From the New York Times -
[Steve] Swindal [one of two managing general partners of the Yankees] is a partner in Excelsior Racing Associates, which last month won the recommendation of a committee to take over New York state’s thoroughbred racing franchise. The franchise covers the Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga tracks. The New York Racing Association has owned the franchise for 50 years, but its license expires at the end of next year. The State Legislature will designate the next franchise holder from among Excelsior, NYRA and Empire Racing.
Baseball owners have long owned racehorses, at least since John Galbreath in the 1940s. No owner is believed to have owned a racetrack. Certainly no owner has owned a track with slot machines on the premises. But that’s what Excelsior plans to do. Swindal said Aqueduct had 4,500 slot machines ready to become operative.
Swindal, who is George Steinbrenner’s son-in-law, said he had spoken to Commissioner Bud Selig about his participation in Excelsior.
“I have kept the commissioner informed about Excelsior and the bid process; I got his permission before I went into it,” Swindal said in a telephone interview Friday. “I haven’t encountered any problems. Before I went into it, I wanted to make sure. I said: ‘I want to bid on this franchise. It involves parimutuel racing.’ He said, ‘O.K. but keep me informed.’ ”
Swindal said he told Selig about the slot machines, too.
“He was informed of that,” Swindal said. “I did let him know that Aqueduct had 4,500 machines that were part of the bid. Most parimutuel facilities have slots now. It’s not an uncommon thing. They’re trying to get people back to the track.”
In addition, Swindal said, he told Selig that one of his Excelsior partners was Richard Fields, a casino developer.
Steinbrenner is not involved in Excelsior, Swindal said.
Selig, saying he didn’t want to comment on the matter, did not confirm Swindal’s characterization of what was said or blessed.
Man, the life of champagne wishes and caviar dreams…
I guess running a baseball team and building a new Stadium aren’t enough for Swindal’s plate. Either that, or, Randy Levine and Brian Cashman are really running the entire show in the Bronx in the post-Stein days.