, chairman of Barnes & Noble and owner of My Meadowview racing and breeding association, will serve, as will Jane Rosenthal, CEO of Tribeca Enterprises; Anthony Bonomo, founder of Brooklyn Boyz Stables; investment adviser and lawyer Vincent Tese; Joseph Spinello, managing director of Navigant and Robert Megna, the governor’s budget director.

John Hendrickson, husband of socialite and prominent horsewoman Mary Lou Whitney, was named as a special advisor to the board.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos appointed Michael Dubb and Earle Mack while Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver selected Michael Del Giudice.

The board will exist for at least three years at which time lawmakers will decide whether to continue with the new group. Meanwhile, Gov. Cuomo will decide whether the racing enterprise should be farmed out to a profit making organization.

Still to be chosen is a president to replace Ellen McClain, who took over from the longtime head of NYRA, Charles Hayward.

Ray Poirier is the longtime executive editor at GamingToday.

Contact Ray at Ray­[email protected].

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