Dave O'Rourke

Andrew Offerman Named NYRA's Sr. Vice President of Racing and Operations Following Resignation of Frank Gabriel

Frank Gabriel, who has served as the New York Racing Association's Sr. Vice President of Racing Operations since 2022, has resigned, effective Feb. 18, it was announced Thursday. Andrew Offerman will succeed Gabriel as NYRA's Sr. Vice President of Racing and Operations. "On behalf of NYRA and the broader racing community in New York, I thank Frank Gabriel for his many contributions to NYRA and to Thoroughbred racing," said David O'Rourke, NYRA President & CEO. "Because of Frank's hard work during a period of great transition, NYRA continues to be...

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NYTHA President Nominee Q&A: Chad Summers

The position of New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NYTHA) president is up for grabs at a time of great upheaval for horse racing in the state. Belmont Park is poised to undergo a $455-million overhaul, after which Aqueduct is set to close its doors. Within a few years, horse racing in New York will look drastically different to what it looks like today. This is also a period of tremendous existential challenge for the sport, as evidenced by a recent 60 Minutes expose on the industry's doping problems. Among the...

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NYRA Partners with Ed Brown Society

The New York Racing Association will partner with the Ed Brown Society to fund the non-profit's expansion into New York State and create opportunities for young people of color to establish careers in Thoroughbred racing. Founded by Living The Dream Racing & Stables, a group of racing syndicates managed by Greg Harbut and Ray Daniels, the Ed Brown Society celebrates the rich history of African-Americans in the equine industry by identifying and supporting college students of color who have demonstrated the skills necessary to become successful professionals in a variety...

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A Season of Triumph and Tragedy, Saratoga Meet Concluded Monday

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Following a tradition that has been in place for several years, King's Tavern across the street from Saratoga Race Course was not open for business Monday, the final day of annual summer meet. Closed on closing day. On purpose. While it may be a sad afternoon for the 22,097 patrons on the grounds for the last card of 2023, the Fitch brothers, who operate King's and the City Tavern on Caroline Street, use closing day at the track to pause a bit on Labor Day and...

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NYRA Unveils Plans for Enhanced Veterinary Scrutiny

Horses entered to race at New York Racing Association tracks will be subject to enhanced veterinary scrutiny beginning Aug. 30 and those examinations will be extended to horses who will have timed workouts at Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course later this fall. NYRA will require private attending veterinarians to perform a physical examination and attest that a horse is sound and fit to race starting next Wednesday. This examination is a condition of entry that must be performed by the private attending veterinarian within a 72-hour window prior to...

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For the Good of Racing, NYRA Needs to Bite the Bullet on the Belmont

There's no easy fix for the Triple Crown or one that satisfies all three tracks. But a fix is needed. With most trainers reluctant to run their horses back on just two weeks' rest, the GI Preakness S. is reeling. The connections of Rich Strike (Keen Ice), the GI Kentucky Derby winner, committed what would have been considered blasphemy 20 years ago and skipped the Preakness to rest up for the GI Belmont S. This year, Derby winner Mage (Good Magic) was the only Derby starter to run back in...

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O'Rourke Apologizes for Sunday's Pick 5 Fiasco; Says “We Dropped the Ball”

With the field loading into the gate for Sunday's sixth race at Saratoga, the start of a Pick 5 sequence, it was announced that three subsequent races were being taken off of the turf. For purposes of the Pick 5, the three off-the-turf races were considered "all" races, meaning those races essentially were eliminated from the bet, turning the Pick 5 into a daily double. It paid $25. That didn't sit well with numerous horseplayers, which didn't go unnoticed by NYRA executives. That's why NYRA CEO and President Dave O'Rourke...

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What You Need to Know About the New Belmont Park

There was a lot to celebrate earlier this month when it was confirmed that the New York State's budget will include a $455-million loan to the New York Racing Association that will go toward a complete rebuild of Belmont Park. That means Belmont will be torn down and replaced by a new structure and that once the new building is up, racing will cease at Aqueduct. But when will it happen? What will the new track look like? And what does it mean for the yearly racing schedule? Here are...

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Breeders' Cup at Belmont? No Timetable, But Edging Closer to Reality

The topic of Belmont Park hosting the Breeders' Cup resurfaced again Monday with the public release of a letter from Breeders' Cup executives to the New York Racing Association (NYRA) to "reaffirm the strong desire" to return the event to Belmont "as soon as the potential infrastructure projects we discussed are complete." That undated letter, which was attached as part of a Nov. 7 pro-Breeders' Cup press release issued by the "We Are NY Horse Racing" coalition of small businesses, labor unions, non-profits, and trade associations, did not include any...

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Offerman Named NYRA VP, GM of Operations

Andrew Offerman, who has served Canterbury Park in Minnesota as its senior vice president of racing operations for the last five years, has been appointed to the newly created role of vice president and general manager of operations for the New York Racing Association (NYRA). Offerman, who will assume his new responsibilities beginning Nov. 11, will oversee front-side operations at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga. "Andrew is a seasoned executive and proven leader who will bring considerable skills to the talented team we have assembled at NYRA," said Dave O'Rourke, NYRA...

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Sun Sets on Record-Breaking Saratoga Season

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY-With a five-word quip, New York Racing Association president and CEO Dave O'Rourke provided plenty of context about the record-setting 154th season of racing in Saratoga. "It didn't rain much, huh?" O'Rourke said. Indeed. Though the 40-day meet concluded Monday on cool, dark, sodden afternoon where jackets and umbrellas were needed, almost all of the programs at Saratoga Race Course were run on tracks listed as "fast" and "firm." When the final grass race of the closing day card was moved to the main track, it was just...

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NYRA CEO Dave O'Rourke Talks Winterizing Belmont On Writers' Room

It was announced last week that in order to properly renovate and reimagine Belmont Park for 2023 and beyond, the New York Racing Association would be shifting this year's fall meet at Belmont to Aqueduct, and Wednesday, NYRA CEO Dave O'Rourke joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland as the Green Group Guest of the Week to discuss the process and future ramifications of this major capital investment in Big Sandy. O'Rourke said that the main objective of the construction project is the building of two major tunnels to...

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