NYRA chief defends execs’ raises despite red ink



ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The head of the New York Racing Association says executive compensation will increase 3 percent this year despite another year of red ink projected for the state franchise that operates the Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga racetracks.

NYRA chief executive and president Charles Hayward told a news conference in Albany Monday that the raises were justified because the executives haven’t had raises in three years, while their health insurance payments have increased.

Last Tuesday, the head of the state’s Financial Oversight Board told Hayward there are “significant and unacceptable gaps” in the board’s ability to obtain and analyze information about the racing organization’s proposed budget.

Hayward says NYRA provided its executive compensation plans to the board last Thursday. He says NYRA is projected to lose $11.6 million this year.