The Standardbred Owners Association of New York and Yonkers Raceway are pleased to announce that they have reached an agreement on the terms of a new three year contract. The new agreement will cover the conduct of racing at Yonkers Raceway for the 2014, 2015 and 2016 racing seasons. The previous expired contract had been extended until December 31, 2013 by mutual agreement.
The 2014 meet at Yonkers will cover 236 racing dates and is scheduled to begin Monday, January 6. A full 2014 racing calendar will be released shortly.
"We are very pleased to have fostered a relationship that would allow us to complete negotiations in such a quick fashion," said Yonkers Raceway Chief Operating Officer Bob Galterio. "I believe each side knew the issues of importance for the other and acted accordingly."
The schedule tentatively calls for some matinee programs on Tuesday afternoons in the Fall, as Yonkers looks to develop more international outlets for their high quality racing product.
The SOA Committee and Yonkers management only had to meet two times to iron out the agreement.
"The negotiations were seamless," said SOA of NY President Joe Faraldo. "Horsemen can know there is stability for the next several years with 236 racing dates scheduled each season."
During the talks, the SOA of NY was represented by SOA President Joe Farlado, SOA Trustee Chris Wittstruck and SOA Executive Director Alex Dadoyan.
As part of the agreement, the SOA of NY agreed to remove the $100 payment for horses finishing sixth through eighth. That money will go into the purse account for distribution in the traditional form of purse money for horses finishing first through fifth. It was further agreed that the $10 per start fee will be automatically deducted from the purse account rather than burdening the owners with the accounting each week. That deduction will not be applicable in the NYSS events for which there will be a separate fee that will be the owners' direct responsibility.
The SOA of NY will also receive slightly higher revenue for its new insurance program
"We will continue to maintain the non-contributory retirement program for qualified industry participants which is a great benefit to those horsemen that reach retirement age with enough service credit," said SOA of NY Trustees Chairman Peter Venaglia.