The New York Racing Association said Monday it's facing a cash crunch that could threaten the Belmont Stakes and thoroughbred horse racing's Triple Crown because the state government still hasn't approved video slot machines at the Aqueduct race track.
NYRA president Charlie Hayward said that unless state lawmakers agree to get video slots up and running soon at Aqueduct, the NYRA may need another $30 million bailout from the state to save the racing season at Belmont, which includes the storied final leg of the Triple Crown.
Such threats have been made before by the private group, which runs thoroughbred racing and state tracks under a franchise. But Hayward insisted the NYRA is down to about $11 million in cash, $4 million short of projections, because of a debt owed by the New York City Off-Track Betting Corp., which also has been perennially troubled.
"We think we're going to burn through that $11 million sometime in May or June," Hayward told the Associated Press.
He said if the NYRA can't be assured of a steady flow of cash from video slots at Aqueduct or from the state, which is also trying to address deficits, then the racing group wouldn't open the Belmont track on Long Island this spring because of seasonal commitments that would have to be made to horse owners.
* No. 2 Texas will have freshman kick returner D.J. Monroe back in the lineup for the BCS national championship game against No. 1 Alabama. Monroe set a school record by returning two kickoffs for touchdowns this season, but was suspended from the last three games after being charged with drunken driving last month.
* USC has ruled that tight end Anthony McCoy and tackle Tyron Smith, both starters, and defensive end Averell Spicer, a key reserve, are academically ineligible for Saturday's Emerald Bowl against Boston College.
* Florida's Brandon James, who leads the team in all-purpose yards, had foot surgery and will not play in the Sugar Bowl against Cincinnati on New Year's Day.