Saratoga Springs – Senator Roy McDonald announced today the formation of a 43rd Senate District Racing Advisory Panel consisting of local breeders, concerned citizens, business leaders, racing and gaming experts to provide input on New York racing industry issues.
McDonald appointed former Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce President Joe Dalton and thoroughbred horse breeder Joe McMahon, of McMahon Thoroughbreds, to Co-chair the panel.
“I want input from this outstanding group of local leaders on an issue that’s extremely important to our region, we need a thorough review of racing issues along with the creation of a long term plan for New York racing,” said McDonald.
The Racing Advisory Panel held an introductory meeting, where panel members provided suggestions on issues that should be addressed by the group. The topics discussed ranged from the economic impact of the track to the importance of reviewing national trends in racing.
Additionally, the panel has asked members of the public to submit written comments and suggestions for review. Suggestions can be sent to McDonald’s Albany office.
“Horse racing generates a significant cash flow for New York State. Its not about handouts and only for people who are wealthy, it should be viewed as an industry of hard working people that positively affect our region and the state,” said Co-Chair Joe Dalton.
“To accomplish real goals, we cannot overlook the significance of national trends in horse racing. What exactly is working across the country, and how we can apply that to our region so we are more successful is important,” added Co-Chair Joe McMahon.
The panel plans to meet approximately three times from now to when the racing meet at Saratoga begins in late July.
Membership on Senator McDonald’s 43rd District Racing Advisory Panel:
Joe Dalton (Co-Chair) – Former Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce President
Joe McMahon (Co-Chair) – Horse Breeder, McMahon Thoroughbreds
Scott Johnson – Mayor, City of Saratoga Springs
Ellen Bongard – Horse Breeder, Rojan Farm
Skip Carlson – Saratoga Casino & Raceway
Rita Cox – Saratoga Casino & Raceway
Peter Goold – Executive Director, NYS Horse Breeding & Development Fund
Neil Kelleher, Jr. – Capital District OTB Board of Directors
Ed Lewi – Concerned Citizens for Saratoga Racing
Tom Roohan – Concerned Citizens for Saratoga Racing
Todd Shimkus – Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce President
Rod Sutton – Concerned Citizens for Saratoga Racing
Michael E. Veitch – Horse-Racing Journalist
Charles Wait – NYRA Board of Directors
Dave Wickerham – Former Saratoga County Administrator