Spitzer may want second look at process of selecting racing franchise

Governor Eliot Spitzer wants another lap around the New York racing franchise selection process.

Though calls to his office have yet to be returned, several media outlets are reporting that the governorhaving just received the Ad Hoc Committee on the future of Racing's recommendation that Excelsior Racing should take over the franchise in 2008 wants to begin a new process to select the franchise holder.

Spitzer spokesman Paul Larrabee said the recommendation from the panel was non-binding, and that the governor was under no obligation to go along with the recommendation.

He said the report "will be reviewed and will be part of the governor's consideration and evaluation. He does not feel bound by it and in the next days we will be announcing a process for that evaluation."

Saratoga Springs Mayor Valerie Keehn, a member of the Ad Hoc committee, responded to Spitzer by saying, "To start the process over, I think it would be redundant."

Saratoga Springs mayoral candidate Gordon Boyd lambasted the mayor's statement. "Mayor Keehn's response to Governor Spitzer's statement is unacceptable, " he said in a written statement.

"Although she was part of the procurement committee, and is now the acting chair, the committee's work product is not in the best interests of the City of Saratoga Springs. Any review and re-evaluation of the Committee's recommendation, and the process that brought them to this result, is to be welcomed by all of us who want high quality thoroughbred racing at Saratoga Racecourse."


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