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NYRA executive resigns

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- The chief operating officer and executive vice president of the New York Racing Association will leave the not-for-profit corporation at the end of this summer's Saratoga meet.

Hal Handel, who received a 3.4 percent pay raise to earn $455,000 in 2010, announced Wednesday that he would step down from the job he has held since September 2007.

"I have been managing racetracks continually for more than 25 years, and the time has come to do some different things," Handel said in a news release.

His resignation comes after State Budget Director Robert Megna, who is also chairman of the Franchise Oversight Board, demanded that NYRA disclose its executive's salaries.

Handel said that he had decided to resign before this year's Kentucky Derby in May, and "the timing was agreeable to NYRA."

Handel, 63, previously held executive positions at Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands in New Jersey and at Philadelphia Park.

-- Albany Times Union

State & Region