- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The New York Daily News on the $250,000 bonus approved for the president of the New York Racing Association.

Aug. 11

The board of the New York Racing Association has awarded President and CEO Christopher Kay a $250,000 performance bonus on top of his $300,000 annual pay for helming the trouble-plagued agency in charge of Belmont, Saratoga and Aqueduct.

That’s quite a purse for a lagging horse.

Kay has received an A-plus reward for his first year of leadership of a state-run group whose core business of racetrack betting is hemorrhaging money and which increasingly relies on video lottery proceeds that rightly belong to public schools.

NYRA’s board has expressed overwhelming satisfaction with its hire. But how, precisely, it measured Kay’s achievements on such measures as horse and rider safety, customer satisfaction and revenue remains mysterious.

Somehow, losing $5.2 million on horse racing in the first six months of this year, and netting income half that of the same period in 2013, counts as an exemplary accomplishment.

NYRA isn’t covered by a Cuomo administration cap on compensation for state-funded groups. But the spectacle of a board whose majority was handpicked by the governor and legislative leaders lavishing a supersize pay package on an executive veers off message, to say the least.

We don’t doubt that Kay, a private-sector veteran, may make a strong turnaround artist.

But what on earth makes him a half-million-dollars good?

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Online:

http://nydn.us/1r7bGBm

The Poughkeepsie Journal on casino expansion plans in New York state.

Aug. 12

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