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Horsemen to protest at Yonkers casino

11 October 2006

YONKERS, New York -- As reported by the (Westchester) Journal: "Angry horse owners, drivers and trainers plan to protest Yonkers Raceway's decision to open its $240 million new video lottery casino tomorrow before it is ready to resume live harness racing.

"The 107-year-old track, which has been closed for more than 15 months while it builds the state's largest video lottery casino, is expected to open video lottery games to the public at 10 a.m. tomorrow on a limited basis, as it completes construction.

"Track officials, however, said they plan to hold off resuming live harness racing for another week to 10 days. The Standardbred Owners Association of New York, however, is arguing that decision violates the 2001 law that authorized eight harness tracks around the state to open video lottery casinos.

"...Joseph Faraldo, president of the organization, said horsemen were not informed of the decision to open the track today until late yesterday afternoon. He and other horsemen planned to protest the ribbon-cutting this morning.

"Faraldo said horsemen planned to go to court today to ask a judge to determine under what authority the track is opening the casino without live racing..."

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