Las Vegas casino developer Steve Wynn has dropped out of the competition for New York's franchise to operate thoroughbred racing, a spokesman for Gov. Eliot Spitzer confirmed yesterday. That leaves five bidders -- including Churchill Downs -- seeking the state's franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga racetracks and the video slot machines at Aqueduct.
The bidders will present their proposals in public hearings on April 10 and April 11. The state inspector general will review the backgrounds of all applicants.
NYRA's franchise expires Dec. 31. The next franchise holder could run racing and manage racetracks and facilities for 20 years.
Smart and Fancy continues winning
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Smart and Fancy won the $69,700 Break Through Stakes for fillies and mares at Aqueduct with a 11/4-length win over Livermore Valley, her seventh victory in 12 career starts.
Storm Mate, a 5-year-old gelding, rallied to edge Gem Proof by a nose in the $60,200 feature race at Santa Anita, his third win in 12 starts.