Thoroughbred racing season to open April 22 at the track in Farmington.
An agreement reached Tuesday morning ensures Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack will open for its 56th consecutive thoroughbred racing season. Officials announced that FLGR and Finger Lakes Horsemen’s Benevolent Protective Association agreed on terms for the 2017 racing season, ending months of negotiations.
Plans call for the season to open on Saturday, April 22, with a 145-day season that would extend through November 28.
“We are pleased to have come to an agreement that sets the wheels in motion for racing to continue at Finger Lakes this spring,” stated Chris Riegle, FLGR president and general manager. “All parties involved worked hard and productively over a long period of time toward a reasonable solution that most importantly provides assurance for close to 1,000 people who depend directly on the local racing industry for their livelihood.”
The racing season was in jeopardy due to the opening of del Lago Resort and Casino in Seneca County — and how to best account for the anticipated resulting significant drop in available funds for purse money at Finger Lakes.
“By statute, 8.75% of gaming revenue at Finger Lakes supports racing purses. How to best account for that shortfall and conduct a racing season that all parties could agree upon was at issue. As part of the agreement, Finger Lakes will contribute a minimum of an additional $600,000, and up to $1 Million toward funding of purses, depending on the impact to its gaming revenue this year,” stated FLGR.
Riegle thanked the governor and his staff, the New York State Gaming Commission, New York Thoroughbred Breeders, state Sens Pam Helming and Rich Funke and Assemblyman Brian Kolb “for their efforts in bringing this to a successful conclusion. Their recognition of the vital role that the thoroughbred racing industry plays within the regional and statewide economy was of great importance as we worked our way through these discussions."
Local economic impact of racing operations at Finger Lakes is estimated at $80 million annually.