A state-controlled governing board for the New York Racing Association, which will be led by Cornell University President David Skorton, was announced today by the governor and legislative leaders.
The 17-member Board includes eight chosen by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, two each by the state Senate and Assembly and five selected by the current NYRA Board. Additionally, the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and New York Thoroughbred Breeders, will have nonvoting members on the board. A surprise position, which wasn't laid out in the enacting legislation, was the creation of a special adviser spot.
The appointees from Cuomo are Cornell's Skorton, television chef, restaurateur and horse owner Bobby Flay, Tribecca Film Festival co-founder Jane Rosenthal, Barns & Nobles Chairman Leonardo Riggio, Administrators for the Professions CEO Anthony Bonomo, Bond Street Holdings Executive Chairman Vincent Tesse, Navigant Managing Director Joseph Spinelli, and New York State Budget and Franchise Oversight Board Director Bob Megna. Cuomo also appointed current NYRA Board member John Hendrickson to serve as special adviser for Saratoga.
"With the new leadership of the NYRA Reorganization Board, we have an enormously accomplished group to assist us in making New York thoroughbred racing the best in the country," Cuomo said in a statement. "The new Board is charged with reforming NYRA for the benefit of taxpayers, fans, track workers, jockeys, and the horses themselves. I am especially grateful to Dr. Skorton for taking on the duties of Chair, and thank him for his hard work as co-chair of the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Councils, where his efforts have been instrumental in helping craft and put in place a strategic vision for creating jobs and growing the region’s economy."
The Senate's appointees are Beechwood Organization Founder Michael Dubb and Mack Company senior partner Earle Mack. The Assembly's appointees are Rockland Capital Energy Investments Chairman Michael Del Giudice and NBC Universal vice president Rick Cotton.
This new board will serve for three years and then the organization will revert to private control.