The New York Racing Association and the New York State oversight committee reached an agreement following a marathon negotiating session Thursday that extends the NYRA franchise through Jan. 23. The original deadline was Dec. 31. Should no final solution be reached by the new date, the oversight committee by law takes over the responsibility of conducting racing in New York.

Unless the parties compromise on the issues of length of term for a new NYRA franchise accord in exchange for its land claims; on a reconstituted NYRA Board of Directors that includes the resignation of NYRA president Charles Hayward and board chairman Steven Duncker; and a resolution of the simulcasting operations scenario, the temporary extension will achieve nothing by the new deadline.

The temporary agreement needs State Racing and Wagering Board approval. That should not be a problem.

In the interests of morbid curiosity, you can tune into Down the Stretch, Capital OTB's weekly magazine show hosted by Mark Cusano and Michael Veitch. The show airs in New Yorks Capital District on basic cable channel 12 and begins at 10 a.m., EST. Scheduled as guests are Senator Bruno and Charlie Hayward.

Hayward refused to comment on the extension yesterday but it will be interesting to see if that position changes overnight. At the close of business yesterday, NYRA announced that it had signed non-exclusive wagering-platform agreements with and TrackNet Media. Resultantly, NYRA's races will be available for simulcast wagering virtually everywhere, and would seen on both HRTV and TVG. That appears to solve the simulcast issue from NYRA's perspective. It will be interesting to see Bruno's reaction to this development and how the 11th-hour simulcasting accords ultimately affects resolution of the franchise question. The ball clearly has moved into Mr. Bruno's court.

If you live outside the New York area, you can see "Down the Stretch" by logging on to and clicking on the program link.