U.S. Trotting Association directors Joe Faraldo, who is also president and CEO of the Standardbred Owners of New York and former chairman of the board of the USTA, and Alex Dadoyan, the current executive director of SOA of NY and a USTA executive committee member, along with Yonkers Raceway president Tim Rooney Sr. and his son, USTA director Tim Rooney Jr., the track's general counsel, will lead a delegation of U.S. industry representatives to Paris, France this week to negotiate the final details of a breeding, wagering and simulcasting agreement between the USTA and French racing officials.
Also in the U.S. delegation will be USTA Directors and SOA Board members Mike Kimelman Jr., who serves as president of Blue Chip Farms, and Ray Schnittker, as well as longtime former USTA director Peter Venaglia, a vice president for the SOA of NY.
During the trip, in addition to the breeding agreement, the two sides will work toward establishing a calendar of simulcasting of and wagering on Yonkers' races in France and French races into the U.S. by the end of 2014.
"This is a historic, monumental agreement,” said Faraldo, who will sign the agreement on behalf of the USTA. "It is the predicate for international simulcasting into Europe and a move forward to more global simulcasting of U.S. harness racing.”
"We're very proud to be a part of this effort to bring our two organizations closer together,” said Yonkers Raceway president Tim Rooney Sr. "Yonkers has always been heavily invested in international racing partnerships and a workable breed agreement is an important step in furthering these relationships. We also look forward to sharing racing simulcasts in the near future, another next step in this exceptional effort."
"This is an important step in the worldwide growth of our sport,” said USTA president Phil Langley. "Congratulations to Yonkers and the SOA of NY for negotiating this deal. We are all interested in seeing them have great success in this venture.”
On behalf of the the French delegation, Dominique de Bellaigue, who is President of both Cheval Francais and the Trotteur Francais Stud Book Committee, will sign the contract on Saturday, Jan. 25.
Faraldo cited the support of Yonkers Raceway management and the expertise and established relationships with the French racing officials of Dadoyan as key factors in negotiating the pact.
"We have had tremendous cooperation from Yonkers management,” said Faraldo. "This is an important business consideration for the racetrack.
"Most instrumental in the group has been Alex Dadoyan,” said Faraldo of the former director of racing operations at the Meadowlands. "He knows it better than anyone. He speaks the racetrack lingo that buys credence, plus he has the connections.”
Further details will be released when the negotiations are finalized and the agreement is executed. (HRC)